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June 18, 2011

A Complicated Comic-Book Misadventure Involving Shenanigans By Betty and Veronica

Just a sum-up of what we don't know. Which is a lot.

First up, no one ever mentions this, but this is beyond the doubt the most diligent and incisive reporter on this whole mess.

By the way, who is that guy who threatens him? Media? Or one of Weiner's body-men (staffers who act partly as bodyguards)?

Second of all, I spoke on a blog podcast with Stranahan and Andrew Breitbart and a guy called AG_Conservative last night, archived here.

Key revelation: Andrew Breitbart has heard of me, but doesn't read me, though he does read the comments.

1. They've Always Been Fake. This is the theory bought into by NYT reporter Jen Preston and Lee Stranahan. Not only are Betty and Veronica fake, but so are the various "people" who spoke up for them -- friends, family were also fake. Add in Lee Stranahan's ever-present hypothesis that Patriot is also fake and you've got six fake online personas.

Why This Theory May be True: Well, the NYT cannot actually locate Betty and Veronica.

Also, the IDs provided by Betty and Betty's mom are fake. And the high school Betty claimed to go to, Hollywood High School, has no record of Betty or Veronica (by their supposed real names)

Why This Theory May Be False: Is failing to locate a Twitter user using a handle like "starchild111" such a big deal? They also can't locate Patriot. In fact, I would imagine they can't locate a large number of Twitter users who don't use their real names, absent a subpoena for Twitter's records.

Also, people continue being baffled that people might not want to play a starring role in this hot ghetto mess of a story. Apparently the completely missed The Smoking Gun's vicious hit-job on Mike Stack, carrying water for the "hack" theory.

Every time someone in this story chooses to not be well known, Stranahan and the left says "Oh that is terribly suspicious."

Is it? Every name that gets thrown out there is immediately seized upon by the left for trashing.

Do they not realize this? Or are they ignoring this?

Basically this boils down to "absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence." What is being postulated here is that single reporter (or a couple; I think another one tried, too) failed to track down these girls based on meaningless clues (the handle "starchild111") and false clues (false biographical details), ergo, they don't exist.

2. They Were Real, But Submitted False Names and IDs and Details of Their Lives to Tommy Christopher.

Another theory discounted completely by Jen Preston and Lee Stranahan.

Fake IDs are are easy for a teenager to get, and while you usually don't get matching Mom and Daughter sets, you certainly could.

In this theory, the people involved here are real, and want to get part of their story out (Weiner never did anything wrong/Breitbart told us to lie), but also do not wish to become the punching bag for the left and the media. So they give Tommy Christopher fake names. But they themselves are real, and are more or less what they represent themselves to be.

Why This Theory Might Be True. For one thing, it's less Spycraft than the last one. For another thing, again, no one seems to be willing to give credence to the idea that no one wishes to be exposed and scorned and ripped to shreds by the leftists blogs and their allies the liberal media.

Why This Theory Might Be False. Well, the Jen Preston and Lee Stranahan theory is that if you fax a fake ID, and if you claim to go to a high school you don't go to, you must be fake from the jump.

I think there is a lot of over-reading here. If a high schooler wishes to remain anonymous, and is called upon to name a high school she attends, what type of high school is she likely to name?

How about one she's heard of in TV and movies and gossip columns? How about one of the most famous and, presumably, glamorous high schools in the universe? How about, in short, Hollywood High School?

3. The people are real, but parties unknown began speaking for them in an effort to kill the story.

This is my pet theory, which I'm big on, simply because I made it up.

In this theory, the people are real, but an unknown party contacts them and says "Let me handle this; you just go away and delete your accounts and speak of this never again; I will talk to Tommy Christopher and kill the story, at least as far as your involvement in it."

This is the "Fixer" theory.

Why This Theory May Be True. In her press conference, Ginger Lee said she felt compelled to come forward and tell the truth because an unknown party "threatened" (her word, I believe) to release a false statement in her name regarding her communications with Weiner.

As I keep asking: If this guy made a threat to do this with a living, breathing person, why is inconceivable that he might have put out a false statement under other people's names, previously?

Why This Theory May Be False. Not sure, except it seems to some to be a little Out There on the plausibility scale.

However, I think most of the theories sort of fare poorly in terms of pure plausibility. I think all of the theories are implausible to some extent.

Some people say, "How could someone do this with the girls out there and alive and a threat to pipe up and contradict the false statement?" Well, I answer: "Someone appears to have been willing to run this same risk with Ginger Lee."

In that case, the bluff was ineffective, as Ginger Lee decided "The hell with this cloak and dagger nonsense" and gave a press conference.

But the fact seems to be (if we believe Ginger Lee, which I do) that someone thought this was a good bet. Maybe a bet he'd made before, and won.

My Big Question No Matter What The Theory Is. Motivation. What is it?

We have changing motivations here, evidenced by changing agendas. Initially, Veronica chats with Mike Stack, appearing to fan the flames of interest in Anthony Weiner's dealings. She claims that maybe Weiner has inappropriate communications with her friend Betty, but her friend Betty doesn't want to talk about it. Veroinca does not provide (to our knowledge) any concrete information or even fleshed-out allegations. Just general "there's smoke here" stuff.

Then, Veronica (I think) tries to get Breitbart and Loesch to pursue the story even harder after the errant dic-pic.

Then, Betty and her mom get in touch with Tommy Christopher, and claim that there's nothing to the story, at least nothing to the Betty angle of the story, and that Weiner behaved perfectly appropriately, and further, that Breitbart and Dana Loesh tried to get the girls to lie about their dealings with Weiner.

See, this is an odd change of direction to me. Obviously Jen Preston suspects this is a right-wing sting operation. Okay, fine. That's not terribly implausible. We all know there is a certain type of political operative that does dirty tricks.

But then why this sudden reversal of field here, and the clearing, rather than implicating of Weiner, and attempting to push a theory beloved by the left and also spread around (via phone calls to supporters) by Weiner himself? That this is all a "rightwing conspiracy" hatched out of Breitbart's Hate Machine?

Why does everyone suddenly start pushing the opposite agenda than the one they had just days before?

Some will say, "But Ace, it always seemed that Veronica was more on Team Expose The Story, and Betty was always on Team Deflate The Story."

Well, yes, but according to the Jen Preston/Lee Stranahan theory, neither of these people exist, and are, in fact, simply fake personas, probably created by the same person (or same small group of people with the same agenda).

So why is there a schism between these fake people who are really just constructs employed by the same shady political operative(s)?

Why the lightning-fast switch from the agenda of Getting Weiner to Saving Weiner and Getting Breitbart?

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posted by Ace at 01:06 PM

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