If you were watching Fox News, CNN or MSNBC around 4pmET today, you saw the same story, reported three different ways.
First, let’s back up to this morning when conservative author Andrew Breitbart posted new images purported to be of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) on his blogs. By the early afternoon, after the new pictures had cascaded through the political/media blogosphere, Rep. Weiner called a news conference for 4pm in New York City.
But at 4pm sharp — instead of Weiner speaking to the assembled press at the New York Sheraton, Breitbart took to the stage. CNN’s Mary Snow, at the news conference, called it “a little bit surreal.”
Surreal for viewers at home, too, as each news channel covered Breitbart’s comments differently. Fox News, for the most part, kept the audio up, allowing viewers to listen to what he was saying, as Neil Cavuto and Bret Baier anchored. CNN kept the live picture of Breitbart up, but did not carry the audio as Snow and anchor Brooke Baldwin discussed what was happening. MSNBC only took the image of Breitbart as he left the podium at 4:12pm. “I’m told that Andrew Breitbart may have hijacked the Anthony Weiner news conference,” said anchor Dylan Ratigan.
Breitbart’s message: I’m vindicated.
Weiner’s message — when he turned up at the podium at 4:25pmET: I lied.
Weiner admitted that he’d taken pictures of himself and sent them via Twitter; he apologized to his wife and family and the women he’d sent the photos to. He said he did not break any laws or violate the Constitution of the U.S. and therefore will not resign his Congressional seat. He left the podium at 4:52pm.