Vanity undermines the McConnell recording’s impact (UPDATE)

Last month, Scott Prouty, the bartender who filmed Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” speech at a private fundraiser full of high-rollers, finally revealed himself after six months and told his story.

As you can see below in his interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, Prouty stressed why it was not only important that he not go public with his name as the recorder of the video, but that he not even tell his closest family and friends, lest he risk his identity being revealed. By staying out of the spotlight, Prouty kept the entire focus on Romney’s reprehensible words and not on himself.

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In stark contrast to Prouty, let’s look at way the Keystone PAC of Progress Kentucky handled their recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign advisers laughing at the opportunity to attack Ashley Judd because of her history of depression and suicidal thoughts as a 12-year-old.

While it’s not yet clear whether one or both of the Progress Kentucky Wonder Twins broke the law by recording the conversation through a door in the hallway, let’s just hypothetically say that they avoid any prosecution. Now let’s also hypothetically say that instead of allegedly bragging to “at least 20 people” about recording McConnell’s meeting, they had managed to keep their vanity and ego in check by taking the Prouty approach, sending the tape to David Corn at Mother Jones and not telling anyone else about it.

If they had taken this course of action, McConnell’s campaign surely would have cried foul and blamed their enemies (“The Left”) of “wiretapping” and “bugging,” but without any evidence to back this up, the majority of the media’s focus would have been on the actual words on the tape, including the admission that the campaign was using federal employees to do its opposition research on Judd. Instead, the focus has been on the FBI zeroing in on Progress Kentucky, gay escorts, blackmail, a general “Democrats in disarray” narrative, and drama drama drama.

But Progress Kentucky didn’t take the Prouty approach, because they were too busy bragging about how clever they were to actually care about what real effect their tape would have on McConnell. Which, if you’ve been following the group since January, is pretty much par for the course with them.

**** UPDATE ****

If you think I’m being hard on Progress Kentucky, check out Rep. John Yarmuth from the end of his appearance on MSNBC this weekend:

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  1. Steve Magruder
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Ummm, nobody’s perfect. (alternatively, “hardly anyone is like Prouty”)

    There’s only so much room on a narrow pedestal.

    If we look instead at the motivation for the recording, I would guess they saw themselves as investigative reporters catching a big story about potential illegalities involved in the McConnell meeting.

    I’ll put those motivations on a pedestal. It takes guts to do this and be open about it.

    On the other hand, there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity. We’ll eventually see how this all turns out.

  2. adam gibson
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    It is too bad their attention-starved mouths couldn’t stay shut about it because it was a potentially damaging piece of audio that’s serving no purpose for D’s now.

    However, I do find it hilarious that Conway’s mouth running led to some embarrassing and public karma. Especially given that those two would have been outted as the source of the tape anyway eventually given their extremely careless handling of the situation.

    My question is why the KDP is so weak that they’re allowing amateurs to control their message? Is there an antidote to PK and when will it show up?

  3. GiantsCauseway
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I agree Adam. Paul & Mc Connell keep handing the KDP pure gold. Where is the daily press release screaming Dummy ! Dummy ! Dummy !
    Silence from the KDP, nature abhors a vacuum.
    Progress Kentucky may have botched it but so far the KDP has done nothing but run an attractive candidate out of the race against Mc Connell.
    Who’s the amateurs here?

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