I'd much rather just do the work and get credit for that, than to spend my time composing self-glorifying profiles of myself like some kind of ambitious arriviste social-climber. However, since you're interested, here's the thumbnail bio:
- Born in Atlanta in 1959, grew up in Douglas County, Ga., graduated from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University in 1983.
- Started journalism career in April 1986 at the 6,000-circulation weekly Cobb News Chronicle in Austell, Ga., earning $4.50 an hour as a staff writer. Next worked (Dec. 1986-July 1987) as a sports editor for the Marietta, Ga.-based Neighbor Newspapers. Sports editor for the twice-weekly Calhoun (Ga.) Times, September 1987-May 1991. Transferred to News Publishing Company's flagship daily, Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune, in June 1991, where I worked for special projects/editorial page editor Pierre Rene-Noth.
- In 1996, I was awarded the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for my series of columns on the controversial National Standards for U.S. History.
- In November 1997, I was hired by The Washington Times as an assistant national editor, and subsequently became editor of the newspaper's "Culture, Etc." page.
- During my years at the Times, I developed a knack for producing feature profiles of prominent personalities. I interviewed such notable newsmakers as John Stossel, David Horowitz, Peter Jennings, Wendy Shalit, Ronald Radosh, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Tammy Bruce, Andrew Breitbart, William J. Bennett, Phyllis Chesler, Ward Connerly, Michael Savage, Roger L. Simon, Dinesh D'Souza, L. Brent Bozell III, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Cal Thomas.
- When former President Ronald Reagan died in June 2004, I was the guy assigned to write the memorial article that appeared as a special feature in The Washington Times.
- In 2006, my old friend Lynn Vincent (World Magazine) and I co-authored Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, the most complete history of its kind ever written. It was praised by David Horowitz as "irresistible," while historian Thomas Woods hailed it as "relentless and stunning." And the MSM politely ignored it.
- Since I've got a face for radio, I'm not one of those celebrity pundits whose thumbnail bio includes ". . . has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, VH-1, Home Shopping Network . . ." I've made exactly one appearance on C-SPAN2's Book TV, but I've done a ton of talk-radio, and have recently begun doing weekly spots on the G. Gordon Liddy Show.
- In January 2008, I resigned from The Washington Times. My reasons for resigning were multiple. I had been contracted to work on a book-research project that required me to travel to Africa, and it was very difficult to fit that project into my work schedule at the newspaper. Then one day, it was announced that (a) Wes Pruden would retire as editor, (b) managing editor Francis B. Coombs would resign, and (c) John Solomon would take over as executive editor of the newspaper.
People whose judgment I trust assured me that Solomon was a good guy. However, he came from The Washington Post and, as one of my co-workers remarked to me when this news was announced, "If I'd wanted to work for a Postie, I would have applied at the f---ing Post." I despise the Washington Post with every cell of my being, nearly as much as I despise the New York Times, a contempt quite sufficient to encompass every person who has ever been associated with those institutions of evil.
Also, it occurred to me that, over the next 90-120 days, Solomon would be evaluating the productivity of the newsroom staff, during a period when I'd be bogged down with the book project. So I could quit now, and leave on good terms, or risk being s---canned at some point in the future. After consulting with my wife and praying together earnestly, I decided I needed to quit or, as I said at time, "God said, 'Go.'" And I went.
- Yes, I said "praying together earnestly." Wretched reprobate though I may be, yet I know that God is merciful and gracious to those who love Him. I acknowledge Him too rarely, and disobey Him too often, and if you're looking for a Christian role model, please don't look at me. If asked to describe myself by denomination or theology, I'd say "Bible-thumping hillbilly holy roller." I'm a backslid Baptist married to a Seventh-Day Adventist, but I'm basically a hard-shell Calvinist who leans on The Word (see Romans, Chapter 8) and doesn't much care for legalism or the Theology of Niceness that has infested the evangelical movement in recent years. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Oliver Cromwell and Jonathan Edwards did not subscribe to the Theology of Niceness.
- After returning from Africa and ending my research project, in March 2008 I began blogging regularly, concentrating on the presidential campaign, which I also covered as a reporter/columnist for The American Spectator and Pajamas Media. My reporting on the Libertarian Party convention in Denver was praised by Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Kopel as "the best national coverage" of that event.
