The Spectacle Blog

Romney Tapes Doctored? Mother Jones Confesses to ‘1-2’ Minute Gap

By on 9.19.12 | 9:59AM

Maybe you should just call them Mother Milhous Jones.

Legal Insurrection's William A. Jacobson has done a brilliant piece of detective work.

Take a look here at a cornered David Corn of Mother Jones finally admitting that, yes indeed, Mother Jones has been…ahhhhh…shall we say…..less than forthcoming about the now famous Romney tapes.

The tapes, as the world now knows, appear to show Governor Romney discussing the number of Americans who don't pay taxes, consider themselves victims, and so on.

But wait!

After considerable prodding by an alert Jacobson, who noticed something askew, Corn is finally forced to admit:

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.

So.

Mother Jones, in its zeal to get Romney, deliberately released a tape insisting that they had released the whole tape, nothing but the whole tape, so help them God. Here is Corn flatly asserting a falsehood to Jacobson:

Romney says we posted "snippets" & not full answers in the secret videos. Uh…no. See for yourself. The full tape: motherjones.com/politics/2012…

Now we find out that ..uh…yes.

Raising the instant comparison to the famous Nixon 18 ½ minute Watergate tape gap.

For those who came in late, just last year the late President Richard Nixon's testimony to the Grand Jury investigating Watergate was released. Nixon is shown as insisting that the famous missing 18 ½ minutes of tape was an accident. In the day, which is to say when Nixon's enemies were besieging him in the White House, the revelation of the tape gap brought a howling chorus from angry Nixon critics, who specifically accused the President of personally and deliberately erasing 18 ½ minutes of tape that clearly, in their view, would have shown Nixon guilty.

Now the obvious question arises.

Were the Romney tapes, like the Nixon tapes, deliberately doctored to make them say what Mother Jones and Jimmy Carter's grandson wanted them to say? With the incident being passed off by David Corn exactly as Nixon himself passed of the Watergate tape gap?

Here's Nixon, per Politico's reporting of his Grand Jury testimony:

Nixon told grand jurors that he believed it was simply an accident that some of the tape got erased.

Here's David Corn of Mother Jones to William Jacobson:

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.

For Nixon, the tampered tape was "simply an accident."

For Mother Jones, the tampered Romney tape was an accident because "the recording device inadvertently turned off."

Last but not least is the ever reliable Chris Matthews of NBC, who had the provider of the tape -- Jimmy Carter's namesake grandson James Earl Carter IV -- on Matthews' Hardball show. Did Matthews report the tape had been fiddled with? Did Carter? Why of course not. Not a peep.

And what did Inspector Clouseau… sorry… Chris Matthews say to young Mr. Carter?

According to Mediaite, the interview began this way:

"It's an honor to have on such a good researcher and such a good reporter," Chris Matthews began, before asking if the former president was watching.

Finally Matthews asks: 

"What was your attitude about getting this tape into the hands of David Corn who is a liberal writer and you figured he would get it out?"

Carter replied that he, as a partisan Democrat, believed it would assist Democrats in the coming election. 

So.

What do we have?

Jimmy Carter's grandson, a self-admitted "partisan Democrat," gets a tape "into the hands of David Corn, who is a liberal writer."

The tape is missing a crucial "1-2 minutes" -- but Carter says nothing about it, Corn initially insists the tape is complete, and Matthews dutifully never says a word.

Do we have the game now?

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