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As former congressman Anthony Weiner gears up for a possible run for mayor of New York, he is also making his theatrical debut in a film he probably wishes didn’t exist. Those involved with the movie, called Hating Breitbart, are also intending to lean on Weiner’s image — by way of news video of some of his embarrassing TV moments — to promote their film.
Weiner quit his congressional seat two years ago after he was caught tweeting lewd photos of himself to women he met on the Internet. His “sexting” turned into a major scandal in part because his wife, Huma Abedin, was at the time pregnant and an aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The entire episode, since dubbed “Weinergate,” is retold in the documentary film Hating Breitbart, which Freestyle Releasing will open in several theaters across the country on May 17, when it also becomes available on VOD.
Weiner did not participate in the making of the film but is seen via news clips, sometimes disparaging Andrew Breitbart, the new-media raconteur who exposed the then-congressman’s sexual foibles. The film is about Breitbart’s rise to prominence as a harsh critic of the mainstream media and as a favorite at Tea Party and other conservative gatherings.
Even though Weiner’s appearances are relatively few, the folks behind the film intend on making Weiner a large part of their marketing campaign, beginning with a video that will be released on the Internet, though The Hollywood Reporter has an advanced copy which is embedded below.
The 3-minute video is a timeline of the fiasco that began when Weiner denied tweeting pornographic photos of himself and insinuated his Twitter account had been hacked by Breitbart. Clips from numerous TV segments where experts attack Breitbart and defend Weiner are played over circus music. Besides multiple shots of Weiner, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews and other news personalities are featured.
“CNN puts this Breitbart guy on and says the most outlandish things about complete, innocent people,” Weiner complains in the video. After Weiner calls a reporter a “jackass” for inquiring about his tweets, Breitbart is seen celebrating the exchange as the moment the media “got it.”
But Weiner’s primary miscalculation in the whole mess, Breitbart argues in the movie, was when he tweeted that his Facebook page and TiVo had been hacked, which, in retrospect, seems like Weiner’s hastily conceived plan to explain away a mistaken tweet that he sent to thousands instead of just the one intended recipient. By tweeting he was hacked — and the fateful tweet remained on his old Twitter account on Tuesday — he made accusations of a federal crime on one hand though on the other hand he was oddly disinterested in allowing an investigation.
The video ends with Weiner at a press conference where he comes clean about the tweets more than a week after Breitbart — who died a year ago — broke the story. “To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it,” Weiner says.
Weiner, contacted by email, had no comment on the film or its marketing plans.
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