Liberal activists here at the annual Netroots Nation conference, a gathering of left-wing activists, have officially accepted the tactics of conservative muckraker James O’Keefe.
Sure, they might not outright admit that secret video, a maneuver straight out of O’Keefe’s playbook, is their new modus operandi, but these liberals openly celebrated stealth recording at a Thursday night panel.
Netroots organizers invited James Carter IV, former president Jimmy Carter’s grandson and the man responsible for releasing the now-famous Romney “47 percent” video, to talk about how he operates.
That video, in which Romney discussed at a private fundraiser how he believed 47 percent of Americans are takers wouldn’t vote for him no matter what, was taken in secret by a bartender at the shindig.
Carter, who brought the clip to light, shared his experience in taking down the Republican.
“It was fun with Mitt Romney because there was a bunch of material,” Carter explained.
The panel discussion wasn’t Carter’s coming-out party, of course. When the Romney video first circulated, Democrats — including those on the website DemocraticUnderground.com — celebrated the use of stealth video. “We may very well owe the election results to this man,” one reader commented there.
Other left-wing power players raved about video’s value in taking down Republicans.
“I just want to make sure that the opponent, whoever it is, is going to be having a bad day,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge, a Democratic research opposition firm.
To destroy the right, progressive activists told Netroots attendees to let the candidates speak for themselves. Video amplifies controversial quotes or actions, they said.
“That’s the holy grail about research if you can see them say it,” cheered Jess McIntosh, communications director for the pro-abortion group Emily’s List . “There is no doubt about what they are saying and feeling.”
And it’s not just secret video, either. Panelists said they spend hours and hours digging through YouTube clips, looking for even the smallest gaffe to turn on Republicans.
“There is so much out there, they give you so much,” said McIntosh. “What to do with it? There is a lot to work with.”
Amanda Terkel, a reporter and editor for the Huffington Post, revealed just how receptive media types can be to video clips of gaffes or controversial remarks.
“The Huffington Post can never have enough video of lawmakers saying something terrible,” Terkel said, warning that clips must be long enough to provide proper context to viewers.
Outrageous and controversial video clips will be a force for years to come, Terkel explained.
“Gotcha videos used to be in vogue when badgering candidates, now it’s use their own words against them,” she said.
Somewhere, under an overcoat and behind a dark pair of glasses, James O’Keefe is grinning from ear to ear.
Published with permission from Watchdog.org
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