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?

Earlier this week, MoJo Washington bureau chief David Corn published secret video of a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Florida in May. In it, the Republican presidential nominee talked candidly about the 47 percent of Americans who he said won’t vote for him because they are “dependent on government” and “believe that they are victims.” (The full video and transcript from the fundraiser are available here; video highlights are here.)

Corn has popped over to Reddit today to answer readers’ questions from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time today. Got a question? Head on over there and ask it! Want some answers? Check ’em out below:

10:45 a.m. EDT: David’s IAmA Reddit page has gone live, and there are some fantastic questions. As well as some funny ones:

  • ashmaht asks: “Do you like corn?”

… and cy99maddux nails the follow-up: “What about Korn?”

  • MentallyDeficient asks: “How many garbanzo beans can you hold in your hands at once?”
  • Nomad47 gets right to it: “Do you or anyone you might know have copies of ten years or less of Mitt Romney’s tax returns?”

…he added: “How long and how hard did you laugh when the Romney campaign said the video was “debunked” and “selectively edited”? Be honest, are you still laughing right now?”

More questions… and answers… coming up!

12:15 p.m. EDT: David Corn is in the house now, and answering questions:

??1) Mentally Deficient asked:
“How many garbanzo beans can you hold in your hands at once?”
Answer: 237.

2) FakeCurtisLeMay asked
You probably can’t answer this, but I’d really like to know how you got the tape. Did someone pay $50,000 a plate for the opportunity to tape this just in case Romney said something dumb? What’s the legality of taping something like this? I know in certain states both parties have to consent to a taping of a conversation. Does that apply to a large event?
Answer: I cannot say much about the source of the tape and how s/he came to be in the room. But as far as I can ascertain, it wasn’t an opposition hit job. The source realized that s/he would be in the room with a presidential candidate and thought that Romney might just say something interesting enough to deserve recording. Seems the source was right about that…As for the legality of what happened, I will leave that to experts on Florida law.

3)  hersheybar422 asked
What is a typical day like for you?
Answer: Not like the past few…..I get up early, check email and Twitter to make sure there’s no major news, get the kids to school, then head to the office, where I oversee a great DC bureau of 8 reporters and editors, as we do all we can to find scoops and post stories that explain and advance important stories. In between all that, I do various appearances on MSNBC. And last year, I also squeezed in reporting and writing for my book, SHOWDOWN, which, coincidentally, came out this week in paperback. (Feel free to check it out.) Oh, yes, there’s making dinner, doing dishes, walking the dog, and, playing in a neighborhood band. Sleep? Hmmm, I’ve heard of sleep. 

4) The_Iceman2288 asked:
Do you forsee any scenario in which Romney can win this election?
Answer: I remain convinced this is a close election. I wouldn’t bet. And there’s still a chance that the debates or external circumstances–say, a financial crisis or foreign policy emergency–could change the contours of the race.

5) thingsyoutellyourcat asked:
My first experience reading Mother Jones was in a bookstore. I began reading an article about a Dr. that used shock-type behavior modification on children. I was so amazed at the way the article was presented, I bought the magazine. I’ve been hooked ever since. Thank you!
Answer: That was a great article–a real good representation of the type of investigative reporting we aim to produce at Mother Jones. Here’s a link to it: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/08/school-shock

6) MichaelBluth asked:
How can we promote more non-profit media sources such as Mother Jones?
Answer: You’re doing that now by participating here. Word of mouth is a great way to do that for individuals. But also if you send us cash–by which I mean tax-deductible contributions in the form of checks–we can use those funds to beef up our promotional efforts to boost the magazine and the work we generate.
Oh, I should give the address for that, right. It’s
Mother Jones, P.O. Box 584, San Francisco, CA 94104-0584
We may take electronic donations. I will check. Good question!
Here’s the link to subscribe and donate:

7) Nomad47 asked:
Do you or anyone you might know have copies of ten years or less of Mitt Romney’s tax returns?
Answer: I could tell you, but then I’d have to….Just kidding. I assume his accountant does. Did John McCain hang on to the 23 years of returns Romney gave him in 2008? I don’t know. I do know–or assume–that the tax return issue will become an inconvenient matter for Romney again, and soon. He has pledged to release his 2011 return in October. Which is reaaaallll soon. When he does, it will once again raise the knotty issue of…what about the ten years prior to 2010? I was just talking about this on the Diane Rehm Show (guest-hosted by Susan Page!), and we all sort of agreed this could be a problem and wondered why he didn’t release the return earlier to avoid this potential dustup so late in the final stretch.
Update: Word just came in that Romney is releasing his 2011 return this Friday afternoon. Of course, Friday afternoon. And will also release a summation of the tax rates he’s paid the previous 20 years, but not the returns. Hmmm.

