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Maybe Romney answer was “inelegant” only because Mother Jones didn’t disclose that part of tape was missing

Maybe Romney answer was “inelegant” only because Mother Jones didn’t disclose that part of tape was missing

See Update — Corn explanation for non-disclosure contradicted by saved screen shots.

When originally presented by David Corn of Mother Jones, there was no disclosure that part of Mitt Romney’s controversial answer about 47% of voters was missing from the tape.

Since only an edited version originally was presented, there was no way to know if something was missing.  After all, it was edited, so of course something was missing by definition.

Romney has admitted that the answer on the video, which he didn’t remember except for the video, was “inelegant.”  That’s why Romney asked for the full audio/video to be released.

Corn reacted vigorously to Romney’s suggestion that he only provided “snippets,” and then Corn released what purported to be the complete audio/video in two parts.  The “complete” version was consistent with the original edited audio/video.  Again, there was no disclosure by Corn that there might be something missing.  (Corn added an “update” after my original story ran.”

To the contrary, Corn went out of his way to assert that there was no “filtering” and that the full audio/video had been released.  As Corn explained to Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast (emphasis mine):

Is the liberal media making too much of the Romney video? “It feeds into a narrative he’s been fighting all along, that he’s a 1 percenter, not one of us, doesn’t really understand it,” Corn says. And since these are the candidate’s own words, “there’s no filter here whatsoever, there’s no out-of-context argument to be made.”

But there was a filter.  As reported in my prior post, Corn has admitted that 1-2 minutes of audio/video are missing.  That missing audio/video includes part of Romney’s controversial answer.

Corn says that his source told him the recorder shut off on its own right in the middle of Romney’s answer, and then was not turned on until Romney already was into a different topic.  We have no way of verifying that source’s story, but we do know that there were various edited pieces of the tape circulating prior to Corn’s involvement, so it is just as possible that Corn’s source or someone else handling the video prior to Corn edited out part of the answer.

It is impossible for us to know if Romney said something which changed or put the remarks in context.  Romney doesn’t remember the event except for what exists on audio/video.  Maybe in the fullness of the answer, the answer was less “inelegant” than it appears.  Maybe Romney put some of the context on it that we have heard in his interviews the past two days.

What difference does it make?

Think how the initial 24 hours of controversy might have played out differently had Corn made the disclosure up front.  That part of the answer was missing from the tape would have provided a valuable context both to readers/listeners, and to the Romney campaign.  That never happened because there was no disclosure by Corn that part of the tape was missing.

I emailed Corn to get his response:

Is there a reason there was no initial disclosure that part of Romney’s answer was missing?

Don’t you think it would have been important at the initial release to let readers and listeners know that the audio/video was only part of the answer and that you don’t know what the full answer was?

I’d like a comment from you on this as I think the initial non-disclosure is important, and I want to be able to present your side as well.

I have not heard back. I will add Corn’s response when received.

The damage, of course, is done. No amount of correction now can change the initial media hysteria.

While there is a myth that the Shirley Sherrod tape was unfairly edited (it was NOT, it was perfectly fair), no such media narrative will develop around the incomplete Romney tape.

That’s just the way it works in the age of Obama.

Update: Here’ is Corn’s response to my questions about the non-disclosure (emphasis mine):

Romney had pivoted from expressing his sentiments about the “47 percent” to discussing how to appeal to independents when the tape ended, and it was the “47 percent” description that were the focus of this clip. All the clips we posted, of course, were edited out of the longer video. They all needed to have start and end points. When we posted the complete tape, we stated there was a gap of one to two minutes, or less, according to the source. That seemed to be the appropriate time to do so. I will note that Romney, who clearly has thought about how to respond to this clip, has not said in the statements he has made since its release, “But then I went on to say….”

The highlighted language in Corn’s response is inaccurate. When originally posted, there was no disclosure. The disclosure now is in the post between the two “complete” parts:

The disclosure came only after I emailed Corn about my post and the missing audio.  The proof is that when I contacted Corn, I converted his post to pdf. and there was no disclosure between the two videos, as there is now.

