..nope..this is not working. I need another hit of Single Malt. Be right back..
..there, that's better. Dispensing with the blather, here's the deal: Tim, the Left Coast Rebel, sent message to the close-to-immortal Jim Geraghty:
My name is Tim and I'm the guy behind the curtain at the Left Coast Rebel blog. I have a couple of quick requests for you. First off, could you provide me with a quick blurb on what you think of the Left Coast Rebel? I will then quote you as a reader in my sidebar - should send traffic your way too then. Second, and if I may be so bold - would you be willing to give any advice out for 'breaking in' to NRO? My partner and I at LCR have done well with American Thinker and the Daily Caller and are looking to branch out beyond that. Any help is appreciated.
Take care (in Turkey?),
And, after a few milliseconds, got this response:
"When compiling sharp conservative thoughts and takes for my Morning Jolt newsletter late at night and early in the morning, I find myself coming back to Left Coast Rebel again and again."
I began as a freelancer by finding a story that NRO should have covered but hadn't yet -- in that case, Sen. Bob Torricelli's troubled 2002 reelection bid. This is the toughest bar to clear, but once you can do this, the rest is (relatively) easy, find a good compelling political story and tell it to a readership that is smart, voracious, and eager to be up-to-speed on everything happening in political world. The market for good political reporting, bringing news and new information to readers, is much deeper than the market for commentary. I'd say the doors open quicker if you're writing news of interest to conservatives than a conservative's take on the news.
Send the article, but give a quick, one paragraph query at the top, let the editors know you've written before for other publications... and good luck!
This is so cool!
First of all, to LCR I say congratulations! That's a pat on the back for (1) getting Jim to respond and -- especially -- (2) having the cajones to actually ask him for advice and for his recommendation. I am dead serious about the second point. The rest of us (well, me, really) -- for all of the bravado and vitriol we spew at the political nightmare that surrounds us -- are flouncing nancies, hiding and cowering. We never take the necessary steps discovering what it takes to just "get 'er done".
I told Tim that Jim's advice was pure gold and his answer dead on as well. If Tim can hack the grade doing what was advised (and he can) then he will rise very high in this "business". Basically it's the difference between being a journalist and being a blatherer like me. The guys in the upper ether (Jim Geraghty, Morrissey, Carlson, et al) will beat a path to whatever you post wherever you post it because they will be delivered of facts and not persiflage.
Tim will be good at this because he is a writer of facts; he digs up a story, reports it, and doesn't dress it up in (too many) bows and ribbons. And, lo and behold, his site counter looks like my electric meter during a heat wave while Mrs War Planner is doing five loads of wash and drying her hair with the stereo going full blast while she bakes cookies in the electric oven.
See what I mean?
How many times do you think Ed Morrissey will check back at this site after reading that drivel? What level of interest would that metaphor generate among upper-echelon punditry? Oh yeah, another Tom Wolf wanna-be. But dig up something like the fact that Obama wears women's underwear, and you'll be shopping for a new ISP with so many server racks they'd be housed in old aircraft hangars.
By the way, interest in that story line would work for either Obama.
At first it will seem like writing incessant term papers -- the sourcing, the links, the references, and all -- but it will get easier. In fact, for Tim it probably already has. I prefer the hyper-stylistic writing because, well, it's easy for me and I don't want to do the hard work of tracking down facts. It's simple to take a few belts and cobble together an opinion. Stuff like that abounds and is dross to anyone like Geraghty. The atmosphere up there is pretty rare, but a lot of you have stamina, ability, and equipment to get to the summit.
Me? I'm always gonna be stuck down here at base camp, freezing my ass off, klakking away on an old Smith Corona about how I knew Sheeples, Odie, LCR, Lipton, and the rest of you fine folks before you all were famous.
Hey, I hate nosebleeds.
(Disclaimer: LCR consulted and e-mail used with his permission. So tell your attorney good night and put down the phone. Also, I am NOT feigning humility, fishing for praise. But, if I had a tip jar, then..)