8) EvilPRGuy asked:
Mother Jones is one of the few English language publications that still dedicates the time, money, resources and column inches to real on the ground, investigative, researched journalism. Is this type of writing definitely doomed and headed towards extinction because of monetary and technological factors? Is it a function of the audience for this type of journalism disappearing? Other then buying the publications that run this kind of work, is there any other way to support and encourage the return of “shoe leather” investigative reporting?
Answer: You’re right. This is a concern. And we at Mother Jones–and other outlets–work hard to preserve this sort of kick-ass, independent, probing journalism. Really, the best way to support this is to read the work that is done, subscribe and donate. And, again, spread the word any way you can. Once more, here’s how to donate or subscribe to MoJo: https://secure.motherjones.com/fnp/?action=SUBSCRIPTION&list_source=7H10TOPNV&extra_don=1

9) 1000pointsoflight added:
Yes. Was going to post along this line. What can be done to restore muckraking journalism in the traditions of Jack Anderson et al? We need it.
Answer: My pal Mark Feldstein wrote a great book that came out last year about Jack Anderson and Richard Nixon. Look it up and buy it. Fabulous read.

10) dtm9k asked:
How did you authenticate the video when it was first presented to you?
Why was so much of the video blurred out in your initial release of it? I understand the need to protect your source, but does offering a heavily blurred video pose credibility issues in how it will be percieved
Answer: Good Qs….If you watch the full video, you can see Romney say things that indicate when and where it happened. And we looked quite closely to determine if we could see any evidence of manipulation or cutting. We saw none. That said, I figured there was a slight chance (<5%) that some Dr. Evil Master of the Editing Bay might have been able to concoct all this. But I spent time communicating with the source and becoming familiar with him/her to increase my level of confidence. Also, it seemed to me, if this was a diabolical plot, then the video would have already been disseminated in a more conventional manner of leaking.
We blurred initially because the source requested that. But we believed that enough was shown to indicate this was the real deal. Plus, I had confirmed when and where this happened and knew I could vouch for the authenticity. Sure, there was the chance that some would have taken issue with the blurring. But what can you do about that?

11) cy99maddux asked:
How long and how hard did you laugh when the Romney campaign said the video was “debunked” and “selectively edited”? Be honest, are you still laughing right now?
Answer: Well, they had to say something…..But it was odd that they made that claim after essentially confirming it was real when Romney declared his remarks “off the cuff.” (Which seems to me to be one way of saying, “what I really mean.”) Here’s a further explanation I wrote of how Romney’s debunking claim was debunked: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/09/mitt-romney-says-video-debunked

12) kodemage asked:
Follow up question: What, if any, edits were done to the video. Obviously there’s some blurring and it was cut into at least 2 pieces but aside from that was anything chopped out?
Answer: The video, as I’ve explained, came to me in two files. The source explained that s/he noticed, 35 minutes in, that the device was not recording. S/he figured that the device had timed out or been brushed in a manner that caused it to turn off. The source says that s/he quickly turned the device back on and estimates that one to two minutes, maybe less was not recorded. We have put up the entire files we were sent. Not a single thing has been edited or doctored. Still, rightwingers are cooking up conspiracy theories and claiming we’ve altered the tapes. Believe me, as much as anyone, I’d like to know what wasn’t captured on the video. Perhaps Romney can tell us.

13) gothmog1114 asked:
Do you feel that Mitt’s mormonism has a place in the discussion?
Answer: Interesting question. I’m of two minds. I do think, in a way, that voters should know the bedrock beliefs of a candidate who is seeking control of our nuclear arsenal and the destiny of our nation. But should we ask Romney if he literally believes the tale of the Book of Mormon? I don’t know. But I’d be curious about that.

14) factoryofsadness asked:
I agree with Mother Jones that one of the biggest problems facing our nation is economic inequality. How can the government realistically address economic inequality other than raising the minimum wage (which will result in a corresponding increase in prices) or begging the business sector to start paying workers fairly?
Answer: Minimum wage is a good place to start I think the tax code offers you opportunities. The Earned Income Tax Credit has helped in this regard. Investing in infrastructure and education can lead to boosts in employment that can address this matter.

