Man Behind “47 Percent” Video Opens His Own Research Firm

BuzzFeed

Jimmy Carter’s grandson turns his big scoop into a career. He’s already taken down another Republican with a hidden-camera video.

The freelance researcher who became a minor campaign celebrity after unearthing the now-infamous video of Mitt Romney railing against 47 percent of Americans at a private fundraiser has used his political fame to start his own opposition research firm.

When the researcher, James Carter IV, first saw the secretly recorded footage of Romney in August, he immediately identified it as a bombshell, and sent it to David Corn, a Mother Jones reporter with whom he had worked in the past. When the magazine published the scoop — headline: SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters” — Corn received a solo byline, with Carter getting a modest mention at the foot of the post: “Research assistance: James Carter.”

Corn would later turn what his magazine called “the scoop of the decade” into a HarperCollins e-book, which he titled, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video That Rocked the 2012 Election. Carter is thanked in the acknowledgements for “his diligent pursuit of the source for the Romney fundraising video and for introducing the two of us,” writes Corn. “It was a consequential hook-up.”

It was, in fact, Carter who found the video, researched Romney fundraisers, identified the likely location and date of the one featured in the video, and convinced the source of the footage through a series of Twitter direct messages to hand it over to Corn.

“[Corn] got a lot of the credit for it, and that’s fine — that’s the way it had always worked,” Carter told BuzzFeed, adding, “I was perfectly fine with it. I’m the research guy, and he was the reporter and publicist.”

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