A blessing or a curse?
For many bloggers who dream about breaking the big story, the point at which the day finally arrives and you get national attention may be one of the most exhilarating in an otherwise humdrum journalism career. However, as the recent case of one of my blogging friends illustrates, you can run the risk of having your most important work ignored for, in this case, a literal fluff piece.
This tale begins two years ago, when Bob caught wind of a Missouri couple who faced $3.9 million in fines from the USDA for the egregious offense of selling over $500 worth of bunnies in a calendar year. Obviously it was a good story of government run amok and it received some attention among those in the conservative news media at the time.
Eventually this story developed into a guest blog by a South Carolina magician who related three tales of overaggressive enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, and as it turns out one of those three contacted McCarty about the latest insanity from our bureaucracy regarding disaster plans for these rabbits. Once again, the story went viral and was mentioned in a number of conservative news outlets.
At first, Bob seemed to be pretty cool with this. But several days in, McCarty seems to have second thoughts:
Only one week in, I can already say it’s been a good month at BobMcCarty.com! At the same time, however, I must say things could be much better.
While I appreciate the attention this story has received, I would much prefer seeing our nation’s top bloggers, journalists and radio personalities devoting some attention to the topics I cover in the two nonfiction books I wrote during the past four years: Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. Why? Because my books deal with life-and-death issues that impact our men and women in uniform who serve in harm’s way. (All emphasis in original.)
In fact, as the original rabbit post was gaining attention, Bob was wrapping up work on Three Days in August, which came out in October, 2011. In May of this year came his second book, The Clapper Memo, and as he notes both books deal with issues impacting our military. (Bob spent several years in the Air Force as a public relations officer, so he has a military background.)
It’s obvious that Bob is worried about being typecast as the guy who does the “rabbit stories” much like an actor who’s made his career playing comedic roles always longs to play the meatier dramatic parts; meanwhile, the aspects of the actor’s roles which involve outstanding acting are overlooked.
And it’s ironic in a sense because I came to Bob’s attention as a result of my own huge day, the Rushalanche I had back in 2007. While it didn’t involve any story I broke – just being able to promote my site on Limbaugh’s show – it still ranks as my all-time best readership day to this very day. But I’d love to have that sort of audience daily for my commentary because I think it’s important to receive a daily dose of common sense with a pro-liberty, pro-prosperity message.
As it relates to Bob, all this occurred when he was more of a full-time blogger and taking the plunge of going to his own domain, just as I did a couple years earlier in starting monoblogue. Over the next couple years he provided great coverage of TEA Party events in his locality, which so happens to be the St. Louis area where relatives of mine live. So I used a lot of his video when he was being a photojournalist for the initial incarnation of my “Friday Night Videos” series, but eventually he retreated from the full-time grind to finish Three Days in August.
Yet he’s a very good e-mail promoter so I still find out about posts he thinks are interesting, and that’s how I received his recent lament. So before you pigeonhole (or is that rabbithole?) him into the same category that features the dreaded “cheezburger” cats, be aware that the guy has serious things to say.
He can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat, but you can consider buying his books.