Scott Prouty is the young man who took a camera to a Mitt Romney fundraiser hoping just to get a picture with the candidate and came away with the video that rocked the 2012 campaign — the infamous 47% remarks.
On The Ed Show this evening he explained that the video lay in a drawer for two weeks while he debated what to do with it. History will remember he decided to distribute it. He felt that people who could not afford to attend such $50,000-a-plate dinners (that was the price he cited) were just as entitled to know what a candidate really thought as those in attendance.
He chose not to reveal himself because he wanted the focus to stay on Mitt Romney and his remarks. An astute move. But it was not the 47% statement that motivated him, Prouty said. It was Romney’s remarks about the conditions at a factory in China that he had purchased and to which former American jobs would be exported.
So why is Prouty revealing himself now? Because Romney has reappeared in public, saying things not unlike he said during his campaign, and because he will be appearing at CPAC 2013 (Conservative Political Action Committee) to continue those utterances. Schultz made it clear that he does not pay his guests for interviews and Prouty himself said he’d rejected previous offers of payment for interviews.
Prouty described himself as middle class and a registered independent who usually votes Democratic. Rachel Maddow, on her show immediately following Schultz’s, said Prouty is college-educated, and that seemed evident as he spoke. He said he hopes to work with some of the people who have been advising him since the release of the video; he is well aware that there may still be recriminations for his actions but convinced that he did what he had to do. Perhaps he should consider running for office.
We owe Scott Prouty a great deal, not because he was some sneaky political operative who set out to expose a presidential candidate, but because he was a principled young man who came by something quite by accident, recognized its importance, and felt morally compelled to release it. He circulated the video without comment so people could make their own decisions about what it meant.
It is refreshing and reassuring to learn there are still citizens like Scott Prouty, ordinary Americans of ordinary means, who can and will stand up to the rich and powerful and show them they are still accountable to all Americans. One principled man can and did make a difference.
Thank you, Scott Prouty.
Update, March 14: Prouty announced today he will accept a position with the United Steelworkers.
- Bartender Scott Prouty reveals himself as the man who shot the Romney ’47 percent’ video – @washingtonpost (washingtonpost.com)
- The Mystery Man Who Taped Mitt Romney’s ’47 Percent’ Comments Has Finally Been Revealed (businessinsider.com)
- Meet Scott Prouty, the 47 Percent Video Source (motherjones.com)
- Scott Prouty, ’47 Percent’ Filmmaker, Is Not a Democrat (theatlanticwire.com)
- Romney ’47 percent’ videotaper reveals identity in appearance on MSNBC’s ‘The … – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)
- Man who took Romney “47 percent” video reveals himself – Reuters (reuters.com)