- I've recently begun writing a series of columns on love, sex and marriage for Taki's Magazine. This has raised some eyebrows among my neoconservative friends, given that Taki Theodoracopulos is known as one of those "Unpatriotic Conservatives" famously condemned by David Frum. Well, politics is politics. Many of my dearest kindred are Democrats -- including my cousin Pepper Ellis Hagebak, columnist for the LaGrange (Ga.) News -- shall I repudiate them? If Taki, who has been relentlessly smeared as an anti-Semite, is willing to pay for contributions by the man considered Most Likely to Become First Gentile Prime Minister of Israel, should not he be praised and admired for his generous tolerance of a bloodthirsty Zionist like me? As I once explained to Rod Dreher, I write for money, and when God answers prayer, a wise man ought to consider that the answer may involve a lesson.
- On Feb. 13, 2009, my cumulative traffic passed the 1-million hits milestone, which inspired the semi-humorous celebration, "How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year," the surprising popularity of which has given me a nice boost toward my second million hits. Learn it, love it, live it.
- I am one of the most accessible people on the blogosphere. E-mail me, Facebook me, Twitter me. As we used to say in college, "Hit me, beat me, get me drunk and rape me, make me write bad checks and call me Helen." I've been abused by the best, so be advised that your idiotic troll-flames are incapable of damaging a two-time "Malkin Award" nominee. You can come after me any way you want, but be advised that you're messing with the Ninja master of ad-hominem invective. And the comments are moderated, assholes.
- The "racist" smear. A long, long story that began on May 9, 2000, when I published a news feature with the headline, "Researchers Say 'Watchdogs' Exaggerate Hate Group Threat." When the smears started, my bosses decided that the best response was a non-response. The smears were thus elaborated year after year on the Internet, errors compounding on lies with additions of libels and distortions, like a metastasizing cancer.
Had I been permitted to respond initially in my own defense . . . well, "if" is the largest two-letter word. Trying to unravel it all at this late date would be a waste of time and energy.
Along the way, I've discovered the amazing professional value of a bad reputation. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it's better than being anonymous. The harm to my career and my reputation was more than recompensed by the acquisition of virtuous character attributed to A Man Who Has The Right Enemies -- the same parasitical assassins who attack me have also attacked inter alia Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle and other worthy souls more eminent than myself.
At this point, if it pleases anyone to think of me as a neo-Confederate white supremacist xenophobic bigoted nativist hatemonger, the accusation is too delicious to deny and if anyone wants the full explanation, they can pay me for it. (I write for money.)
- Speaking of money, it has from Day One been my thought that blogging is a capitalist enterprise. I joke a lot about my financial plight -- the ACORN protesters are trying to keep the repo man from towing my car -- but it is nonetheless not a joke that I have to earn a living for myself, my beautiful wife and our six children. So . . .
Hit the tip jar. Or buy an "Ordinary American" T-shirt. Or, when I link a book from my Amazon Associates account, buy the book and know that a small percentage of the purchase price will be paid to me as a commission. I'm a shameless tip-jar rattler, and don't mind asking for the cash. (It's For The Children!)
Once upon a time (and I was a loyal Democrat back then) I worked briefly as a DJ in a strip joint on Atlanta's Fulton Industrial Boulevard, and if things got slow, I'd announce between songs, "Guys, if you ain't tippin', the ladies ain't strippin'! So get up off your a$$, pull out some cash, get up to the stage and put something green in the lovely lady's garter!" A man can learn more about pure capitalism working in a strip joint than he'll ever learn at Harvard Business School.
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Who Is Frequent Commenter Smitty?
No one really knows the answer to this question. Way back when this blog was nothing, Smitty started popping up regularly in the comment fields. Then one day, a man in a bowtie appeared at a Heritage Foundation event, and introduced himself as Smitty. Given permission to post as an admin, on only his second post, he did a reference to Cthulhu that earned him an Instalanche. With that kind of track record, it's probably only a matter of time before he demands a cut of the tip-jar proceeds. At which point . . . well, let's not think about that doomsday scenario, eh?