Mother Jones, the left-wing magazine that released a controversial video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's remarks to a fundraiser in May, now admits that it has no full tape of what Romney said, and that its video is missing "one to two minutes" at the most important moment.
The Legal Insurrection blog's William Jacobson and The Blaze both raised questions on Tuesday about whether Mother Jones had, as promised, revealed the full video, given an apparent jump cut in the critical section of Romney's remarks.
"Something is missing. Romney’s 47% answer was cut off before completed, and is not picked up on the Part 2 audio video," Jacobson noted.
Late Tuesday evening, Jacobson obtained the following comment from David Corn of Mother Jones:
According to the source, the recording device inadvertently turned off. The source noticed this quickly and turned it back one [sic]. The source estimates that one to two minutes, maybe less, of recording was missed.
Corn was forced to update his original post, which promised the "full" video, to reflect the fact that a key portion of the video is, in fact, missing.
There is no way to know, without the missing footage, exactly what Romney said. On Monday evening, Romney called for a complete video of his remarks to be released.
That now turns out to be impossible, either because Romney's remarks were never recorded in full (as Mother Jones now claims), or because some of his remarks--perhaps mitigating some of the controversial effect of his statements--were selectively edited out of the tape by Mother Jones or its chain of sources (including former President Jimmy Carter's grandson).
Earlier on Tuesday, new media pioneer James O'Keefe pointed out the hypocrisy of the mainstream media in accepting, without question, a snippet of a video recording that aimed to portray a Republican in a bad light, while conservatives are still doubted even after providing full video or audio, as O'Keefe did with his famous ACORN tapes.
Whether Romney is right or wrong about the "47 percent" of Americans he says have become dependent on government--he stood by his May remarks on Monday evening--he may have been taken out of context.
Mother Jones has failed a basic test and broken its promise to its readers and the public. There is now reason to doubt that it provided Romney's full remarks--not just the context, but the remarks themselves. And there is new reason to suspect manipulation.
Corn promised the complete version of Romney's remarks. Instead, he provided a version that is missing a large portion of video at the critical moment.
Mother Jones's entire story now deserves to be treated with suspicion, if not contempt.