In case you missed this story, Rep. Anthony Weiner is under scrutiny for possibly sending a lewd photo to a female college student over Twitter. Weiner says that the picture was sent by a hacker who broke into his account, but others have alleged that the congressman meant to send the photo to the woman as a private message and accidentally sent it as a public Tweet.
Whatever the explanation, it’s hard to not feel sympathy for the college student at the center of the controversy. In a matter of hours, her life was ransacked – her phone number was allegedly published online, personal information was leaked, and she was bombarded with online messages.
“The last 36 hours have been the most confusing, anxiety-ridden hours of my life,” she wrote in a statement to the New York Daily News. “I’ve watched in sheer disbelief as my name, age, location, links to any social networking site I’ve ever used, my old phone numbers and pictures have been passed along from stranger to stranger.”
This is exactly why the congressman needs to call for an official investigation immediately, not just for his own sake, but for the sake of the woman involved. The longer he avoids this, the longer she’ll have this issue hanging over her.
Liberal bloggers should be the ones leading the campaign for an official investigation. Many of them have claimed that Andrew Breitbart, and other conservative activists, are responsible for hacking into Weiner’s official congressional Twitter account. If that’s the case, then let’s make sure these right-wing hackers are forced to face the legal consequences of their actions.
This is a fairly customary process. After President Obama’s official Twitter account was hacked, the FBI managed to track the hacker all the way to France, where he was tried and convicted. If Weiner’s account was compromised, there’s a good chance that law enforcement will find the person who did it.
But if it turns out that Weiner is unwilling to allow an official, transparent investigation, then he can’t expect journalists to stop digging for the truth on their own. After all, the public has legitimate questions, and the media is only doing its job.