The 47% Videographer

On November 9, 2012, I wrote a letter of appreciation to the anonymous videographer of the infamous Mitt Romney 47% video. It said, in part:
I don't know who you are... [Y]our name isn't important to me. Your courage, however, is.

It was a brave—and straight-up punk rock—thing to do to shoot that film of Mitt Romney yukking it up with his rich funders about how awesome it would be if he were Latino and how gross it is that people think they're entitled to food. During the last presidential election, there was all sorts of laughably ironic talk of "mavericks," but it was this presidential election in which an actual maverick showed up, video camera (or phone) in hand.

It wasn't just your job you risked taking that video and making it public. You risked your personal safety, should your identity have (or ever) become widely known. You risked being sued, losing your privacy, having your name and reputation inextricably tied to that video for the rest of your life.

These are not small things.

I want to acknowledge the risks you took, and I want to say that I believe you had a huge impact on this election. ...Your video was, for many voters, the first glimpse they saw of the real Mitt Romney, and his real base.

And I want to say thank you.
Tonight, that person, who has been confirmed as the bartender at the event, will reveal himself during an interview with Ed Schultz on MSNBC's The Ed Show.
"How big a decision was it for you to release the tape and to go through all of this?" Ed asked the videographer, whose identity will be revealed on-air Wednesday.

"It was tough," he said. "And I debated for a little while, but in the end I really felt it had to be put out. I felt I owed it to the people who couldn't afford to be there themselves to hear what he really thought."

He went on to say:
"I simply wanted [Romney's] words to go out. And everybody could make a judgment based on his words and his words alone. The guy was running for the presidency and these were his core beliefs. And I think everybody can judge whether that's appropriate or not or whether they believe the same way he does. I felt an obligation to expose the things he was saying."
"Has there been any time where you feared for your life?" Ed asked.

"I was up against the most powerful, the richest people in the country and the stakes were pretty high and you never know what could happen," said the man who shot the 47% video. "There [are dangerous people] out there. You just don't know. I've certainly had threats."
I am not a praying person, but I hope that he remains safe, and that he is rightly remembered for a historically important piece of citizen journalism.

For those who have access to MSNBC, the interview will air tonight at 8pm ET.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus