Entries in Media Matters (2)


Weiner: Hacker Posted Lewd Photo

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Speculation continues to surround a lewd photograph sent from Congressman Anthony Weiner's Twitter account Saturday.

The photo showing a man's bulging underpants was sent to Seattle-based college student Gennette Nicole Cordova directly from the Democratic Congressman's account. The photo was taken from the waist down, and as such the face of the man in the photo was not visible.

The photo was deleted immediately.

The tweet was first reported Saturday by, a conservative run website. A spokesman for the New York representative says the tweet was perpetrated by a hacker, though offered no further explanation of how it occurred.

Weiner, D-NY, later posted a tweet referring to the "underpants post" asking whether his kitchen blender would "attack" him next.

Tweet recipient, Cordova, 21, blames an anonymous person who she says "had harassed me many times after the congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago," before claiming in a written statement. "There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me."

Given his position, hacking Weiner's account would amount to a federal crime, and the FBI would be called in to investigate. Blogger skeptics of the representative's hacking claim were quick to point out Rep. Weiner has made no announcement of any such investigation, and point instead to how easy it is to accidentally tweet to the public a message or picture that a sender meant to be a DM -- Twitter's Direct Message. Others wondered why Congressman Weiner was following a college-aged girl on Twitter to begin with.

Regardless of who is to blame for the tweet, notes the Weiner incident further exemplifies the dwindling privacy had by politicians as a result of electronic communication.

The site cites similar instances of political careers falling victim to electronic communication mishaps. In 2008, a hacker broke into then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's email account. He was sentenced to a year in prison in November of 2010. Earlier this year, Weiner's congressional colleague Rep. Chris Lee, a Repubican, resigned amid a media firestorm that was sparked when he was found to have sent a shirtless photo to a woman he met on Craigslist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Hopes New Democratic Fundraising Group Will Avert Another ‘Disaster’ In 2012

Photo Courtesy - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend [dot] com(WASHINGTON) -- Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is positioning herself to be a major player in the Democratic Party’s 2012 fundraising efforts, pledged that a new group she is forming will help Democrats “compete dollar to dollar” with Republicans over the next two years.

Townsend has teamed up with David Brock, founder of the liberal media watchdog website Media Matters, to form American Bridge, a group that aims to be a counterweight to right-leaning organizations such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent millions to support conservative candidates and causes in 2010.

Altogether, outside groups on the right spent roughly double the amount that liberal organizations did this year.

In an interview with ABC's Top Line, Townsend said the fact that a group like American Bridge did not exist in the last election cycle “turned out to be a disaster because, as you know, the Republicans outspent the Democrats by $70 million.”

“That can turn a lot of elections and we could've done better in the last round if we had had more money,” she added. “So, we're going to make sure that in two years -- 2012 -- we're going to have money. We're going to raise it and we're going to make sure, we're going to give it to Democrats.”
Brock recently told The New York Times he already received $4 million in pledges to fund the independent expenditure committee, which would be able to collect unlimited sums from donors.
Townsend indicated that the sky’s the limit for American Bridge, saying, “I want to raise $80 million. I want to raise $100 million. I want to compete dollar to a dollar with the Republicans and I want to beat them.”

“But,” she acknowledged, “realistically we'll have a better sense in a couple of months of how much and what we can do.”

Townsend cautioned that Democrats would need a message to match those ambitious fundraising goals. And on a topic of intense debate in Washington -- the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts -- she urged Democrats not to cave to Republican demands to keep the cuts in place for wealthy Americans in addition to the middle class.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio