The camera catches Weiner without a suit jacket 50 percent of the time, his shirt sleeves rolled up in 37 percent of photos, and 23 percent of snapshots cannot confirm the congressman is wearing trousers
The latest example involves the case of Democratic New York U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner of the Empire State’s 9th Congressional District, who made the media rounds earlier this week in an attempted damage control operation to distance his culpability from a racy photo sent from his Twitter account to a young woman in Washington State.
One of the news operations to interview Weiner on Wednesday was CNN, with Wolf Blitzer getting the honors.
Later that day CNN’s Jessica Yellin interviewed Blitzer on the interview Blitzer himself had conducted of Representative Weiner.
When asked about the Weiner interview, Blitzer puffed:
“We asked him all the tough questions. Not easy, as you know, Jessica, for a reporter to ask those kinds of questions.”
One of the ‘tough questions’ posed by Blitzer that Rep. Weiner was unable or refused to definitively answer was as follows:
“Well we just want to resolve it, once and for all. You would know if this is your underpants?”
Since questions about Weiner and his clothing have become such a big national story, Smart Politics decided to become proactive and delve into the congressman’s past photographic record in case additional questions about his alleged appearances on camera become an issue.
As such, Smart Politics content analyzed each of the 82 photographs the congressman has posted to the photo gallery on his official U.S. House website dating back eight years to 2003 and thoroughly examined the wardrobe, or at times lack thereof, that Representative Weiner displayed for the camera.
While there are no underpants visible in any of the nearly seven dozen photographs featuring the congressman, perhaps the most startling revelation is that there is evidence of Weiner wearing pants in just 77 percent of the snapshots.
Indeed, the congressman is visibly wearing trousers in just 63 of the 82 photos, with his pants status unclear in another 19, such as when he gave a demonstration in December 2008 to discuss “harmful packaging” while wearing a long dark overcoat.
The camera lens could also not confirm whether or not Weiner was wearing any pants while standing at a strategically-placed podium as he discussed the Senate passage of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in November 2010.
But is there any hard photographic evidence of Representative Weiner that suggests he might be prone to having his picture taken while dressed unprofessionally, as is alleged in the infamous Twitter photo?
On the one hand, in his favor, the congressman is almost always photographed wearing a tie – in 90 percent of the photos in his gallery (74 of 82). (With one of the few exceptions taking place in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2008 when he was captured wearing a
green necklace in its place).
Even so, Weiner is seen wearing a suit jacket in just half of these public appearances – or 41 of the 82 photographs, which seems on the low side for what one might expect from a distinguished member of the nation’s lower legislative chamber.
But the photographic record of Weiner’s attire takes a hard left turn to the questionable when looking more closely at his shirts – in particular, his shirt sleeves.
Unlike his former colleague, Republican Christopher Lee, who was caught on camera shirtless in a Craig’s List photo, Weiner is seen wearing a shirt in 99 percent of the photos on his website (with only one unclear shot in which the congressman is wearing a zipped up jacket while patrolling New York City Harbor with the US Coast Guard back in March 2008).
However, Weiner definitely has a history of being photographed showing a little extra skin, as he is caught with his shirt sleeves rolled up – sometimes all the way north to his elbows – in 37 percent of the photographs posted on his site.
For example, Weiner exposes a good portion of his bare arms while announcing homeland security grants for New York area Jewish institutions in July of last year, when calling for caregiver tax relief in June 2008, and when fighting to keep a Social Security office open last month to name just a few instances.
Of course, the recently married Weiner is not simply being scrutinized for the racy photo itself, but for allegedly sending it to a young female college student in Seattle.
However, photographic evidence from Weiner’s photo gallery does not back allegations of him cavorting with younger women.
A content analysis of the 82 photographs finds that men outnumber women by over a 3 to 1 margin of adults appearing in the foreground or background in Weiner’s photos – 192 men to just 57 women, with most of the latter group being middle to older age.
An additional 45 individuals appearing in the snapshots from Weiner’s House photo gallery were children.
While it is unclear how Weiner’s scandal will play out in the media, the overall photographic story told by his own website’s photo gallery suggests his sometimes too-cool-for-school attire is not doing him any favors.
In the future, the congressman might be advised to remember to always roll down his shirt sleeves, put on a suit jacket, and make sure wide angle lenses are used by his staffers to reassure his constituents and the leering media that he is indeed always wearing pants during his public appearances.
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