Why a Y-front Twitter could finish congressman's career

It is hard to know how things can get more awkward for Anthony Weiner, a US Congressman from New York, who is involved in a scandal that is silly, serious and also something in between. Why, the nation demands to know, was a picture of a man's bulging crotch sent to a female student last week via his personal Twitter account?

The image itself barely ranks as pornographic. There is a flash of leg and lots of Y-front fabric with some contours that admittedly suggest male equipment of impressive dimensions. Still, if it turns out that the model was indeed the Congressman and he was the one who sent it, he may be in deep water, at least politically.

No one will have foreseen the ensuing media hurricane more quickly than the Congressman. All his life he has lived with the name Weiner, pronounced "Wee-ner", a slang synonym in the US for penis. It is no surprise then that the newspapers are already calling it Weinergate and are in indulging in a festival of puns and innuendo. "Weiner Exposed" yelled the New York Post yesterday. "Weiner's Pickle", chimed in the Daily News.

Both papers were seizing on interviews the Congressman has given declaring his innocence but failing to rule out the possibility that the bulge may be his. Tying himself in knots, he suggested the image might have been of him but that it was stolen by a hacker, "manipulated" to pump up his prowess and nefariously sent to the student on Twitter. It is a puzzle that Dan Lyons of the Daily Beast sorted out for the rest of us. "Weiner denies tweeting the wiener, and there is no proof that the wiener even belongs to Weiner, but if the wiener is not Weiner's and if Weiner did not tweet the wiener, then to whom does the wiener belong and how did it get tweeted from Weiner's Twitter account?"

All of this couldn't be happening to a more social-media connected politician. He found Twitter before most people on Capitol Hill had mastered email. He has carved a niche as a spokesman for liberal causes and advertises his ambition one day to be mayor of New York City. His constituency covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens in the city.

The image in question apparently reached Gennette Cordova, a female college student in Washington State, last week. She is a follower on Twitter of the Congressman but the two do not know each other personally. The media got wind of the story at the weekend and it has been growing ever since.

The puns are almost unavoidable even the Congressman, whose wife of less than a year, Huma Abedin, is an aide to Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State. By Tuesday, he had concluded he was better off engaging with the media and apologised if theretofore he had seemed a "little stiff".

Questioned by CNN about the origins of the tweeted tumescence Mr Weiner replied, "It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth." To MSNBC, he offered: "Maybe it did start being a photo of mine and now looks something different or maybe it is from another account."

"It's not too late to prevent damage by turning [the Twitter case] over to the Capitol police and let them find the hacker," commented Ed Koch, the former New York mayor. "I think he's in trouble, I think he has a problem."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker