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Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:01 PM

This is not a statement from the Franken plane "grope" photographer.

Posted because people keep citing it as if it's proven to be true. It's not.




Aiden Benjamin @Feisal_Hagi

BREAKING NOW:

Al Franken photo staged according to photographer who took the photo.

Photographer: [S]he was playing dead and SHE wanted him to ‘revive’ her. I took the picture it was a funny moment everyone was smiling having a good time

Leeann Tweeden is a trump supporter.



"Benjamin" has offered no source for this photographer's supposed statement, no name or other details (other Twitter accounts have posted similar, though "Benjamin" himself appears to be the original source for it).

The placing of the bikini shot next to the plane shot is something that should immediately ring alarm bells. It does nothing but attempt to slutshame Weeden. She may end up deserving to be shamed, but not because of any photos she's had taken in the past.

"Benjamin" has followed it up some hours later with another tweet:







Aiden Benjamin @Feisal_Hagi

Al Franken’s accuser Leean Tweeden is a Fox News regular and best friends with Sean Hannity. She also has donated THOUSANDS to the Trump/Roy Moore campaign.

This is politically convenient?

I think yes!#fakenews
Dozens of interviews with Sean here:


Politically convenient or not, there's that bikini pic again, this time on its own.

Do we know anything about "Aiden Benjamin"?

Well, for a start, there's this from Politifact:

An outdated photo wrongly suggests Barack Obama is at a food shelter in Houston



As Tropical Storm Harvey rocks Houston, Texas, a Twitter user decried President Donald Trump’s response in comparison to former President Barack Obama’s purported on-the-ground efforts using an outdated photo.

Twitter user Aiden Benjamin (@Feisal_Hagi) posted a picture of Obama and his family serving food at a shelter, which he captioned with the hashtags #HurricaneHarvery and #prayfortexas.

"Something youll never see trump do: Obama is in texas serving meals!" he wrote in the Aug. 26, 2017 tweet.

Here’s the thing. The picture isn’t from Houston nor from this year. It’s from a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C., where Obama and his family served Thanksgiving dinner to homeless veterans on Nov. 25, 2015. Both tweets have since been deleted.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2017/aug/28/blog-posting/outdated-photo-wrongly-suggests-barack-obama-food-/


Personal observation: I think Franken has handled this well so far. Let's not muddy his response by repeating unquestioningly the words of a dubious Twitter source with a track record of spreading fake news.

17 replies, 7095 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is not a statement from the Franken plane "grope" photographer. (Original post)
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 OP
SandyZ Nov 2017 #1
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #2
SandyZ Nov 2017 #4
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #5
moriah Nov 2017 #6
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #7
moriah Nov 2017 #9
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #10
moriah Nov 2017 #11
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2017 #8
Squinch Nov 2017 #3
xor Nov 2017 #12
ancianita Nov 2017 #13
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #14
ancianita Nov 2017 #15
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #16
Denzil_DC Nov 2017 #17

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:15 PM

1. Why are you using the picture of her being in a swimsuit for your argument?

 

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Response to SandyZ (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:17 PM

2. Because it's in the tweets. n/t

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:26 PM

4. You chose to approach this argument that she may indeed need to be shamed.

 

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Response to SandyZ (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:30 PM

5. I don't think you're reading through what I've written above.

I said:

The placing of the bikini shot next to the plane shot is something that should immediately ring alarm bells. It does nothing but attempt to slutshame Weeden. She may end up deserving to be shamed, but not because of any photos she's had taken in the past.


She may end up deserving to be shamed if it comes out that the timing of this is a Republican dirty trick in which she's complicit. Not for however little clothing she's worn at various times for the camera.

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Response to SandyZ (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 06:57 PM

6. For a false accusation, not modeling in a bikini.

The photo is sadly necessary in context to understand what that kind of retweet-bait is likely to do when spread as fact -- once debunked, make it look like liberals are saying she isn't a "real victim" because she modeled and was at a USO show that got bawdy.

This is a classic tactic to get liberals to look bad during breaking news events.

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Response to moriah (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:30 PM

7. Sandy Z may be confused or have the wrong idea because the bikini pic is posted several times.

People complain when we post links to Twitter if they can't see the posts for whatever reason, so I always add a text and viewable pic version (it also means if the tweet gets deleted, we have a record of it). There's no way I was going to be prissy enough to censor the version I added - it's a bikini pic, big deal.


