Rep. Anthony Weiner finally admitted to being the twit behind the crotch shot blasted from his Twitter account last week, but the story just won’t die. “I am deeply sorry I lied about this, but at the end of the day, I lied because I was embarrassed,” he sniffed during a 27-minute press conference that was as excruciating for the audience as it was ignominious for the speaker, in part because conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story of the mistweet, hijacked the podium, Kanye-style, demanding “vindication.”
But if Rep. Weiner was embarrassed about a photo that was visible for 12 minutes before he erased it, he must be mortified now. The “the now-infamous grey underwear photograph,” as Mr. Breitbart’s Big Government called it, aired on The Today Show with some pixelation about the bulge. Rep. Weiner’s old pal Jon Stewart showed it, unobscured, to The Daily Show’s 2.3 million viewers. The photo was posted on hundreds of blogs; it got about 270,000 views on Gawker the first day; 50,000 views the next day, and about 60,000 views on the day of the presser, 1,000 of which converted to Facebook “likes.”
The photo wasn’t just seen–it was heavily scrutinized, for days, as amateur detectives analyzed the facts. One Tweeter dug through his computer’s temporary memory to find a larger version of the photo; bloggers examined the file for clues–the wrong time stamp! an “oddity in the header”!–as readers wrote in with tips.
Two parody Twitter accounts, @AnthonysWiener and @AnthonysWeiner, launched with the crotch as their avatars. “Battle of the ‘Weiners’!” a Time blogger declared, prompting @AnthonysWiener to wonder, “My 15 minutes isn’t up yet?”
Considering the tabloids this week, looks like the answer is no.
Adrianne Jeffries is the editor of Betabeat. Follow Adrianne on Twitter or via RSS. firstname.lastname@example.org