So rather than making disclosure at the appropriate time, Corn only made the disclosure when I pointed out that he had failed to disclose the missing portions of the tape.

It also is unreasonable to expect Romney to correct an incomplete audio/video of a comment he did not remember making except for the existence of the audio/video.  That’s why Romney asked for the complete answer to be released.

AND, see this blog post by a reader who says he’s not buying the source’s story about the recorder stopping then being restarted, Romney Tape Gap NOT Recording Error.


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The left does not have double standards, it has no standards.

After reading this “article” the other day, the first thought was what was the following comments from Romney. Seems like we get enough to put a bad light on this speech or any for that matter.

David Corn led the outrage brigade during the Shirley Sherrod “was edited” saga. But windbag beat me to it with the corollary that David Corn is a slimy little weasel…

First it was the media attempting to distract from the foreign policy mess of last week by making the big news stories all about what Romney said, rather than the events (which, as I write this, remain back-paged and under-the-fold, as they say.)

When that didn’t work so well, suddenly the big news became all about, and on and on about, not what’s going on in the world, but off-the-cuff remarks Romney made at a private event last May, based on an incomplete and likely illegal recording.

It is NOT credible that this tape does not include a whole lot more. It is simply not believable that the recorder just happened to be turned on at the apt moment, then accidentally turned off, then turned on again.

Who else was “surreptitiously taped” in violation of the law at this event?

    Constitution Ga in reply to janitor. | September 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

    That’s EXACTLY what all of this nonsense is — a distraction! You ALWAYS better be watching what the other hand is doing with this administration when they turn the media’s attention with BS!

I believe Corn and liberals are overvaluing the “unauthorized/illegal tapes”.
When we step back and think rationally about what they believe they have uncovered things make better sense.

I suggest the tapes are about like a bootleg recording of lets say The Beatles. In listening its discovered that perhaps McCartney missed a couple of notes in one melody.
Is that considered a big deal in a rational context?
Of course not.
But in a political context where Obama’s lead is evaporating it becomes important when other more important conversations need to be drowned out by Obama’s media arm.

The biggest National Security cover up is ignored.
Four dead Americans is less important
A struggling ecomomy is ignored.
Failed Foreign Policy is ignored.

Those items get what amounts to an empty chair from our media.
Talk about a textbook example of media distraction.

Not to worry.
In a few days the same hideous realities of a failed Presidency will still be with us.

Corn was crowing yesterday about releasing the “entire” tape! Frankly I more concerned about the “hot mike” comments about flexibility that Blameless Barry made to DimiMed!

Wording for today’s bumper sticker:

Play it all, or not at all!

We need the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Not Corn mash.

Great work, Professor. I am so glad that the complete background has been uncovered, and the full tape has been released — as I called for yesterday.

Romney handled this entire situation excellently, and drawing a stark contrast to “redistributionist” Obama crystallizes the choices that Americans have in this election. I firmly believe with such a clear-cut difference, that my fellow citizens will make the wise choice in November.

Team Obama and elite media must be very sad today that the rollout of this video has been an epic fail.

9thDistrictNeighbor | September 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Whereas previously I thought that the leftist criticism of James O’Keefe and Lila Rose was dissembling, I now realize it is projection.

Out the source.

Oh and Barry’s foreign policy poll numbers are falling anyway.

So Corn lied boldly about the released “complete tape” being complete.

Corn lied about the “complete” tape originally containing a disclosure that it was actually an incomplete “complete tape”.

I see a pattern here. But Corn wants us to believe the equipment failed, despite his obvious attempts to coverup the fact that Romney’s answer was clipped.

Given Rice and Carney storytelling, and Obama’s frequent lies, and Holder having to correct his testimony to Congress … there seems to be a pattern in the whole Democrat party. Lies and executive privilege to coverup hard evidence …. not things that make for a strong democracy (or republic).

