When Mother Jones Became Rose Mary Woods

As always, whom the Gods destroy, they first turn Nixonian. Joel Pollack of Big Journalism writes, “Selective Edit? Mother Jones Admits Romney Tape Missing ‘One to Two Minutes:'”


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.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey adds:

I’m not sure whether the context would have helped or hurt — because I don’t know exactly what Romney said other than what Corn and MJ released.  It may be that the context doesn’t change what we heard, but it’s equally likely that the “equipment malfunction” cut the heart out of Romney’s point.  And I don’t know whether Corn or MJ had anything to do with the way that video got put together, but their description of it as “full” and “complete” was clearly misleading — and it’s hard to believe that an experienced hand like Corn wouldn’t have noticed that the first video ended on one subject while the second video opened on another entirely.

The mainstream media that demanded total transparency from O’Keefe and Rose (and got it) didn’t seem too interested in applying that standard to Corn and Mother Jones, either.  The only thing left to wonder is whether Mother Jones will apply its own O’Keefe Standard to itself and declare itself anathema to journalism.

Update: William Jacobson says David Corn is still having disclosure issues.


Glenn Reynolds is blunt: “Do not trust content from Mother Jones.”

Update: Ann Althouse quips, “Really only 2 minutes? You sure it wasn’t 18 minutes? Could the name of the source be Rosemary?”



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