Mother Jones standards

I haven’t commented on Mitt Romney’s 47% “gaffe” because I don’t think it matters (and the tracking polls seem to bear this out), but there is one aspect of the matter that strikes me as interesting. Whenever Obama says something politically damaging, the legacy media always informs us that his words were taken out of context, even though that’s almost never true. On the other hand, in Romney’s they never say any such thing, even though the far-left magazine Mother Jones really did edit his remarks.

Once taken to task on this, Mother Jones released the whole video, sanctimoniously proclaiming:

Romney says we posted “snippets” & not full answers in the secret videos. Uh….no. See for yourself. The full tape: . . .

Except that it turns out they didn’t release the whole video. The “full tape” is missing an unknown amount of time (probably several minutes, based on changes in the lighting). Not only that, the missing material is from Romney’s 47%-don’t-pay-taxes remarks.

Despite their snarky “Uh….no”, their defense is simply untrue; they did not post the full remark.

It gets worse. Originally Mother Jones did not even acknowledge that the middle of the recording was missing. Once called on it, they inserted a disclosure:

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

But it still gets worse: Even the belated disclosure seems to be untrue.

Recording devices are not designed to turn themselves off after 36 minutes and 39 seconds. If one does, it means that the device has somehow failed. Such a failure would nearly always be due to a dead battery, but it could be because of some sort of software error. In any case, you’re not going to fix the problem without picking up the device.

Yet somehow the person who illegally recorded the meeting was able to correct the problem without even touching the recorder. You can see this from an animated picture comparing the final frame of the first segment and the initial frame of the second, at the end of this post at Not Yet Europe. The camera’s positioning is essentially identical in both frames, with no more difference that one would expect from the waiter bumping the table.

I can imagine one way that this might legitimately happen: if the camera had a remote control. But it’s clear from the fussing and clattering at the start of the video that the source was not using a remote control. In any case, Mother Jones has not offered any such explanation.

It’s not entirely conclusive, but almost certainly the video was edited after-the-fact and someone is lying about it. We can’t know whether the liar is Mother Jones or their source, and it doesn’t really matter. Moreover, either way, Mother Jones certainly lied about releasing the full video. They did not.

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