15) dudesndudes asked:
To add to this, I saw something on the news yesterday about what Americans feel is the biggest economic problem the country faces. Something like 2% (fucking TWO PERCENT!) said that income inequality is the most important issue.
To me, income inequality is the biggest problem we face now, maybe I’m ignoring other things because this is important to me, though.
Anyway, to add to the question above me, is there any way we can get more Americans to realize how big a problem income inequality is, or can we get them to care about it? I don’t know. It disturbs me that Americans right now seem to be okay with the fact that incomes of the rich continue to rise astronomically, while working class wages are actually going down. End rant.
freemarket27 added:
Allow republican states to exit the union. That way the remaining states have a sold democrat majority and can raise taxes as high as they would like.
shondie added:
From what data I’ve seen, there would be a tax surplus if the Democratic states didn’t have to support the Republican states, as most of the former generate contribute more in federal taxes than they take out.
I would be interested to see the numbers on the two new countries if freemarket27’s proposal came to be.
Sources: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/states-federal-taxes-spending-charts-maps http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union
Answer: Yes, it seems the red states complain more and the blue states receive less. Go figure. Mississippi, you’re on your own!

16) alphadoodledoo asked:
Saw a pic of you taken by another journo at the airport following the DNC where you were noodling on an acoustic guitar. Think it was a Hummingbird if I recall. Can you really play or were you just trying to impress the ladies? If you can, how would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 (n00b) to 10 (Jeff Beck)?
Answer: Not my guitar, but I think you’re right. (Is there any straight guy who learned how to play guitar who wasn’t trying to impress the ladies?) Hard for me to assess my own skills. But I’d say there is much greater range than 1-10 for n00b to Beck. (I’m tempted to say 11, at least)

17) DirtyProjector asked:
Why don’t more journalists call out politicians on their bullshit? Most politicians flat out lie to the public, and no one holds them accountable. Is it a fear that they will be black listed?
Answer: Good question. This is something I’ve pondered and written about many a time. See
I think there’s a lot of factors. Beat reporters often don’t like to be too antagonistic toward their subjects, for this will affect their ability to get information from them. MSMers often feel it is not their place to render such judgements and believe it is their job to convey what the pols are saying and let the public reach its own conclusions. I disagree (what a surprise!) and believe the press needs to be aggressive in policing the pols and in calling out untruths. I’m heartened to see more of that in the MSM, via factchecking (see the first piece above), but this recent trend in the media has had its rocky moments.

18) Pragmaticus asked:
David, you’re on Hardball enough that you’re practically Chris Matthews’ co-host. Do you socialize together off the air?
Answer: Highballs at Morton’s every evening…..Just kidding. After the show is done, we tend to hurry out to our respective homes to be with the families….I will say this: it’s truly a treat to work with Chris–even when we disagree. He’s high-energy and damn smart and cares about politics because he cares about the policy outcomes that are produced. It’s a lot of fun to be part of the Hardball team.

19) erikgrad asked:
Has Mother Jones been keeping tabs on the story of the Romney tax “hacker” who claims to have walked into PwC, and easily made copies of his tax forms? They were claiming to potentially be releasing them next Friday if their ransom was not met. I have seen very little coverage of it beyond it’s first mention in the news.
Answer: News to me. Maybe she or he can send them to Mother Jones.

20) Dizzy_Slip asked:
What’s your absolute strangest exchange/interview with a high-profile politico? Did you come to doubt the person’s sanity?
That’s an out-of-the-box question. A long time ago, I caught Colin Powell giving contradictory (and sworn) testimony in the Iran-contra case–that is, he made a false statement under oath–and I asked his spokesperson about this and received such a confusing and incomprehensible reply that it was practically unprintable. I think I had to note that this was not a typo.

21) red321red321 asked:
Is there anything about the leaked Romney fundraising video that the media did not tell us about that you can reveal to reddit?
Answer: During the brief gap, Romney said, “I buried Paul.”

22) Cyborgkitten asked:
David! You’re one of my favorite MSNBC contributors. Whose show is the most fun? I’d have to imagine hanging with Martin Bashir or Lawrence O’Donnell would be fun because they just get brutally honest.
Answer: I can’t play favorites. I enjoy working with all the hosts. What is fun is that they each have their own styles, and as a guest you have to roll with that.

