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David Corn's Reddit AMA: The Full Questions and Answers

Our DC bureau chief, who broke the Mitt Romney donor-video story, met the 'net Friday afternoon. Got a question for him?

| Fri Sep. 21, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

35) Brillobreaks asked:
When you get something like this video, how much thought goes into deciding when/how to release it?
Answer: The thought is focused on confirming the authenticity of the video--and making sure you are not being duped or hoaxed.

36) spazzamatazzkma asked:
Are you as disappointed in the stupidity of Reddit as I am?
Answer: Why are you here?

37) treetop8388 asked:
Why didn't you leak the entire tape at once?
Answer: I plead guilty to focusing on the portions that we deemed most newsworthy. When reporters report on a speech a pol gives, they usually do not put up the entire transcript or broadcast all of it; they zero in on what they find significant. That's what we did, and within 24 hours of the initial release, we put up all the video we had--and allowed other media outlets to go over this and report stories that we hadn't gotten to.That doesn't strike me as a bad process.

38) Chris_Hansen_Is_Here asked:
How is Chris Mathews off the air? He would seem like a really interesting person to talk to
Answer: Will sound like a cliche, but the same as on the air: ebullient, curious, fervent.

39) iceagec0ming asked:
Have there been any attempts by other publications and websites to tempt you away with more money? If so, why haven't you taken them?
Answer: Wanna be my agent?

40) Prone1 asked:
Mr. corn, thank you for your work, I always enjoy your commentary on MSNBC as well.
Do you think that with a 24 hour news cycle, there is less journalistic integrity amongst your peers and rival news organizations in order to put out more content?
Answer: Not necessarily less integrity, but I do think feeding the beast gets int he way of digging deeper or pursuing stories not already part of the media whirl.

41) beepos asked:
Has there ever been a source whose story has been remarkable, but o=something you havent been able to publish because of credibility issues? If so, can you tell us the gist of it?
Answer: Once had a great story about a major oil company blackmailing a congressional committee chair. Believed the source. But couldn't nail it. Never ran it.

42) watscracking asked:
What has the reaction been like to you, personally, from this story?
I saw your tweet about briefly speaking to Karl Rove. Any other reactions to share? What's your death threat count at?
Answer: Lots of nasty tweets from conservatives apparently ginned up by radio hosts (who will go unmentioned). But many positive notes and calls from strangers and folks I know. (Still waiting for Lisa Lopez, who wanted nothing to do with me in 8th grade.) People have stopped me on the street to congratulate me on the scoop. Overall, quite a response, with far more good, than bad. (The castration threat, though, did go a bit far. But I tracked down the person who sent that, and I don't think he has the cojones.)

43) Sgt--Hulka asked:
Was it annoying to defend accusations that the "missing 2 minutes" was some kind of conspiracy? How many threatening emails have you received since you broke the story?
Answer: No more annoying than having to cover up the moon landing conspiracy.

44) Big_Timber asked:
With the success of this leak, will you consider leaking more private information in the future in the method of Wikileaks? Have you thought about helping anonymous whistleblowing against corporations and governments for the good of society?
Answer: My arms are wide open for any whistleblower with information that would enlighten the public about politicians or corporations. Please!

45) SplotchEleven asked:
How hard is it to hear a "news anchor" on Fox News talk down to your publication? Is it more funny or depressing because of the reach they have?
Answer: Believe it or not, I haven't been watching Fox News this week.

46) waytoomanythrowaways asked:
Just wanted to say I'm a huge fan and love your work. And amongst my friends and me, you're one of our favorite journalists. Ever.
Question time, since this is an AMA: if you could make one change in the way modern journalism (be it TV, newspaper, online, etc) conducts itself today, what would it be?
Answer: Hmmm. it would be good to be king....This wish cannot come true. I wish TV journalism was not as driven by ratings, so we would have more chance to discuss those subjects that don't pull in the big audiences, say that war in Afghanistan.

47) Francie57 asked:
Did Mother Jones donations/subscriptions spike after the "real" Mitt expose?
Answer: I think we got some donations afterward. I don't see the books!

48) ItsMissToYou asked:
How often do journalists misrepresent themselves (i.e.-- using a fake name or email address) to get information? Or rather, is it commonplace for journalists to lie to get in on a story?
Answer: I don't think that often. We don't at MJ, and most journalists I know of don't. Got any examples?

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