Minding the Romney Tape Gap

On Tuesday we learned that there is a gap, said to be one or two minutes long, in the "complete" version of the secretly recorded Romney video released by David Corn at Mother Jones. The blog Not Yet Europe has created an animated gif of the edit point, the seam between the two clips that Corn now says he received as separate files from his source.

This gif is evidence that Corn or his source is trying to hide something.

William Jacobsen asked Corn about the gap, and this is his explanation for it:

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.

We have no way of knowing whether the gap is one second or ten minutes. That it comes at the very end of the Romney "47 percent" comments is itself suspicious. That leads to reasonable questions as to whether the source or Corn clipped the video to remove something important.

Taking a look at the gif above, though, I'm struck by the sheer impossibility of Corn's explanation.

Take a look at the few seconds around the edit point, clipped by The Blaze.

The camera doesn't move at all.

That's a problem. The camera appears to be a small one, probably a smartphone or maybe a small Flip or similar camcorder. It does not appear to be attached to a tripod. It's on the table and has been camouflaged by something we can see at the edges of the picture, maybe a pair of vases or glasses.

Corn doesn't explain why the camera supposedly stopped recording. Cameras tend to do that when they fill up their hard drive, run out of tape, etc. That doesn't seem to have been the case here, because the second recording goes on. The lack of any movement between the two clips is strange. However the source noticed that the camera was no longer recording, supposing that that's what happened, the source supposedly restarted the recording quickly.

Yet he or she was so careful in their rush to restart the recording that they didn't bump the camera out of position at all?

You can get that kind of steadiness out of the heavy Sachtler type tripods and large, heavy broadcast cameras. That's what they're made for. But out of a smartphone or small, hidden camera? Very unlikely.

The lack of movement between the two clips is most easily explained as an internal edit. The camera never stopped recording, but the clip was edited after the fact to take something out.