Once again, Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection is doing the work the mainstream media should do but won't do. This morning your humble correspondent posted how Jacobson got David Corn to finally admit that there was a gap in the Romney tape after initially claiming that it was complete. However, now that Corn was forced to make that admission only after being pressed by Jacobson, he is now absurdly claiming that he was upfront about that tape gap from the start. Here is Corn's latest laughable claim:
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….
In response, Jacobson politely calls the Corn's assertion inaccurate (and I would unpolitely call it something stronger):
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.
And here is Corn's disclosure which ONLY came after being called out by Jacobson on the initial claim that the tape was complete:
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.
Tell us again, professor, just when David Corn really posted this update:
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.
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 possible that was a technical error but we’re getting deep in Rosemary Woods territory there.
Here is a screenshot of the Mother Jones page, where I have stopped the two videos at the end of the first and beginning of the second. This brackets the time that Corn’s begrudging “update” suggests that the perpetrator had to fix the recording device. Clearly we see that enough time has elapsed for several items on the table — items that had not moved in half an hour — have now moved, and for a waiter to have moved into the field of view. So, yes, and least a few minutes have passed.
But do you see the problem? Looking into the distance at the room itself: the ceiling and support column, the chairs, etc, the placement of the camera has not changed in this time. Mother Jones would have you believe that 1) the recording device suffered an unknown failure; 2) this was discovered and fixed; and 3) the device was either never budged in this process or it was placed down exactly in the same place afterwards.
I call bulls**t. I have had electronic devices fail, sure, but it has never been so obvious that I could fix it without at least picking it up and looking to see why. Further, Corns isn’t an idiot, so this was obvious to him, too. He’s clearly lying and knew that the tape had been edited in a critical place right from the beginning.
Which makes this a fraud and that gap most certainly contains context that spoils the narrative.
And now a great bonus animated before and after GIF from the Not Yet Europe blog which beautifully illustrates how the camera moved not a bit even though it was supposedly fixed during the interim. The only real change is the lighting which is explained by the candle being blocked after the tape gap by the wine carafe:
Of course even though Brian Williams broadcast this Romney tape story on NBC Nightly News this evening for the third night in a row (and led with it for the second night in the row), he made no mention of the tape gap controversy. Therefore, tonight I plan to use the powerful NewsBusters searchlight to beam the "N" signal upon the clouds. Look up in the sky, Howard Kurtz. This is a perfect story for you to cover ("Did the Media Perform Romney Tape Overkill?") on CNN's Reliable Sources this Sunday. And the perfect guests are David Corn with his late blooming gap excuses and, of course, professor William Jacobson.