Congressman Weiner has resigned, but the efforts to understand who did what to whom have continued. Our side of the aisle is making a careful survey of the real people involved – Mike Stack, Ginger Lee, and Meagan Broussard. We’re working backward from the events of May 27th, knowing full well that trolls were going to come running to play in the mess.
Breitbart’s partisans have taken the opposite approach, wallowing in distractions, with the seeming aim being to conceal what actually happened and spin the events in his favor. When confronted with obvious errors they choose to shoot the messenger via Twitter blocking rather than moving their model of the event closer to reality. We want the truth, they want nothing but spin.
The purported teenage girl involved, Nikki Reid, was debunked as a complex, purposeful fake. Tommy Christopher of Mediate received a faxed copy of her mother’s driver’s license, spoke with the woman on the phone, but then someone else proved she didn’t exist. This is a complex, well played bit of fakery …
But Patrick Frey persists in interviewing an even sketchier ‘father’ to this fake girl and treating this as a credible source …
This @JohnReid9 was created immediately after the now famous underwear tweet …
As was the purported father of the other girl, @markali33, supposedly married to an illegal immigrant? Of course this is a real person rather than a pander to the prejudices of Breitbart’s supporters.
This chart I initially credited to Patterico, but it was apparently the work of Lee Stranahan, who was himself attempting to untangle the mess.
Real, verified person? That has to be Patterico's opinion showing through in Stranahan's work. Google “Nikki Reid Fake” and you’ll find this New York Times article. She’s fake, the mom is fake, the John Reid account is an obvious troll, or purposeful deception.
This diary has been much modified since its initial release. I had assumed Patterico and Stranahan were closely involved in this matter, but it's since become apparent there is some dispute between them regarding the particulars of the story.
There were quite a number of edits that accumulated, offerings from those who are closely watching, and after some consideration I whacked the whole mess rather than trying to clean it up. Cleaning house in this fashion rather than publishing a further update runs counter to the way I'd normally do things, but this situation is far from normal.
If you like this you'll be interested in Weinergate: Patterico's Penalization - what I wrote after learning of John Patrick Frey's association with Seth Allen, a now notorious sock puppet operator/cyber-stalker.