At 3:29 p.m. our time, Rep. Anthony Weiner went live. Here's the replay. He admitted sending suggestive photos and remarks by Twitter and Facebook and lying about it when first confronted. He said he was sorry. He took responsibility. He said he wouldn't resign.
Weird and weirder was how Talking Points Memo put the evolving story. Before his tell-all news conference got underway the provocateur Andrew Breitbart commandeered Weiner's mike for his own prounouncements.
Weiner said he sent the infamous underwear crotch shot as a "joke" and had tried to cover up his actions when he saw he'd inadvertently posted it where all could see. He has engaged in "inappropriate" conversations over Facebook, Twitter and on the phone with as many as six women over the years, mostly before his marriage. He said he'd never personally met or had sexual relations with any of the women he messaged.
With breaking voice, he said: "I haven't told the truth. I've done things I deeply regret. I brought pain to people I care about the most. And for that I'm deeply sorry. I apologize to my wife and our family as well as to my friends and suporters. I'm deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and actions."
Earlier, it was clear things weren't looking up for Weiner. Breitbart's effort to make something of a snapshot with two cats wasn't much. But this reporting on Radar sounded more ominous. And this series of bare-chested photos?. Not good.
How bad is it? Nate Silver Tweeted before the news conference that NY Democrats might redistrict Weiner's seat out of existence.
Smells like political toast, but Weiner said he would not resign. It was a "regrettable mistake," but not a reflection on his work for his district, he said. He apologized repeatedly to his wife. He apologized to constitutents. He said they'd have to make a determination whether to vote for him again. He said he would work very hard to win back their trust after what he admitted was a "personal failing." He said he hadn't violated the oath of office by sending a Twitter he regretted.
He talked too long.
Andrew Breitbart gets to gloat. To put it in context: So did Larry Flynt.