Dissimulation – it’s the leftist way.

So Corn is a liar.

I found this comment by Corn also interesting:

“I will note that Romney, who clearly has thought about how to respond to this clip, has not said in the statements he has made since its release, “But then I went on to say….”

Corn, in wonderful Stalinist fashion, puts the onus on Romney for his, Corn’s, own omission. In other words, “we can assume Romney is guilty because he hasn’t responded vigorously or thoughtfully enough to my edited tape, which I didn’t tell people was edited until forced to do so.”

Why do our republican leaders allow these vilely dishonest people to get away this? Why is it only Breitbart, Legal Insurrection, Hot Air and others fighting the fight?

The only qualification for acceptance into an American University journalism program is flunking out of the university’s psychology major first. These are not journalists. They are trained advocates sent out to do exactly what they were “re-educated” to do. Stop expecting them to behave differently.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This may get a Rush reference today if he and/or his researchers spot this post before the show ends.

Incoming — Rush Limbaugh just gave you a shout-out!

Whenever I have seen David Corn on TV, I have had this strong feeling of “sleaze”. This current performance is the smoking gun.

Your story is on Rush right now!

Rush, re: the Prof and the missing two minutes
He does just fabulous work.
Old news to me.

First, congratulations you’ve been mentioned on Rush two days in a row. Hi praise indeed. I see this as a plus for Romney. Romney has been push, pulled and squeezed any which way but loose and he’s even or up a bit in the polls. What we have now is the takers against the givers. The givers being the workers. Of course the way their shutting down the coal fields, workers will be the next word to be dropped out of the dictionary due to lack of need. This is where the fight should be if you ask me. Even working Dems, get mad at those who live off the dole. I say God Bless, and lets keep up the heat.

[…] is boomeranging just like all of the others. Romney told the truth and people liked it. Meanwhile, David Corn at Mother Jones is now taking a ton of flak over his editing skills. One has to wonder if he […]

Romney might toss a bone to the bloggers once in a while. I’ll even script it for them.

“I want to thank Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, for pursuing this, and ferreting out the truth that the segment played was clipped off at the end, despite several denials of that fact.”

[…] Selective editing is only bad when you can falsely accuse conservatives of doing it: When originally presented by David Corn of Mother Jones, there was no disclosure that part of Mitt Romney’s controversial answer about 47% of voters was missing from the tape. […]

[…] William Jacobson says David Corn is still having disclosure issues. Tags: 47 percent, media bias, media double standard, Mitt Romney, poverty, […]

You can just tell when the Professor is going to morph into a honey badger before your eyes.

David Corn … you might want to talk to Lizzy Warren about what to expect.

[…] think that I can prove that the Romney tape “1-2 minute gap” was not the result of a technical failure, but instead was done in post-production.  It is […]

What baloney. If Romney had thought for an instant, in the first few minutes of this video’s release, that it had omitted important–nay, CRUCIAL–parts of any “full answer”, you can bet your retirement fund that he’d have come out, guns blazing.

Did this happen? No.

Therefore one can only assume that Romney remembers his answer essentially as it was presented to us on the video (and no, I don’t believe that he has “no recollection” of this particular event…and if he really doesn’t, you’d really want this scatterbrain as your commander-in-chief??).

    Sorry, troll. If you really believe the Left would not take any response Romney makes to this video and compare it frame by frame to whatever records they had, and flog it across the DNC Communication Channels (the Networks) nonstop, 24/7 if there is even a word different….

      resetplz in reply to georgfelis. | September 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Troll? Now we can’t post a single comment without getting called names? Sorry, I didn’t see your name as owner of this site or leader of the #tcots.

      So, to read your discombobulated answer, you’re saying that Romney was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t respond? Yes, you’re probably right; he would have been lambasted by anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the country’s demographic.

