A very misleading sentence appeared in David Caruso's story this evening at the Associated Press about Nik Richie, the blogger who broke the story of disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's latest sexting escapade at his "The Dirty" web site. It certainly supports the notion that tagging the wire service with its "the Administration's Press" nickname is not at all out of line.
Note that the time stamp on Caruso's story is 7 p.m ET tonight, a mere three hours ago. Here is the deceptive statement: "Richie declined to reveal the woman's identity or put her in contact with the Associated Press, saying he had agreed to protect her anonymity." What rubbish. Her name is already known. Caruso and the AP are deciding on their own to withhold it, for obvious reasons which will be revealed after the jump.
Her name is Sydney Leathers -- and, well, it's not exactly a secret:
As seen above, Ms. Leathers is a former "Obama election campaign manager" and "a liberal activist." Robert Stacy McCain also found that Ms. Leathers "authored a 2011 petition that condemned Sarah Palin for 'inciting violence.'" Imagine that.
Note that the site from which the above was grabbed is Memeorandum, an aggregation side. Its goal isn't to lean left or right; instead, it leans towards stories which are creating online discussion and traffic. At least two dozen sites of all sizes and political stripes are listed or linked above.
BuzzFeed claims to have confirmed that Weiner's sexting partner was Ms. Leathers from an anonymous tipster who "saw the messages" involved:
A source close to the situation confirmed to BuzzFeed late Tuesday that the former congressman exchanged the explicit messages and photos with Sydney Elaine Leathers in late July of last year.
“I saw the messages and the message said ‘Anthony Weiner,’” the person said. Weiner allegedly told Leathers that he would “move her to either Chicago or New York,” so that the pair could be closer. It was not immediately known how the two met or if they ever made contact in person.
The source said Leathers “felt she was the important one” in Weiner’s life, even surpassing his wife Huma Abedin, who stood by his side Tuesday as the New York City mayoral candidate once again admitted exchanging lewd messages at a news conference.
The source, who has known Leathers since high school, spoke to BuzzFeed only under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Look, if the AP believes it's beneath its dignity to name Ms. Leathers, it should just say so, and not cower behind someone's long-expired desire to protect the woman's identity and privacy.
In my view, the false name-withholding excuse is there so that Administration's Press doesn't have to reveal Ms. Leathers' progressive, Obama-supporting pedigree to its low-information subscribers and news consumers.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.