NPR : News

Filed Under:

A Brief History Of Secret Recordings

Secret recordings are becoming a tradition in American politics.

Like buttons, bunting and backslapping at barbecues, surreptitious audio and/or video surprises continue to pop up in political settings — with more and more frequency.

The latest is an unauthorized recording of a tough-talking strategy session held by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his 2014 re-election campaign staffers. A focal point of the covert recording — a copy of which was leaked to Mother Jones — was potential McConnell opponent Ashley Judd.

The McConnell camp says the eavesdroppers were engaged in "Watergate-era tactics" and the FBI is looking into the matter.

We here at NPR (no strangers to being secretly recorded) are also reminded of the clandestine tapings by President Nixon and a timeline of other undercover episodes. Here is a sampling.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

A Conversation With "Broad City" Co-Star Abbi Jacobson

What do Michelle Obama, Anna Wintour and Michael Jordan carry in their bags? Abbi Jacobson imagines the things you might find in her new illustrated book, "Carry This Book." We talk to the "Broad City" co-star about what you can learn from the contents of bags—and her success creating and starring in the hit Comedy Central show.


After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.

Donald Trump's Walk Of Fame Star Vandalized With A Pickaxe

Police are still investigating, but the man who identified himself as a vandal can be seen on a video destroying the star as onlookers giggle and ask for the smashed bits as souvenirs.

Google Fiber Won't Accept Any New Cities For Its Superfast Internet Network

Google says it will honor its existing commitments to support or deploy gigabit-speed Internet. But it's scaling back the work on fiber optics to focus on "new technology and deployment methods."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.