How Romney’s ’47 percent’ video made its way to mainstream media, as more videos surface

Mother Jones | BuzzFeed | New York
Monday night Mitt Romney called for the release of the full video of him speaking at a donor’s house. Monday afternoon Mother Jones reporter David Corn had released the instantly famous “47 percent” video in which the GOP nominee said of the president’s supporters, “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government … my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Ben Smith described it as “unexploded digital ordnance” that “erupted under Romney’s campaign.”

Early Tuesday morning Mother Jones released another video, this one with Romney speaking about Israel and asserting that Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.” Initially, Mother Jones blurred faces in the video. It’s since unblurred them and reported the clips were recorded at the home of Florida financier Marc Leder this past May.

Smith put together a tick-tock of how the videos oozed across the Internet, a process he writes “offers a glimpse at the workings of the contemporary media:”

Chaotically driven by an anonymous leaker; empowered by ubiquitous recording devices; and competing not just with other media outlets, but with the source him or herself.

The leaker started releasing videos on his own and linking to them from The Huffington Post in June. Later, he talked with The Huffington Post and video researcher James Carter IV. Monday, Huffington Post D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim tells Smith, the leaker said he was giving the video to David Corn because he liked Corn’s reporting on a Bain Capital-affiliated company called Global-Tech.

Carter, who is President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, connected the leaker with Corn. He tells Joe Coscarelli he:

put the anonymous video source in touch with the Mother Jones reporter and then butted out, knowing he was onto something. “Any time that you can find a clip that strengthens the narrative already established, that’s what becomes a big deal.”

How big? Well, Obama’s “bitter” moment from 2008 still comes up a little bit, as does his hot-mic goof with Dmitry Medvedev. And since this video was released on Occupy Wall Street’s anniversary, the new “47 percent” meme has cross-bred with that group’s “99 percent” formulation.

The nation’s fact-checking industry is now combing through Romney’s remarks on the videos.

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  • Jane Smith

    The nation’s fact checking industry? Please, you mean the nation’s MSM that adores Obama and is incapable of reporting anything about Romney except framing it as “bad news”, taking their cues from TPM/DK/ and the rest of the entire mainstream media that hates Romney because he’s not a Democrat and loves Obama because he is 1 – black & 2 – a Democrat & 3 – a far left ideologue

  • Gary

    So when is the media going to release the Obama/Khalidi tapes? Hypocrites.

  • Anonymous

    “The nation’s fact-checking industry is now combing through Romney’s remarks on the videos.”

    Mr. Beaujon again perfectly lillustrates how those who stand for journalism have divorced themselves from its principles.

    The fact-checking industry is now an entity onto itself, separate from journalism.

  • Anonymous

    “Monday night Mitt Romney called for the release of the full video of him speaking at a donor’s house.”
    No mention of the irony of the same person wanting for their remarks to be place in the complete context when his party’s entire convention was based around a misrepresentation of Mr. Obama’s meaning of “We built that.”

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Romney finally speaks from the heart.

    He will dismiss 47% of Americans as beneath his consideration. He will be the President of the 53% (or whatever percentage of the population votes for him.)

    This was no gaffe.
    A gaffe is when one misspeaks.
    This was not a mistake.
    Mr. Romney was telling it as he believed.

    For the first time, we hear a man speaking confidently, eloquently, because he is saying what he believes.

    Who knew. We had thought he was just a candidate uncomfortable with oratory. No, he was a man who was hiding what he really believed and unable to do it artfully.

    Yes, Mr. Romney has finally told the truth.
    And that is the problem.

    Goodbye, Mr. Romney.
    Go away.
    Go to your multiple homes, or to Switzerland or to the Caymans or wherever else you can be with your millions (or is it billions?)
    Go away and don’t come back.