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.
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
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.
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.
What I never expected was the pushback
from my own political side. One day in April, I turned on MSNBC and saw
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville and one of my
personal heroes, rip me a new one (reference site here http://www.alternet.org/print/media/i-secretly-recorded-mitch-mcconnell-and-now-fbi-after-me")