Even before Twitter could launch its photo-sharing service, the not so private micro-blogging site has landed Representative Anthony D. Weiner in a soup over a suggestive picture of a man's crotch in underwear that was sent to one of his female followers.
Weiner, a Democrat from New York and considered to be a front-runner in the Democratic primary for the 2013 election to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, called the unlikely Twitter crotch-intrusion a handiwork of hackers.
The obscene snapshot of a man's pelvic girdle was sent to a 21-year-old college student Gennette Cordova, the Daily News reported. And while it was targeted at Cordova, the picture was there for the taking - on the not so private Twitter - for other Weiner followers.
Congressman Weiner declined to answer questions posed by the press on the crotch-picture scandal. Instead, he discarded the episode as a distraction. The WashingonPost quoted Weiner as stating: Look, I'm not going to allow this to be what I talk about all week.
NYTimes reported that Weiner in a news conference at the Capitol said: If I was giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone in the back of the room threw a pie or yelled out an insult, would I spend the next two hours responding to that?
On being further assailed with questions by the press, he retorted: There are people who are going to want to have this debate, and to some degree, the people that are engaging in it are zealous to do it, he said. But I don't want to. I choose to fight for the things that I care about, and things that I'm working on.
Daily News reported that Weiner had spotted the hack immediately and had responded to the grey underpants intrusion tweeting: Tivo shot. FB hacked. Is my blender gonna attack me next?
However, Weiner's key alibi in the scandal is the victim Cordova. In a statement, she said that the hacker was a familiar person who had harassed her earlier also. She also expressed disdain for being labeled as Femme Fatale of Weinergate. Cordava confessed that she has never met the Congressman but is a fan of Weiner.
DailyNews posted a piece which states that Weiner follows a select 198 of his followers from his nearly 49,000 fans of which a sizeable number are females.
Anthony Weiner spent his toddler years in a Rochdale Village Mitchell-Lama housing unit and was raised in his birthplace of Brooklyn, and currently lives in Queens. The son of a lawyer and teacher, he graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1981 and SUNY Plattsburgh in 1985.
National Journal reported that after college he worked with Congressman Charles Schumer and is said to have the same penchant for media attention as his mentor. When working for Schumer, he shared an apartment with Jon Stewart, now the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
Weiner, who is a Jew, had criticized Obama's decision to pressure Israel to halt planned housing developments in East Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign nation and an ally, not a punching bag. Enough already, Weiner had then complained.
Weiner is credited to have raised millions of dollars for New York City and some of the projects include restoration of city's parks and beaches; funds to improve the collection of DNA to solve crimes against women; funds for programs for developmentally disabled; funds to combat pests that have ravaged our trees; funds for additional police officers; funds to improve pedestrian safety; funds to bring ferry transportation, and even funds helping to clean graffiti.
Weiner had pitched for the Democratic nomination for mayor in 2005. He attempted to run again for mayor in 2009 but eschewed the idea after the City Council extended the eight-year limit on elected city officials.
While the married Weiner attempts to expunge the hacker-induced blot on his otherwise scandal-free profile, he is not alone in his fight with hackers. Currently major corporates like Sony and Lockheed Martin have been at the receiving end of the hacker outrage.