Forensic Analyst Suggests Interview on “The Mo’ Kelly” Show Was Altered; Incident Fueled Media Frenzy from Alleged Racially Inflammatory Hoax

phone interview between national radio host Mo Kelly and widely known political consultant Roger Stone
A phone interview between national radio host Mo Kelly and widely known political consultant Roger Stone received a frenzy of media attention in July after a radio clip which four audio analysts, one publicly, suggests was altered to portray Stone referring to Kelly as a “negro.”

NEW YORK, NY – “I think Mo’ Kelly believed he would get away with it, but I wouldn’t let him,” Roger Stone stated in a recent telephone interview conducted from my NY office to Stone’s Florida home. Stone, a best-selling author and Republican political consultant and advisor who over the past 45 years has worked in key positions in the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, was referring to what turned out to be his controversial appearance on Kelly’s radio show back on July 16th

Kelly, a Black radio talk-show host whose award winning “The Mo’ Kelly” show airs every weekend on a major Southern California radio station, had during a scheduled interview questioned Stone about his conviction in November, 2019 of witness tampering and lying to investigators while testifying before Congress during the Mueller Russian election collusion investigation; in addition, Kelly asked Stone about President Trump’s commutation of the judge’s sentence, which, had it been carried out, would have placed the 67 year old, physically ailing Stone in prison for 40 months. 

Recalling that portion of the 60- minute pre-recorded interview, Stone told me, “Those were fair questions, and I welcomed the opportunity to answer them. I explained to Kelly that I had been one of many victims of Mueller’s  witch hunt. I noted that Mueller’s investigators could not find any evidence to support their claim of any wrongdoing on my part, so instead I was charged with lying while answering groundless questions during a baseless investigation that was solely created and designed to destroy President Trump.

 “I also explained to Kelly,” Stone continued, “that the forewoman of the jury that convicted me is a member of the ‘resistance’ to Trump movement.” Stone, who suffers from chronic asthma and other respiratory illnesses added, “With my deteriorating health and the strong possibility of catching the coronavirus in prison, my totally unfair conviction would have amounted to a death sentence. So, as I further explained to Kelly, the President’s commutation of my sentence was based upon fairness, justice and compassion.”         

That explanation, as Stone and I discussed, did not impress Kelly, who was recorded as responding, “There are thousands of people treated unfairly every day. How your number just happened to come up in the lottery. I’m guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?”  

It was at that point that what was later to be proven to be the ugly, racially charged hoax began. Following a short pause in the broadcast, someone, putatively Stone, was heard saying, “I don’t really feel like arguing with this Negro.” As if reading from a prepared script, Kelly responded, “I’m sorry what was that. Roger? Roger? I’m sorry, what did you say? I’m sorry, you’re arguing with whom? I thought we were just having a spirited conversation. What happened?’’         

The interview, which was broadcast on Saturday, July 18th, 2 days after its taping, quickly captured the attention of “journalists” in the national mainstream media, who portrayed Stone as a racist villain and lionized Kelly as an anti-bigot hero. Further fueling the media’s frenzy, Mo’ Kelly later tweeted about Stone, “I’m nobody’s Negro,’’ adding that Stone had used the “low-calorie version of the N-word…[Stone} didn’t see me as a journalist, not as a professional not a radio host…but a ‘Negro’ first and foremost.”     

But Kelly and his media allies had a surprise coming their way. To their probable chagrin, Stone was soon to provide scientific evidence proving that he never uttered the racist statement attributed to him, but rather had been the victim of an ugly ruse set-up by Kelly himself.     

As Stone recalled to me, “The moment I heard the recording I realized that sentence [where he had allegedly used the word “Negro”] during the interview had been doctored. So, I had my lawyers take the audio to 4 different sound engineers for forensic analysis. All 4 found beyond any doubt that I had never uttered the word ‘Negro’ or, in fact, never made any racial slur of any kind.”   

But even with that unanimous finding, Stone was to encounter another problem. “Because of their fear of retaliation from Black Lives Matter and other extremist groups, 3 of those 4 sound engineers became unwilling to publicly confirm their findings,” Stone bemoaned.              

Fortunately for Stone, one of the 4, Eric Tausch, a well-known sound engineer specialist who has worked in the film and television industry for 30 years, was unafraid to issue the report of his own forensic analysis. Tausch’s report contained such conclusive findings as,

We conducted an examination of the audio and that is where the podcast host’s story began to fall apart. Using spectral analysis software, I have determined that the segments of the doctored clip clearly exhibit fluctuations in the ambient noise floor where the recorded voice has been altered.

Further evidence of the insertion is the drop in the volume level of Stone’s voice. We analyzed the audio sample by scoping the data. The level of Stone’s voice throughout the entire interview is consistent. Only in the contested segment is there an appreciable drop in the audio level of Stone’s voice. Even the authenticity of the inserted section is questionable. When slowing the speed it appears the entire segment was computer generated where words were taken from other audio sources of Stone’s voice. This technique is often used in spoof videos and is, in fact quite common.

It is my understanding that other sound engineers have conducted their own analysis of the audio tape and reached the same conclusions I have but have been unwilling to publicly certify their findings because of the controversial nature of those involved in this dispute. We at Editech stand behind our findings in this analysis.

Stone told me he possesses a great deal of respect and appreciation for Tausch for having the courage to release that report. “Tausch refused to allow the leftist mob to intimidate him. For that he has earned my respect and gratitude,” he stated. 

Still, even after Kelly’s hoax was exposed by Tausch, Stone, whose record of fighting for civil-rights for African Americans goes back more than 4 decades, said that it was painful and unfair to be accused of being a racist. Pointing to his past support of African American causes, Stone stated,

“Together with Congressman Kemp and New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, I worked to help make Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday a federal holiday… I have been a strong supporter of Federal Affirmative Action Programs… I fought for the extension of the Voting Rights Act and criticized President Reagan when he opposed it… and I have been a vocal critic of the federal war on drugs, because I believe it is racist… So to be attacked as a racist by Mo’ Kelly was extremely unfair and hurtful.”

Adding sardonically that he hopes that Kelly has learned a lesson from the entire experience, Stone stated, “Now that Kelly realizes that his hoax has been exposed to the nation and also realizes that his portrayal of me as being a racist has been debunked, I assume he has learned the lesson that the bigger the lie you tell, the bigger are the chances that you will be caught.”

It is a lesson, I believe, that might take Mo’ Kelly a long time to forget. 

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