US Congressman Says He Intentionally Wrote Deleted Flirty Tweets To Cyndi Lauper As Part Of A Ruse
Cohen told reporters at a scheduled press conference that he wrote the tweets in a planned ruse on reporters and on the Sunlight Foundation.
The website Politwoops, which is run by the Sunlight Foundation, captured Cohen's two tweets to Lauper that he subsequently deleted. Cohen composed the tweets after seeing Lauper perform on Tuesday at the White House's Memphis Soul event on Tuesday.
Cohen also sparked a stir from a deleted tweet in February, when he tweeted an acronym for "I love you" at a model on Twitter who he subsequently revealed was his daughter.
"Two months ago, my family was personally hurt and victimized by sensationalized, fact-less speculation masquerading as journalism," Cohen said on Friday. "I hope this serves to bring attention to the need for journalistic integrity."
Here are the tweets he sent out to Lauper:
Here's a sampling of what he told reporters on Friday — thanks to Politico's Kate Nocera, who dutifully covered the press conference:
And here's Cohen's full statement:
“On Tuesday night, the President and Mrs. Obama, along with the Grammys and PBS, hosted a musical tribute to Memphis Soul at the White House. Wanting to promote this great program, which will air this coming Tuesday on PBS, I realized the best way to do this was to tweet and delete. I knew the Sunlight Foundation would highlight the deleted tweet as a Politwoop and knowing how some in the media report deleted Politwoops as nefarious, it occurred to me that a perfectly innocent, factually-correct tweet, once deleted, would receive great media attention. And that is exactly what happened ...
“The night at the White House was great, I was amazed at Cyndi Lauper’s hot performance and I look forward to seeing her performance of “Try a Little Tenderness” again when it airs next Tuesday on PBS. That’s what the tweet said but that’s not how it has been speciously interpreted in the media.
“For two months, I’ve had in my mind the movie Absence of Malice, the first screenplay by Kurt Luedtke, a former reporter. The movie highlights the damage done to persons, albeit with a legal absence of malice, because of sloppy, “gotcha” journalism.
“Laura Kirchner, a former Columba Journalism Review assistant editor, wrote that as a first semester student in journalism school, she was assigned the 1981 Sydney Pollack film Absence of Malice by one of the professors of the required Ethics course. As Ms. Kirchner states in a July 15, 2011 article, the reporter played by Sally Field “forgets she’s talking to actual people, people who will have to live with the effects of what she writes about them.”
“Two months ago, my family was personally hurt and victimized by sensationalized, fact-less speculation masquerading as journalism. I hope this serves to bring attention to the need for journalistic integrity as well as encouraging everyone to watch the spectacular and hot performances of Memphis music by Cyndi Lauper, as well as Justin Timberlake, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, Queen Latifah, Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite, Eddie Floyd, Alabama Shakes, Joshua Ledet, and Mavis Staples on PBS next Tuesday evening.”
This post has been updated.
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