When Weiner DM’d her, could he be certain she wouldn’t say she loved him? Or otherwise express her crush? No. In fact, he could be pretty confident she would say something along those lines.
So why DM her? Why, if not precisely for that?
BONUS MEDIA ANALYSIS: I love that bit [in the NYT’s restatement of the scandal] about how he sent out “a photo . . . of himself in his underwear.”Yeah. That’s one way to put it. There is also the tidbit, which goes unmentioned, that in his underwear was the clearly visible outline of an erect penis. You know, the thing that really makes it a scandal. But why report that part?
While we’re complaining about the New York Times story, please note how it takes the above “Tights and cape shit” quote and cleans it up as follows:
“I came back strong,” he wrote. “Large. Tights and cape. …”
Interesting how the reporter omits any reference to the word “shit,” which infuses the communication with a creepy, seedy familiarity that would make any father’s blood boil. A Congressman talking about “tights and cape” is odd. A 46-year-old Congressman talking to a high school junior about “tights and cape shit” is very different. By using a period followed by an ellipsis — not just omitting the profanity but pretending it was never even there — the reporter twists the facts to make Weiner’s conduct more innocent.
That is a good point. For one thing, it tends to prove my hunch that Weiner’s communications with the girl are, as I keep suggesting, flirty, familiar, and friendly.
It’s not that I’m saying “Oooh, he said a dirty word!” You do not get kicked out of Congress for saying the word “shit.”
No, it’s the context here. We have a 46-year-old married Congressman who should not be DMing a 17 year old girl who “loves” him in the first place.
But he goes further than merely DMing her. He can’t even keep “The Line” strong here. He can’t treat her in an arms-length, somewhat standoffish, “Look, I’m a married adult and you’re a cute highschool girl so I have to be a little stiffer than I might like” manner.
No, in his DM, he says to her he’s “Large” — and we have seen what he’s usually referring to with this; possibly a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge — and that he’s doing his “tights and cape shit.”
…So I just have to restate the question I’ve restated a dozen times: Why is a 46 year old married Congressman treating a 17 year old girl, who is not in fact his equal (she’s a kid!), like any of-age woman he might meet for drinks in a DC bar?
It’s not appropriate. This girl has a crush on him — she says she “loves” him again and again in public tweets — and he’s… acting like one of her super-cool popular-clique classmates? Flattering her crush, even as her crush flatters him?
And the New York Times apparently understands this — because they cut that out of the Tweet. “…” shall stand in for an inappropriately-familiar “shit.”
How modest. How very observant of middle-class bourgeois social mores.
Or maybe it’s just cleaning up after Weiner.
…Nor did he, say, write a DM to a girl explaining that he had to be the grown up and stop following them. Look at this suddenly-unearthed DM Weiner wrote to a girl:
Look, I am beyond flattered by your finding me worthy of affection, but the fact is the fact, I’m a married 46 year old Congressman and you’re a young girl. While I will always be flattered that you say such wonderful things about me, I have to stop following you or communicating with you, except maybe for a public tweet. I’m sorry, it’s simply too dicey a situation, and I don’t think it’s fair to communicate with a girl who has a crush on me — it just feeds the crush and winds up hurting more. But good luck in all your endeavors — I know you’ll be great — and thank you for supporting me.
Oh wait, that isn’t a recently-unearthed DM; that’s just something I made up. That’s what someone should say when confronted with this situation.
Did Weiner say anything like that? Well, based on the girl’s tweets,um, no. Based on the girl’s tweets, he just told her to keep it quiet.