      Answer? Don’t run for president if you’re a dingus One Percenter who thinks he’s in office only to serve the 53% of the population that like his ideas. (Hint: It’s called the Common Good.)

    WarEagle82 in reply to resetplz. | September 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Idiots like you roll in and ask “has Romney stopped beating his wife yet” and then complain when they are called out. Go figure.

    What a putz…

I appears to me that there might be another lie in Corn’s bullshit. The first explanation for the gap was

“According to the source, the recording device inadvertently turned off. The source noticed this quickly and turned it back one. The source estimates that one to two minutes, maybe less, of recording was missed.”

I take this to mean there was a malfunction and the device switched itself off. It was lying on a table, not hand held.

Mr Jacobson’s first post forced Corn to stealthily insert an explanation in the gap between the two parts of the film, and this explanation is

“According to the source, the device was inadvertently turned off between these two segments. The source noticed quickly and began to re-record, resulting in an estimated one-to-two minute loss of tape”.

I take this to mean someone turned it off, all be it inadvertently.

So which was it Mr Corn? Equipment malfunction or accidental switch off.

[…] Update: William Jacobson says David Corn is still having disclosure issues. […]

There is more to this story.
Cameras that have video STOP at 30 minutes. see below.
30 minute limit on video capture could end if WTO group gets its way

May 18, 2012 at 22:45:32 GMT


The restriction that limits video recording in digitial cameras to 30 minutes could be abolished if the World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is expanded. Several countries, including the USA, have begun informal talks to extend the scope of the ITA to include products that are currently subject to tariffs and duty. At present, digital cameras’ video cuts off after 30 minutes to avoid them being classified as video cameras (which attract 5.4% duty because they are considered to be video recorders). If the video cameras are added to the ITA, this distinction would no longer matter. (via Nikkei)

Getting changes made at WTO can be a slow and highly politicized process, but a proposal to the ITA Committee to discuss the issue has been broadly welcomed.

Removing duty on video cameras would allow manufacturers to remove the 29 minute, 59 second limit currently applied to digital cameras. However other limitations, such as the 4Gb limit for single files imposed by the FAT 32 file system used by most cameras, or concerns about circuitry overheating will remain.

The idiot that took the video did not know this! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

New blink test of before/after-gap camera position. Mighty fine replacement.

Oh. I see it now. This site is evidently a giant conservative mosquito trap. (No wonder the comment voting is so ridiculously one-sided.)

It should give everyone pause that it’s so difficult to find an equanimous internet locale for intelligent political discourse.

This ain’t it.

    WarEagle82 in reply to resetplz. | September 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    When you have said something intelligent, you will receive an intelligent response. Nobody here is holding their breath…

I’m not clever enough to know for certain if the camera moved or not, or whether the source edited the video. But the video we do see shows Mittens as a true conservative, as an excellent dinner speaker, and as someone who is engaging, comfortable and clear-thinking.

We may never know what is in the missing video. But I’m comfortably certain that the missing video doesn’t hurt Mitt in any way. More important, the video we DO see doesn’t hurt Mitt in any way.

If the Romney campaign has any sense they’ll make TV and radio ads from these video clips.

Mr. Corn and Mother Jones: thanks for bringing the video to the public’s attention. Well-played, gentlemen, well-played.

The smarmy, sleazy, Marxist David Corn is a midget, ya know, where truth-accuracy & the American Way are concerned. He was, for years, on the politburo of The Nation. ‘Nuff said. Never forget when Christopher Hitchens resigned after 9-11-01 saying that he could no longer be associated with a bunch(he always termed them ‘The Comrades’)who believed George Bush to be more of an enemy than Osama bin-Laden.

it’s more than 2 min more like 5 1/2 minutes according 2 the time stamp.

MotherJones did one better than Nixon

[…] Carter’s unemployed grandson.  It doesn’t even matter that Mother Jones magazine was caught willfully misleading readers about the fact that the “complete” tape is actually missing two […]

The Progressives are still making the argument that “America isn’t bankrupt as long as she can sell T-bills.” Well, I think we can now declare that “America is an eyelash away from bankruptcy.”

From the Mother Jones tape:
Romney: Yeah, it’s interesting…the former head of Goldman Sachs, John Whitehead, was also the former head of the New York Federal Reserve. And I met with him, and he said as soon as the Fed stops buying all the debt that we’re issuing—which they’ve been doing, the Fed’s buying like three-quarters of the debt that America issues. He said, once that’s over, he said we’re going to have a failed Treasury auction, interest rates are going to have to go up. We’re living in this borrowed fantasy world, where the government keeps on borrowing money. You know, we borrow this extra trillion a year, we wonder who’s loaning us the trillion? The Chinese aren’t loaning us anymore. The Russians aren’t loaning it to us anymore. So who’s giving us the trillion? And the answer is we’re just making it up. The Federal Reserve is just taking it and saying, “Here, we’re giving it.’ It’s just made up money, and this does not augur well for our economic future.

The Fed is buying 3/4 of the US federal budget deficit at the Treasury T-bill auctions.

Frankly, except for the heretics over at, there has been virtually nothing in the press about this, except by the standard market “doomsayers.”
I began to believe it when I read that China had reduced it T-bill holdings, and nothing seemed to happen. The newly issued T-bills have to be going somewhere, but who wants to buy even a 6 month note with a yield near 0% ?

Two minutes on the tape lost? Why are you people believing this? This is a marxist claiming this. This is what they do. I don’t believe a word any of them say. The lost time is probably a whole lot more. They edited Palin’s interview on Couric’s show until she looked dumb and I have talked to people telling them this and they still think she’s stupid. Same on Gibson’s show. This is the way they report stuff. They are the fifth column sent out by the communists to sway voters.

I don’t recall Romney ever disputing anything on the tape. If it had been edited in some way to present something he didn’t believe, I’m sure he’d be making more of a fuss instead of offering excuses and apologies. He did actually say those things.

[…] Sep 19, 2012 10:21pm – No Comments – 11 views I think that I can prove that the Romney tape “1-2 minute gap” was not the result of a technical failure, but instead was done in post-production.  It is […]

Centrist Central | September 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

So, clearly he was not saying anyone who does not pay federal taxes lacks personal responsibility. He’s saying those who lack personal responsibility ALSO DO NOT PAY FEDERAL TAXES and thus don’t care about tax reform at all. They can’t pay less then zero (most of them wouldn’t come close to getting a federal tax credit payment for low income work).

But, Romney is doing horribly; he has to explain why Bush II did not cause the 2008 crisis and why he’s generally different from Bush II, who was a great president but had a bad last year, but like Reagan.

[I’ll note as Bush II supporter, if the ’08 crisis which was not his fault at all had hit one year later, as it easily might have, McCain would have won in a landslide, no?]

theyjustcantstop | September 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

legal insurrection did america a great service,again pointing out what the propagada arm of o’bama’s campaign declares always,this breaking news is bad for romney,then gets proven that their breaking news is edited,released by lairs,and has legal problems.
corn did the romney campaign a great service,for us conservatives,and all working americans,that want this topic front and center in the news as much as possible.
i’m proud of romney not commenting on something he had no full recalection of, (any democrat would have lied first)to me this is the sort of person we need in the white-house.
wikapedia will be busy next year when corn’s and a thousand others get this illegal,unethical stunt added to his bio.

Corn has always been lying leftist scum. He was never anything approaching a “reporter” or even “journalist,” just a hack totalitarian propaganda tool.

After reading anything by David Corn, be sure to wash your brain thoroughly with a strong disinfectant.

[…] by “Mother Jones” on Mitt Romney’s “47%” remark is looking, more and more, to be an invocation of the McKay Corolllary (“Any time the liberal media (to say nothing of […]

So basically this so called “inelegant romney gaffe” might be a total leftist lie, typical.