Reportedly, Andrew Breitbart is furious about the hijacking of his so-called “insurance” picture from Anthony Weiner’s curious notion of constituent, er, outreach. Breitbart told Fox News that he considers radio jock Gregg Hughes’ actions “a complete violation of trust,” but the damage has been done. Hughes, who goes by the nom de plume “Opie” on the air, surreptitiously took a picture of Breitbart’s cell phone while a picture showing a fully erect male penis was displayed — and then published it:
After conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart claimed Monday he had an X-rated photo of Rep. Anthony Weiner, the purported image has surfaced on the Internet. And Breitbart’s not happy.
“I’m mortified,” Breitbart told Fox News.
The image of what are said to be Weiner’s genitals was posted online after Breitbart appeared on the satellite radio show of shock jocks Opie and Anthony Wednesday.
The Atlantic covers the issue briefly:
Unfortunately for Breitbart–and for Weiner–that policy no longer holds, because on Wednesday a pair of radio DJs seem to have leaked a photo of Breitbart displaying the money shot on his iPhone.
Breitbart appeared on Sirius XM’s The Opie and Anthony Show as part of his media tour in which he’s gloating that he was right all along about Weiner. It seems he was so proud of his trophy he had to show it off.
Gawker blames Breitbart for showing off as well, but Breitbart tells Fox that he kept it to prove to other reporters that he wasn’t bluffing. Both takes are plausible, and whether you believe one or the other probably relates to how you feel about Andrew Breitbart himself. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially after all the ridiculous attacks he took in the first few days of the scandal. I’d want to make sure that reporters knew I was telling the truth in that situation as well — and if that also meant at least a subtle bit of gloating went along with the defense, it’s hard to blame him.
I won’t bother linking to the photo itself; each of the links above will get you there in two steps, if you’re really interested. Suffice it to say that it’s exactly what we thought it would be, and other than the provenance of the photo, it’s entirely uninteresting. However, it does provide closure to the oddball who yelled out the last question of Weiner’s presser, asking about the status of his member.
Does this make matters worse for Weiner? Probably. It’s bad enough that Weiner lied about the initial picture for ten days, allowing the media to concoct absurd conspiracy theories and sucker his friends and family into publicly defending him. This last image makes it clear that Weiner didn’t have any judgment whatsoever, unless he figured to someday pose for Playgirl. It’s difficult to see how Democrats will want to go on record defending this kind of self-destructive, bizarre behavior, and it may push more of them to demand that Weiner start his post-political career now rather than after January 2013.
Update: Lest you get too sympathetic for Weiner in his plight, Salon’s Steve Kornacki reminds us how Weiner first won an election:
It was at this point that Weiner’s campaign decided to blanket the district with leaflets attacking his opponents. But these were no ordinary campaign attacks: They played the race card, and at a very sensitive time. They were also anonymous.
Just weeks earlier, the Crown Heights riot — a deadly, days-long affair that brought to the surface long-standing tension between the area’s black and Jewish populations — had played out a few miles away from the 48th District. The episode had gripped all of New York and had been national news. It was just days after order had been restored that Weiner’s campaign distributed its anonymous leaflets, which linked Cohen — whose voters he was targeting in particular — to Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins, who was then New York’s mayor. It is hard to imagine two more-hated political figures in the 48th District at that moment. Jackson just a few years earlier had called New York “Hymie town,” and it was an article of faith among white voters in Weiner’s part of Brooklyn that Dinkins had protected the black rioters in Crown Heights — and thus endangered the white population — by refusing to order a harsh police crackdown. (Two years later, Dinkins would lose to Rudy Giuliani by an 80-20 percent margin in the 48th District.) The leaflets urged voters to “just say no” to the “Jackson-Dinkins agenda” that Cohen supposedly represented. At City Hall, Dinkins held up the flier and branded it “hateful.”
It’s impossible to say what precise effect this all had on the election, but it clearly didn’t hurt Weiner. In a surprise result, he finished in first place — 125 votes ahead of Garson, and 195 ahead of Cohen. Only after the ballots were counted did he admit that he’d been behind the leaflets, claiming that “We didn’t want the source to be confused with the message.” This prompted an editorial rebuke from the New York Times, which noted that “Mr. Weiner’s hit-and-run tactics tarnish his come-from-behind campaign.”
Not that it mattered. The primary was over and Weiner had won. The general election was a formality, and months later he became the youngest City Council member in New York history. Seven years after that, he parlayed his Council spot into a seat in Congress, and you know the story from there. But who knows where Weiner would be today if he hadn’t made such a dark appeal to racial hostility days after a notorious riot?
Probably still in Chuck Schumer’s office … and probably still texting/tweeting/Facebooking his genitalia.
Update: Politico’s Jon Allen reports on Twitter that DCCC’s Allyson Schwartz has called for Weiner to resign:
“In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign.”