23) sjorgs122 asked:
I’m a huge fan of Mother Jones and was stoked that you guys got the Romney video story first – really high quality journalism. I have a question as an aspiring investigative journalist: what are the pros/cons of working for a non-profit media outlet like Mother Jones? Also, any advice for me? I’m about to graduate college and, although I’ve had some great internships, would love some tips about how to differentiate myself from all the other wannabe journalist college grads.
Answer: Not too late to go to med school!…..Thanks for the kind words about MJ. In the past few years, I’ve seen more pros than cons in working for a nonprofit. We were able to weather some of the tough economic times by appealing to the generosity of our readers and supporters and received donations from them. That was not something the NY Times could do. It had to turn to a Mexican billionaire. (But I am glad that worked out.) As for advice, it’s hard for me to know what to say. The media landscape is so different from when I started out in this business and Teddy Roosevelt was president. The best and only way to differentiate yourself is the quality of your work. Find an internship or job that will give you the opportunity to do something grand–or do it on your own time. I do believe in this biz quality does stand out–well, at least some of the time.

24) uriman asked:
Why do you think the source selected MJ rather than any other news outlet?
Answer: The source was familiar–or became familiar–with my earlier reporting on Romney and Bain’s investments, particular in companies involved in outsourcing, and that, I was told, was one reason the source was willing to talk to me initially.

25) IgnazSemmelweis asked:
Mr. Corn,
I am a subscriber and fan of Mother Jones and wish I had discovered it years ago.
With that out of the way;
What are your feelings on how your organization was attacked after releasing the “47%” tapes, especially by pundits on FOX News?
Do you think that behavior like this is just a sign of the times, or an indication of larger issues?
Thank you and keep up the great work.
Answer: The great thing about this story, I keep saying, is that everyone is free to watch the video and reach their own conclusions, unfiltered. So the attacks really don’t matter. They are predictable and inconsequential. Just ask Mitt Romney.

26) mbritt74 asked:
How do you feel about partisanship in the media today? Do you feel like Mother Jones contributes neutral facts? Is old school, honest journalism lost?
Answer: For me, the issue is not bias in the media, but accuracy. Mother Jones does embody a set of values–the progressive tradition. But we are dedicated to accuracy. (Our factchecking process is really a pain-in-the-rear, believe me!) To me, that’s the key.

27) bickering_fool asked:
Can I get your views on the Columbia University insistence this last week of a “planetary emergency” due to the unforeseen global consequences of Arctic ice melt.
Answer: We are fools to ignore this.

28) jbcorny asked:
How has ‘business as usual’ changed at MJ in the past 2 weeks?
What kind of impact has the tape had on MJ web traffic and subscriptions?
Answer: We’re still working on the next round of articles–but perhaps with a greater bounce in our step, after all the traffic and support that has poured in. Coincidentally, my book on the Obama White House: SHOWDOWN: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP To Set Up the 2012 Election, came out this week in paperback, and this has not been unhelpful in promoting that.
See here: http://www.amazon.com/Showdown-Inside-Story-Battled-Election/dp/006210800X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348247386&sr=8-1&keywords=David+COrn+Showdown+paperback
More self-promotion: you can follow me on twitter at @davidcorndc

29) tundey_1 asked:
Why did you release the video now? If you are as in the tank as Fox News says you are, why not wait and make it a true October surprise?
Answer: Well, I guess Fox News got that wrong. How shocking. I put this story out as soon as I could, after spending a great deal of time authenticating the tape and preparing the video clips to show full context.

30) seymour1 asked:
Big fan here. Love your work. Congrats on the huge story. Most of my questions have already been asked so I’ll just ask, how well do you know Rachel Maddow? Is she as awesome as she seems on TV?
Answer: She once invited me to go fishing, and I couldn’t make it. But I really, really would like to go fishing with her.

31) yunododat asked:
I know y’all are getting attention for breaking this story, but I just wanted to thank the MoJo staff, (especially if you can pass this on to Mac McClellan [sic?]) for the only legitimate and powerful coverage regarding the BP oil spill.
My family still resides on the gulf coast, and their livelihoods, though not directly related to the ocean, were thrown into disarray. Without MoJo, I don’t think they would have known the true impact.
That’s all.
Answer: You got it. Mac is great.

32) frogger_is_dead asked:
David, do you ever think of interrupting Chris? Ya know, just to turn the tables on him for once?
Answer: It’s called Hardball with Chris Matthews.

33) jwoodsutk asked:
How do you feel about Fox News dismissing your ridiculously outdated 4-month old video and pushing their 14 year-old video of Obama?
Answer: I’m shocked, shocked.

34) Bronbowser asked:
In retrospect, would you have presented the Middle East clip differently?
Answer: I don’t think so–except to prevent silly criticism. See here:

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?

