Tom Arnold, Liberal Press Are on Hunt for Elusive Trump Elevator Tape

For those of you worried that Tom Arnold has fallen by the wayside in the wake of his epic meltdown last month during his CNN interview with Poppy Harlow in which he flitted in and out (mostly out) of reality we bring you good news. Tom is now hot on the trail of the Trump Elevator Tape. The only problem is that tape seems to be even more elusive than the Holy Grail. In fact it is the Holy Grail, despite nobody knowing its contents, for liberal reporters who have given up hope that Special Counsel Robert Mueller can bring down President Donald Trump. 

The HuffPost calls it the "White Whale" in "The Hunt For ‘Every Trump Reporter’s White Whale’: The Elevator Tape":

There it was, some 1,500 words into a story published in the Daily Beast: the infamous Donald Trump elevator tape. Well, not the tape itself, but the first reference in a mainstream publication to the possible existence of a “bombshell tape of Trump in an elevator in Trump Tower.”

For months, reporters at various media outlets around the country — The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and others — had chased a videotape that may not even exist. They had talked to people in the know and people close to the know and people like Tom Arnold, the actor, who on certain days seems to be within the know.

That would be on Blue Moon days when Tom Arnold seems to be "within the know." The other days Tom seems to be chasing Unicorns at Happy Farms Rehab. And from the revelation above it sounds like he could be joined by obsessed reporters from those mainstream media outlets.

And now here was someone speeding to the front of the pack in their peculiar little derby ― a reporter named Lachlan Cartwright, a veteran of the tabloid scene. His May 28 story for the Daily Beast was broadly about the “cozy relationship” between TMZ founder Harvey Levin and Trump, and it contained a number of important little revelations.

They both breath oxygen:

But for a certain contingent of journalists who’d spent months searching for something worth publishing, all that really mattered was the formal unveiling of the tape rumor to the general public.

“The elevator tape,” tweeted Christina Wilkie, a former HuffPost reporter who now covers the White House for CNBC.com. “Every Trump reporter’s White Whale.”

Hmmm... And since Captain Ahab was obsessively insane that would definitely include the many liberal reporters who are obsessively crazed over the idea of removing Trump from office. Yes, you too, Tom Arnold:

On the particulars of the video, the Beast story is lawyerishly coy. But it’s not as if there are many hard details to be had. The rumors vary from journalist to journalist, but the common understanding is that somewhere out there, a tape might exist of Trump doing something in an elevator, though exactly where that somewhere is and what that something might be, no one in media can say. That’s because no one in media seems to have seen the tape — or is even confident it exists.

GASP! Trump did something in an elevator? IMPEACH NOW!!!

One person working outside of the traditional legal confines of the media has been more explicit. Over Thanksgiving weekend of last year, Tom Arnold used Twitter to describe the rumored contents of the tape in more detail than anyone else has before or since.

Only Tom Arnold could describe a tape that no one has seen:

Arnold had already carved out something of a niche for himself within that subsector of the internet searching for that one thing, whatever it was, that would finally take down Trump. Over the previous year, the comedian had made reference to supposed “outtakes” from “The Apprentice” that he claimed could have “changed the results of the election,” challenged “gamers” to obtain Trump’s tax returns, and proclaimed that former NBC executive Chuck LaBella had “all the dirt” on Trump.

Arnold’s tweets about the elevator tape last November created an understandable buzz on Twitter and raised more than a few questions. Chief among them: What is that guy from “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” talking about? Does it have any basis in reality? And why would Tom freakin’ Arnold, of all people, know anything about anything of national significance? Isn’t this all a bit like Cheech and Chong leading an investigation into the 18-minute gap in the Nixon tapes?

Anyhoo, the piece continued:

Arnold’s quest might seem utterly preposterous. But his initial interest in the alleged elevator tape didn’t emerge out of thin air. It developed only after numerous journalists ― “legit big” ones, as he described them to me ― reached out to him to ask about the tape. Since he had publicly discussed the alleged unseen “Apprentice” footage, some figured they might as well check if he knew something about the other supposed tapes as well, he said.

Arnold told me that a journalist would reach out and tell him what he or she knew, hoping to get information out of the comedian in return. “Then the next journalist would come along and pick up the trail,” Arnold said. Then another, and another, and another. Months passed and no story ever came out. But over time, Arnold became an unlikely authority on what other journalists knew — “I kept all their intel,” he said — and a collector of what original info he could get as well. Source and seeker alike, Arnold found himself simultaneously outside and inside the story.

That might be the funniest thing about all this. It can be expected that Tom Arnold is deep into the quest for a tape that probably doesn't exist but we also find out that many journalists have joined Arnold on that fantasy trail:

But in truth, reporters were digging around for the tape months before Arnold ever tweeted about it. One reporter, Michael Rothfeld of The Wall Street Journal, was making calls about the tape as early as June 2017, a source told HuffPost.

Later that summer, BuzzFeed reached out to TMZ to ask them about the gossip blog’s unsuccessful search for the elevator tape, making it the first outlet to do so, according to Beckerman, TMZ’s head of legal affairs. When I spoke with him, Beckerman estimated that 8-10 media outlets in total had reached out about the exact same story over the past year, a list that also included the Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, CBS News, Vanity Fair, the AP and the Daily Beast.

Arnold named names, saying Joe Palazzolo, a Journal reporter who reported intensively on Stormy Daniels, AMI and the like, also looked around for the tape, as did BuzzFeed’s Anthony Cormier and Bloomberg’s David Kocieniewski ― both Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters. Jeff Horwitz of the AP and Farrow of the New Yorker dug particularly deep as well, said Arnold.

That might be one of the few claims by Tom Arnold that actually sounds valid;  MSM reporters are also as desperate as he is to find the Trump Elevator Tape that  probably doesn't exist. 

Don't worry. Joe Palazzolo, I mean Tom Arnold, is on it and I'm Jeff Horwitz, I mean Tom Arnold.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
2016 Presidential Push to Impeach Trump Huffington Post TMZ.com Tom Arnold Donald Trump