This is more shocking than the first time around.
Curtis Morrison has just written a tell-all post for Salon.com titled, “Why I secretly recorded Mitch McConnell.”
Let’s just get to it.
Curtis comes clean in the first sentence of the first graph of the 1,000-plus-word post:
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.
(We love it … we worked with Curtis for more than a year, during which he pushed the rest of the media with his excellent reporting. Yet we were offered neither the McConnell tape nor the confessional! Oy!)
There’s more than a little pathos in the Salon post.
Curtis talks about turning on MSNBC and seeing his personal hero, 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth, “rip me a new one” for bugging McConnell.
That, and giving McConnell the moral high ground, leading to rounds of accusations Democrats and liberals were using “Nixonian” tactics to attack him.
In the post, Curtis (thank God) doesn’t claim victimhood.
Instead, he says he’s learned a lot, which we interpret to mean he won’t be continuing his career of recording people surreptitiously,
Though he says he’d do it again. And, in the post, Curtis mentions that his case is going to a grand jury.
We’re struck as always both by Curtis’ naivete and his idealism.
We get it, but we don’t get it.
In the post, Curtis talks about his motives as related to McConnell prepping for a race against his beloved 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.”
Essentially, Curtis risked breaking the law to get a recording of a discussion that happens inside every political campaign, left, right and center: “What can we use on our opponents to take them out of the race?”
Is McConnell meaner than most?
Who knows? Unless Curtis wants to tape them all, then compare, it’s Theatre of the Absurd. Worse than that … Political Theatre of the Absurd. Which already os absurd.
The most interesting element of “Why I taped Mitch” is his detailed account of events, revealing multiple people were involved including Shawn Reilly.
From the post:
The front door to the office building was unlocked, and there was no one behind the reception desk. Walking down the hall of the second floor, I recognized McConnell’s voice. He was talking about Sen. Rand Paul’s strategic use of the Tea Party in procuring his 2010 election. The voices were coming from the other side of a nearby door, which had a window. I pulled out my Flip camera and started to record.
Curtis’ frenemy Jacob Conway ended up ratting out Curtis and Shawn to WFPL reporters.
Reilly immediately went out and hired attorneys Ted Shouse and Annie O’Connell who – as attorneys do – went into the “amit nothing, deny everything and make counter charges” mode very effectively.
Shouse and O’Connell painted the escapade as entirely Curtis’ doing while outing Conway as a thief and a liar.
The kicker in all this – and there is always a kicker with Curtis Morrison – is that he’s going to become … an attorney.
My advice still stands, dude:
“You can reach more people through thoughtful and fair reporting than through activism.”