It ain’t about that paper. It’s about me hurtin’ his people and messin’ with his world. –Omar Little
While this quote is very context specific — Omar’s explaining why he robbed Marlo Stanfield — there is an underlying point to it that I love. Namely, there are some things that a person does on principle, regardless of whether he is getting paid for it. This is a lesson that is apparently lost on the ARGOP and certain members of the party.
You see, three times in the last two weeks, I have heard a version of the rumor that I am being paid by the Arkansas Democratic Party for my blogging or for specific posts. In all three cases, the story seems to have originated either from the Arkansas GOP directly or from an unnamed Republican legislator.
I don’t know how many actually believe this to be true and how many are simply spreading it as a rumor to deflect the spotlight that I’ve put on some questionable activities. Regardless, just for the record, let me state clearly: I am not paid by the Arkansas Democratic Party or any other party or political organization.
While this rumor cracks me up on some level, if only because I find it amusing that anyone is worried enough about a blog that they would spread rumors about it, I also find it rather telling. Here’s what I mean: Assume for a second that I was being paid by the Ark Dems or George Soros or ACORN or whatever other organization you want to use. Even if that was true (it’s not), it would not make anything I’ve written here any less true or less meaningful. Or, perhaps more accurately, it wouldn’t make any of the investigative results less true except for people who realize that there is no good rebuttal to what I’ve written and who, instead, hope that maybe some pro-Democrat bias would discredit me in ways that the GOP cannot.
This is asinine: I have openly admitted my biases here from Day One. To recap, though, for those who have not been paying attention: I am liberal, even when compared to many Democrats in this state; I consider myself a Progressive first and a Democrat second, though I vote Democrat 95% of the time; the other 5%, I have voted Green Party; I am unapologetically a New Keynesian in my economic leanings; I cannot comfortably be friends with fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Tennessee Titans, the Utah Jazz, or Arsenal; I am a gun owner, and I believe the Second Amendment deserves as much deference as any of the others; I still don’t think there’s any need for any person to own a grenade launcher; I prefer vodka to scotch, the American League to the National League, summer to winter, and reading to watching television; I hate spiders; I am anti-death penalty, I am pro-choice, and I do not think these two positions are in conflict; I respect anyone, regardless of party or viewpoint, who will engage in a rational, fact-based discussion on any issue; and I do not respect anyone, regardless of party or viewpoint, who relies on talking points, misinformation, and demagoguery in a debate.
Now, even knowing all of this about me and whatever political or philosophical baggage I bring to my writing, explain how adding a hypothetical payment by the Ark Dems (or whomever) would make Princella Smith’s timesheet less troubling. Explain how it would make Rep. Ed Garner’s proposed Capital-Gains cut any less unconstitutional. Explain why it is necessary for me to be paid before I would be so offended by the goings-on of Mark Martin’s office. Heck, explain how it would undermine anything at all. (Were I the sarcastic type, I might also point out the sweet, sweet hypocrisy of the AR GOP suggesting that the Ark Dems are paying me, while there’s a paid AR GOP ad on content partner Jason Tolbert’s site, but that’s really neither here nor there.)
While I await an explanation, I also have to wonder what kind of hubris it takes to suggest that someone would only care enough to post about the law and truth and transparency if he was paid by some political organization? Is pro bono investigative reporting and pushing for real accountability so far outside the realm of possibility for the AR GOP that they honestly cannot wrap their heads around it? (I mean, I know that Fox News has sort of lowered the bar for what passes as actual journalism on the right, but come on.) Did the Republicans in this state not notice the six weeks that I was talking about bi-partisan reimbursement issues?
So, no, I am not paid for Blue Hog Report by the Democrats or by anyone else. The truth is, I do all of this — from the coding to the writing — more or less gratis. To the extent my work is for a cause, that cause is nothing more than the Truth.
Oh my, that last line sounded far more cliched than I expected. But whatever.
Now don’t get me wrong: I would love for Blue Hog Report to pay enough that I could do it full time rather than as an after-work hobby. In a perfect world, I’d tool around town, exposing corruption and unethical practices in a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe that was paid for entirely with income from Blue Hog Communications, PLLC. That would be awesome, but, with a price somewhere north of $600,000, that’s not happening any time soon that I can see. Yet, despite this lack of income from the blog, I keep at it.
If that is beyond the ARGOP’s comprehension, then so be it, I guess. I just hope they can understand that repetition does not turn a lie into the truth.