Don't blame social media
Well, now we know: Rep. Anthony Weiner used Twitter to send a
lewd picture to a young woman. He then lied about it repeatedly before finally
It's stupid and inappropriate behavior, and the congressman has
no one to blame but himself for this humiliating episode. It's not clear whether Weiner broke any laws or violated congressional ethics rules, but that's about
the extent of positive things to say about him in this situation.
It'd be a dumb thing to do over the phone, too. In fact, it
was--Rep. Weiner's flirtatious relationships included phone calls as well as
social media exchanges. The one that broke the story was a Twitter message, but
the image became public because Weiner mistyped the Twitter command, not
because everything's public on Twitter.
A similar scandal would follow if Weiner said something lewd when
he thought he was on a private call but was actually on speaker in a crowded
room. Or if he tried to mail a dirty picture to an individual but accidentally
sent it to a newspaper instead. True, those scenarios are less likely. Still,
when a tool gets misused, it's not the tool's fault.
There's no excuse for what Rep. Weiner did. But the problem is
his irresponsible and slimy behavior, not the fact that he used Twitter to
engage in it.