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'Liberal Activist' Admits to Bugging Mitch McConnell's Office

12:14 PM, May 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Writing for Salon, Curtis Morrison, a self-titled "liberal activist," admits to bugging Mitch McConnell's office. He claims to have been inspired by Julian Assange and claims, "If given another chance to record him, I’d do it again."

"Earlier this year, I secretly made an audio recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican on the planet, at his campaign headquarters in Kentucky. The released portion of the recording clocks in at less than 12 minutes, but those few minutes changed my life," writes Morrison.

I leaked the recording to Mother Jones, which published it with a transcript and analysis in April, and over the days that followed, blogs and cable news shows lit up with the revelations from that one meeting. At the time, McConnell was prepping for a race against the actress Ashley Judd — it was “the Whac-a-Mole stage of the campaign,” McConnell said smugly — and the recording captures his team in some Grade-A jackassery, including plans to use Judd’s history of depression against her.

But also up for debate was the the ethics of the audio recording itself. Here’s the latest: An assistant U.S. attorney, Brian Calhoun, telephoned my attorney yesterday, asking to meet with him next Friday as charges against me are being presented to a grand jury.

In a technology age marked by vigilante heroes like Julian Assange and Anonymous, the line between journalism and espionage has grown thin. McConnell was quick to frame himself as the victim of a crime, which was to be expected. It was the guilty repositioning of a politician who has been caught being craven.

Here's how describes himself: "I’m a liberal activist in Kentucky. I’m also a citizen journalist — at least I used to be — because I don’t subscribe to the lie that activism and journalism can be separated. Howard Zinn wrote,“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” That’s how I see it: Journalism is a moving train, and we all choose which perspectives to bring along on the ride. Needless to say, journalists tend not to like me."

And here's where he claims Julian Assange as inspiration: "It was a frustrating moment, but in truth, I’ve never doubted that making the recording was ethical. I believe in the philosophy of Julian Assange: When we open up governments, we bring in freedom. Helping the voting population better understand a political leader’s true priorities is a good thing. And hell yes, it’s ethical."

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