A poster on Daily Kos reckons that "Aiden Benjamin" may be part of a Russian botnet (I'm skeptical of the tendency to blame everything on Russian disinformation nowadays, but disinformation from whatever source, or amplified by being retweeted/reposted by whoever, does us no favors) aiming to do exactly what you said ("to get liberals to look bad during breaking news events" ):

Heads up: Russians boosting Franken story per Hamilton 68 [Updated RE: Pro-Franken disinformation]

So it appears that Russian bots are pushing a particular narrative that Franken’s photograph was staged:

[the first "Aiden Benjamin" tweet appears here - I won't repost it yet again]

The main tweet people are quoting comes from “Aiden Benjamin” whose twitter handle is “@Feisal_Hagi.” (Tweet Archived here: archive.is/...) Checking their twitter feed, they had no real political commentary until February, they just reblogged a bunch of random sports clips. So no comments during the election, the Women’s March, etc. After that there’s some poorly-written tweets about politics, none of which attract much attention. One of which calls for firing Colbert over something I don’t remember. The account has slowly ramped up its political posts.

The avatar for this account appeared elsewhere online, and ultimately seems to have been taken from a VK (Russian Facebook) account:

http://archive.is/VbR8B

Several other Russian Language social media accounts also use this image.

The Make Adverbs Great Again networks rate Aidan Benjamin 7/10 as a Russian troll or bot. Anything about 6/10 is considered a match.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/16/1716247/-Heads-up-Russians-boosting-Franken-story-per-Hamilton-68



The Obama/Hurricane Harvey tweet "Benjamin" posted is also debunked on Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/obama-texas-during-hurricane-harvey/

Snopes says:

We asked him whether he knew the picture of Obama was not taken in 2017 when he posted it. He has yet to respond.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:38 PM

9. Very good that Kos caught this.

And very interesting that Make Adverbs Great Again gives that rating.

Checked mine, 2/10.

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Response to moriah (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:56 PM

10. That's exactly what I'd expect a bot to say ...



Given how often I've seen this claim from "Benjamin" posted on DU today (I got tired of challenging/correcting it, hence the OP), the botnets may be redundant.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:57 PM

11. I got called a RWer for suggesting believing everything on Twitter is madness. ;)

I feel you.

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Response to SandyZ (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 07:32 PM

8. I did not get that from the post

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)


Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 08:31 PM

12. Agreed.

Try not to be like those on the right who parrot anything that fits what they want reality to be. Stick with facts and try to be consistent with our principles to best of our ability. It's hard to do at times, but in the long run it's worth it and best for everyone.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 09:27 PM

13. That he's "dubious" is likely. I used it. I apologize. Tweeden has accepted Franken's apology,

as I hope others will mine.

My belief is that Tweeden accepted Franken's apology because she knew the joke was honest, even if inappropriate by today's standards, and she didn't want to hurt other women's credibility by crying wolf.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 09:41 PM

14. I think Franken's statement and apology were quite disarming, along with his ethics inquiry call.

Tweeden herself has said she thinks it was "heartfelt".

If he'd chosen to hedge or say "prove it" or argued the toss about whether he was actually touching her in that pic or tried to discredit Tweeden or whatever, it could have gotten a lot uglier real quick, and he'd have gotten mired in the mud.

So far, it's been the most adult and professional response to such an allegation I can recall ever seeing.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 09:57 PM

15. Agreed. People here smelled that a rat (Stone), and now Franken goes before ethics investigators.

This is about discrediting a person whose work was in comedy when this happened, as if that's equivalent to actual, factual sex predations by Moore and Trump, an expelled judge and a business man, neither of whose work could justify any 'mistake' in what they said about or did to women.

Minnesotans will re-elect Franken because they know him, no matter what Repubs do to upgrade their solid identity as Guardians Of Prurience.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 10:23 PM

16. LOL. I went looking to see what sexual dirt (heaven help me) there might be on Stone

(I know he was freaked by CNN's coverage of the Russian stuff, but he looks the sort to have his own messy skeletons in the closet). Wikipedia isn't usually my go-to place for hilarity, but on this occasion, it didn't disappoint:

In 1996, Stone resigned from a post as a volunteer spokesman in Senator Bob Dole's campaign for president after The National Enquirer wrote that Stone had placed ads and pictures in racy swingers publications and a website seeking sexual partners for himself and his second wife, Nydia Bertrane Stone, whom he married in Las Vegas in 1992. Stone initially denied the report.[27][28] On the Good Morning America program he said: "An exhaustive investigation now indicates that a domestic employee who I discharged for substance abuse on the second time that we learned that he had a drug problem is the perpetrator who had access to my home, access to my computer, access to my password, access to my postage meter, access to my post-office box key".[27] In a 2008 interview with The New Yorker Stone admitted that the ads were authentic.[48]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Stone#1993.E2.80.932003

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 10:35 AM

17. Kick because folks are still posting the tweet from "Aiden Benjamin" n/t

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