Romney video isn’t ‘investigative reporting,’ as Mother Jones claims

James Carter IV on Hardball with Chris Matthews after the Romney video leaked.

James Carter IV on Hardball with Chris Matthews after the Romney video leaked.

Mitt Romney has frequently taken shots at ex-President Jimmy Carter on the campaign trail, so it’s only fitting that Carter’s own grandson would be the one to pass the now-viral video of Romney, thinking he’s behind closed doors, slamming the 47 percent of Americans who feel entitled to government handouts and yadda yadda yadda. But Mother Jones, the liberal news magazine that published the video, is trying to cash in on what they claim as their own “investigative reporting.”

Mother Jones (as just about any outlet would), is looking to capitalize on the massive flow of traffic to their site. A popover on the site when readers are on their way to see the videos says “Urgent: Please support investigative reporting.” Their fundraising page urges potential donors with: “We depend on you to support our investigative reporting, like the exposé on Mitt Romney’s secretly taped remarks.”

But the story of how the lefty mag got their mits on the video makes it pretty clear they did only slightly more than jack-squat to get the video. [Hear MoJoer David Corn, who published the video, talk about how he got the tape, around the 12-15 minute mark on On Point with Tom Ashbrook.] The credit, in reality, goes to the unemployed grandson of ex-President Jimmy Carter. James Carter IV, a liberal on a personal mission to take down the former Massachusetts governor for the slights against President Carter, found the video on YouTube.

From The Huffington Post:

The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and a self-fashioned Democratic opposition researcher, the younger Carter had watched countless hours of footage of Republican Mitt Romney and made it a habit to search YouTube every few days for keywords like “Romney” and “Republicans.”

But on this day in August, one clip jumped out. There was Romney, in an undisclosed location, bluntly discussing a visit to a Chinese factory with substandard conditions.

“The hidden camera video – it was all blurred out at the beginning, and it was mysterious,” Carter said. “It piqued my interest.”

An independent, non-profit news organization is trying to raise money. Having worked for one, I understand the drive, and I don’t fault them for using their 15 minutes to try to raise money, but calling what David Corn did “investigative reporting” is not only misleading, but it steals the credit from a sharp guy who committed a serious act of citizen journalism.

Give money to Mother Jones if you want; the world always needs more voices. But before you do that, get this guy a job.

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