The Anthony Weiner Twitter controversy continues to gain momentum, mostly because of the Congressman's refusal to address it at all. The feisty Congressman, best known for his angry tirades on the House floor, appears to believe this is once instance where tussling will only add fuel to the fire.
In the video below, the Democratic Congressman ducks reporters' questions about the underwear picture, and likens the whole thing to heckling.
“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,” he said, “would I spend the next two hours responding to that?”
The reporters continue to hammer the question, but Weiner doesn't budge. "I am not going to permit myself to be distracted by this issue any longer." One reporter even steps in and gives the Congressman a clear out. "All you have to do is say no," he said.
Indeed it seems this tactic, principled as it may be, is only flaring the speculation, and what was an odd anecdote over Memorial Day Weekend has turned into the salacious story of the week. After it was reported that this naughty picture was tweeted from Weiner's account to a 21-year-old Seattle college student, Weiner's spokesman stepped in and dismissed the whole thing as a "prank." But when, on Tuesday, it became known that Weiner hired a lawyer instead of going to the police, the story started to move again.
Gawker revealed today that the Congressman has a vocal Twitter admirer in porn star Ginger Lee. Lee tweeted that Weiner had direct messaged her on Twitter, and that she finds the Congressman attractive.
Not exactly a smoking gun, but more evidence of the fact that press suddenly finds itself voracious for more information, largely because Weiner hasn't taken the opportunity to decisively put the rumors to rest. Capital New York asserts that "with this remarkable press conference, Anthony Weiner legitimized the story of the lewd picture that went out from his Twitter account in a way no conservative blogger ever could have."
Jon Stewart, Weiner's old college buddy, weighed in on the whole controversy Tuesday night in a manner fitting the story:
"In real life, in my memory, this guy had a lot more 'Anthony' and a lot less 'Weiner,'" Stewart said. "The only thing they have in common is that they both lean to the extreme left!"