Leaving aside for a moment the infuriating possibility that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Ipfuck) may or may not have sexually harassed women by sending them unsolicited images of his body (he asserts the internet liaisons were consensual exchanges with women above the age of consent; none of the recipients have come forward to assert otherwise at this point), I am incredibly angry that what motivated Weiner to come clean today was the fact that Andrew Breitbart published* additional photos of the congressman this morning, in which he is barechested, and then announced (screencap): "We will be updating BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com throughout the day with photographs, timelines, and other clarifying details. However, we will not be releasing all of the material because some of it is of an extreme, graphic nature."
Even despite his promise to withhold some of the more graphic material, a subjective threshold arbitrarily defined in a way Rep. Weiner could not magically discern, Breitbart quite literally coerced Weiner into a public confession of sexual behavior.
The Politico, as but one example, calmly reported this fact, without so much as a raised eyebrow at another media outlet sexually coercing a sitting Congressman:
Early Monday morning, Breitbart wrote that he planned to release "photographs, chats, and emails" throughout the day that would show that Weiner engaged in sexual behavior over the internet. The unidentified woman — who Breitbart says is not Cordova — says that Weiner sent them to her as they flirted online. Another photo that the site has chosen not to publish is titled "ready.JPG" and, Breitbart says, is "extremely graphic" and "leaves nothing to the imagination."Certainly, the threat of making public "compromising" information is not new in politics (and just because it's old as dirt doesn't make it right), but literally threatening to publish sexually graphic private photos is not merely a new low—it's sexual coercion.
And the fact that Weiner fucked up, even if what he did was indeed criminal, does not justify exposing that fact via the threat to make public private images of his body in a state of undress.
I note that this idea would be fairly self-evident if Rep. Weiner were a woman.
No doubt it would still be considered acceptable by our disgusting media and most of its consumers, but the idea that it's a profound invasion of privacy would not be quite so controversial.
I'm pissed like a wild thing at Weiner right now, but no one deserves to be exploited and coerced like that. No one.
* I am not providing a direct link for what I trust are evident reasons, but his garbage site is easy enough to find, if you're so inclined.