49) splice_of_life asked:
Mr Corn,
I just wanted to throw out there that I really think you’ve been doing some great reporting recently. Please, keep it up.
As for my question, I wonder if you could comment on the way people perceive the reporting of yourself or your colleagues. Do you ever find yourself or your work dismissed because of a perceived liberal bias? How do you think your work and audience would differ if you wrote for, say, the Weekly Standard?
Answer: Wow. Alternative reality time. I don’t know. I do think that if you work for MJ or the Standard, some folks look at your work with some suspicion. But the work eventually speaks for itself, and a good story–that is confirmed and well-supported–that appears in an outlet with a political perspective can go rather far. Especially if it’s video.

50) epilianthanomal asked:
Is there a reason that it took four months for this video to come out? I’m very glad to have it, but there’s an ugly cynical part of me that wants to assign the delay to some force wanting to wait until election season when the video could do the most damage to Romney’s campaign. Can you help me understand the other, more realistic and less cynical, factors that could delay news like this?
Answer: I only gotin touch with the source in mid/late-August. So it’s not as if anyone other than the source was sitting on this for four months. And the source had put out some dribs and drabs in the course of that time, but didn’t want to do anything that would draw attention to him/herself. Eventually s/he agreed to work with me, and that led to the release this week.

51) robotembassy asked:
what are your favorite websites, apps, or technology that help you as a journo?
Answer: Newspapers. I feel smarter when I read newspapers.

52) z3dster asked:
How do you respond to the cynicism that both main stream parties are bad and two sides of the same coin?
Answer: There still are plenty of differences. You can suss out by perspective on this in SHOWDOWN, out this week in paperback. (More shameless self-promotion.) http://www.amazon.com/Showdown-Inside-Story-Battled-Election/dp/006210800X

53) Trololorawr asked:
Could there be any legal consequences for the bartender that secretly filmed this?
Answer: Who said it was a bartender?…..I’m not commenting on the source or his/her legal issues.

54) GoWithItGirl asked:
Does it really matter if the host of Romney’s fundraiser throws sex parties? The headline “Romney ’47 Percent’ Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties” struck me as cheap and sensationalist. (I know it’s quite possible you did not write the headline.)
Answer: Sensationalist? I dunno. Struck me as interesting. My story, I will assume responsibility for the headline. If Romney is going to promote himself as a champion of conservative social values but then courts a millionaire who throws sex parties, I think there’s a possible issue of hypocrisy.

55) onfirewhenigothere asked:
No question, just thanks.
Answer: You are welcome.

56) crankyanddifficult asked:
Given the recent controversy surrounding France’s position on genetically modified crops, do you anticipate trouble for you, or other members of the Corn family, in getting a French visa?
Answer: We have discussed this and are considering filing a petition with the WTO.

57) slashBored asked:
Did you coordinate the release of the video with the Obama campaign? What made you decide that now is the best time to release it?
Answer: No. We put this video out as fast as we could authenticate it and prepare the video clips and articles. The Obama campaign did not know anything about this–as far as I know–until it was posted.

58) relax_live_longer asked:
Are the people in the ‘liberal’ media and ‘conservative’ media really that liberal and conservative, or are they playing it up for their respective audiences? How much of the narrative do these reporters really believe?
Answer: I don’t write or say anything I don’t believe. I can’t speak for others.

59) ItsMissToYou asked:
How do you feel about journalistic purists who do not vote? Is it being unbiased or throwing away their civic duty? Has this notion become antiquated?
Answer: Yes, it has.

60) remember_breitbart asked:
Hi David,
Regarding the Romney fundraiser video: How did your source notice that the camera had turned off if it was hidden, and how did they put the hidden camera back in the exact same spot and focal orientation after turning it back on, without inadvertently recording their arm/hand/etc. in the process?
Do you think that the above circumstances, coupled with the timing in the break of the video (i.e. less than 30 seconds after the 47% comment), raise the possibility that you were actually given edited footage?
Thanks for doing this AMA.
Answer: I have no reason not to believe my source. But I’d like to know what people think might be in that missing time that would change what Romney said up to then: “By the way, did you know that today is opposite day?”

61) Boonpatrol asked:
Has being Canadaian positively or negatively affected the way you are perceived as a journalist of the American political system?
Answer: I am not Canadian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

62) Rcrower1 asked:
David, to me, the remaining elephant in the dems closet is that the repubs in congress likely will continue to obstruct everything even after an Obama re-election, and that Obama has not shown an ability to overcome this obstacle. While it may be unseemly for the repubs to make this argument, given it’s premise, they will get around to it as they run out of other avenues and become more desperate. What’s our/obama’s response? I don’t think it’s enuff to say that they couldn’t possibly do that for four more years, because they could, and I think would.
Answer: I think it would be too unseemly. But I do think they have room to argue in a more generic way that Obama has not been effective and has not gotten enough done in Washington. Which is what Romney said yesterday.

