Many have heard about Private Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and, of course, Wikileaks, but what makes Scott Prouty different was he was never trying to be the story. There are several lessons whistle blowers can take notes on as far as how to be a good whistle blower. The range of views on Bradley Manning vary from traitor to hero. There seems to be no middle ground because of the way he handled himself and how the information was acquired. How Private Manning is judged already contrasts sharply with Scott Prouty. The release of what is now famously called, “the 47 percent” video was credited for changing the potential outcome of the 2012 presidential election.
The first thing Scott Prouty did, he thought about it for two weeks. This was not an impulsive decision. Scott Prouty was risking his livelihood, since he was living from paycheck to paycheck as a bartender, and, like most struggling Americans, was uninsured and trying to earn a living. He didn't act right away and knew he was taking a great risk. He was college educated with aspirations of going to law school, but because of the expense, fate seemed to have him be there to record a moment of history that was never meant to be seen by the public. After calling himself a coward, Scott Prouty decided his video needed to go public, but he also wanted to do this in a way that didn't bring attention to himself, saying, “I wasn't the story.”
This is where Scott Prouty was successful. He didn't talk about it with others, kept it to himself and let the conversation start and end with the American people using social media and YouTube to disseminate the video. The problem when other whistle blowers have gone public, often it becomes about the whistle blower and not about the information that is released.
The second critical step that Scott Prouty did that enhanced his credibility was he researched the material that concerned him. What might surprise the public the most what that according to the interview on the Ed Show, what fueled his decision to go pubic were the remarks made by Mitt Romney about a factory tour in China that seared his conscience. His research led to an article, written by David Corn of Mother Jones that validated what Mitt Romney had shared at the event.
The final step that Scott Prouty took was to approach the media, not through peppering them with a massive press release, but finding a journalist who had credibility that he respected. He established a relationship with the intern, James Carter IV, leading to a dialogue with David Corn that ensured his objective was met. The information reached the public and he was able to stay out of public view.
So the big question was why did he come out to tell his story now? Well, as David Corn of Mother Jones states, "It's his story."