The 47 Percent Video

03.13.13

Watch Ed Schultz Tonight!

I was supposed to be on tonight, but I got bumped to Friday--for what I admit is a very good reason. Tonight, my friend Ed has the first exclusive interview with the man who had the 47 percent tape and gave it to David Corn. I will certainly be watching and I think you should too.

The guy, who hasn't revealed his name but will do so tonight, has been giving some interviews to HuffPo and to Schultz's team for some period of time now. Apparently it was after he saw Romney in his Fox News interview earlier this month that he decided to blazes with this jerk, I'm going public.

The funny thing is that as HuffPo's Ryan Grim and Jason Cherkis relay the story today, it was Bill Clinton who played a key role here:

Clinton, it turns out, inspired the man who filmed Mitt Romney's infamous and game-changing 47 percent comments.

HuffPost has agreed to withhold the name of the surreptitious filmmaker until he breaks his silence on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Wednesday evening, followed by an appearance on HuffPost Live Thursday morning. In interviews over the last several months, he laid out his thinking before and after Romney's speech.

The man, who tended bar for a company that catered to a high-end clientele, had previously worked at a fundraiser at a home where Clinton spoke. After Clinton addressed guests, the man recalled, the former president came back to the kitchen and thanked the staff, the waiters, the bartenders, the busboys, and everyone else involved in putting the event together. He shook hands, took photos, signed autographs, and praised the meal -- all characteristic of the former president.

When the bartender learned he would be working at Romney's fundraiser, his first thought was to bring his camera, in case he had a chance to get a photo with the presidential candidate.

Romney, of course, did not speak to any of the staff, bussers or waiters. He was late to the event, and rushed out. He told his dinner guests that the event was off the record, but never bothered to repeat the admonition to the people working there.

One of them had brought along a Canon camera. He set it on the bar and hit the record button. 

The bartender said he never planned to distribute the video. But after Romney spoke, the man said he felt he had no choice.

One can so easily picture both of these things, right? Clinton could spend an hour with the help, more. Romney...well, honestly, I'm a little surprised there wasn't even a perfunctory thank you. Relatedly, when I am at a right-wing event, and I hear speaker after speaker inveigh against illegal immigrants, say, and I hear the thunderous applause and I look around at the people pouring wine and clearing tables, I always wonder what on earth they must be thinking. Thankfully, we now live in an era when they can exact their revenge.

I am worried for the guy, personally. He's going to be called all kinds of names, and worse, maybe much worse. I hope he's ready for the onslaught.