Wednesday, September 19, 2012

USAT | A good read: 47% video's road to notoriety

In a story with details I haven't seen before, USA Today's Martha Moore reveals how Mother Jones magazine plucked Mitt Romney's comments from obscurity -- some had been on YouTube since at least May 31 -- and torpedoed them into the presidential race late Monday night.

Well before the video surfaced, I'd been reading speculation on conservative National Review's website that President Obama had a lock on nearly half the vote, but without knowing the source. With Moore's account today, now I know.

The story once more shows the power of cellphone video and citizen reporting. And it's the sort of journalism that I think Publisher Larry Kramer is now pushing.

Related: BuzzFeed posted part of the video with a transcript, but without the incendiary 47% portion, on Aug. 24.


  1. The story also provides what many believe is media bias (Jim’s too perhaps) as where was USAT’s story when video surfaced of someone being able to vote as Eric Holder and others if they so choose early this year? With so many allegations of voter impropriety, it seemed worthy enough of action. Sadly, that is but one example of the power of cellphone video and citizen reporting that has gone unnoticed which begs the question why? Too many, rightly or wrongly, believe it's because it doesn't align with big media's narrative

    It’s also a bit telling that news of Romney’s comments – which opens the door for political debate a bit - would break here, let alone without any updates to how Obama’s long-held view of redistribution have been tied to it by other MSM outlets.

  2. What Moore's story shows is that many big stories often fall through the cracks -- at first.

  3. …it also shows Moore’s apparent disregard for accuracy and the ability to update on line for the 24/7 news cycle as Mother Jones (a nakedly liberal entity) reportedly did not, nor does it have a “full 70-minute video recording.” Apparently, the recording device somehow shut off for a few minutes as Romney was finishing his 47% remarks.

    That absence of information and/or updates, if accurate, is further proof why consumers increasingly distrust major media outlets as when they learn more details of events elsewhere they question why, as they should.

    Unfortunately, the light this industry shines on others doesn’t bode will when its turned back on itself.

  4. 9:57

    1. Moore's story makes the magazine's political leanings clear: "Mother Jones is a politically liberal magazine, funded by a nonprofit organization and named for a turn-of-the-century union organizer."

    2. The full 70-minute recording means the entire video; it doesn't mean a full recording of the entire event. Moore is referencing the fact that only snippets of the recording were published previously; the magazine put the entire video, unedited, online so that no one would accuse the magazine of selective editing.

    3. You write: "Apparently, the recording device somehow shut off for a few minutes as Romney was finishing his 47% remarks."

    Has the Romney campaign publicly accused USA Today of leaving out quotes from the fundraising event that reflect favorably on their candidate, or that would provide important context?


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