63) uglypeoplesex asked:
You are a national hero. Thank you for your service to my beloved country.
Answer: Thank the source.

64) ProfessorDerpenstein asked:
Do you ever feel inclined to strive for a more objective and unbiased source for information?
Callipygian added: you mean, other than mitt romney in his own words?
Answer: Couldn’t have said it better. Thanks.

65) hillsfar asked:
This would probably date me, but I’ve had a Mother Jones subscription since back in the early 1990s or thereabouts. And one article I remember was how American workers who made military uniforms worked in sweatshop conditions for very low pay. Mother Jones has a LONG history of honorable muckraking journalism – longer than I’ve been alive – and I’m so glad to see that it continues to be a leader in fearless, independent investigative journalism. Everyone with a little extra dough should support them by buying a subscription or donating.
Answer: Couldn’t have said it better:

66) That-Wasnt-Funny asked:
Hey Dave,
I have no idea what’s going on. But I live in Mt. Olive, IL, where the Mother Jones Monument is! 😀
Answer: Send a pic.

67) hobartlg asked:
Why did your mysterious source try and impersonate Rachel Maddow when he or she originally released the video on YouTube?
Answer: I don’t know. I think s/he was trying to call attention to the short clip he was circulating. S/he has apologized to Rachel–via me–and Rachel has accepted.

68) rand0mguy1 asked:
After you published the video did Obama call you to congratulate you or something like that?
Answer: We played hoops together–and he let me win–and then I got to pilot Air Force One. Pretty cool…..(Rush, that was a joke.) No, he didn’t call. He knows better.

69) lacedaimon asked:
What are your thoughts on the “spin” that FOX (for example) have tried to using, in saying that the leaked video is actually beneficial to Romney?
Answer: I am sure that’s what Romney thinks.

70) Francie57 asked:
David, Which 5 people would you have at a perfect dinner party?
Answer: Jesus. Einstein, Hitler, Lincoln, and Jane Lynch

71) mama_says asked:
if you could be a scientist, what field would you study or do research in?
Answer: Cosmology.

72) Kishara asked:
I just wanted to Thank You David Corn.
Do you think that there should be new laws about the way FOX News is conducting itself?
Answer: I think Miss Manners would be sufficient.

73) samwicheses asked:
Are you afraid that within one or two generations, sufficient technology will be available to convincingly fabricate video and audio recordings of any person saying anything in any place?
Answer: That’s interesting. We may come to a time when any representation of reality is suspect. What will we do then? I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping my hologram will be able to sort it out.

74) SpanInquis asked:
I have this vague recollection of you with a pony tail, some years back. Is my memory as bad as I think it is?
Answer: No comment.

75) Awesome_BaconTaco asked:
Do you like pickles?
Answer: Yes. Even fried.

76) truthispower asked:
Great job in the Kudlow interview he was tongue tied and was unable to repudiate the truth. Did he call you to set up the interview? If so what was his rational?
Answer: Ratings?

77) anonymau5 asked:
How do you feel about the song “Mister Jones and Me”?
Answer: Segues well into “Afternoon Delight.”

78) glassesorcontacts asked:
Hi David, any tips for people like myself who want to be investigative journalists?
Answer: I’ve gotten so many Qs about jobs and entering journalism. It’s very tough now. Lots of opportunities because of new media, but the overall industry is still shaky. All I can say is be on top of all the new media mechanisms–try to catch the next new thing–while developing old-fashioned journalistic chops: writing, editing, reporting and embracing the traditional values of the profession: accuracy and exposure. I say the killer app is news: telling people stuff they don’t know but feel they need to. It’s tough out there, but with life becoming faster and more complex, there’s more need than ever for journalism that explains and enlightens (and entertains, on occasion). If you see me on the street, stop me for more concrete pointers, but these days there are few obvious paths……That’s it for me. It’s been great doing this. I have to go look at those Romney tax records being released now. Please visit motherjones.com daily, where we are always posting kick-ass journalism. Follow me on twitter: @davidcorndc. And consider grabbing the paperback edition of SHOWDOWN. (It’s also an e-book.) Thanks for visiting. Hope I get to do this again.


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Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

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