When the e-mail arrived from Mike Street congratulating me on winning the coveted Associated Content “Content Producer of the Year” award I think went into a state of shock from which I still haven’t recovered. To be perfectly honest I didn’t think I had a chance of winning because I felt that I was a bit too controversial for the editors to take a chance on giving an award to when there are so many other less controversial CPs just as deserving. I even made a joke in the forum that one of the reasons I wanted to win was because I knew how much it would cheese off a certain vocal faction of content providers. Obviously, I’m hardly the only CP who has ever written an article that drew outrage, nor am I alone in being the target of the infamous downrating cabal. And I imagine almost all of us have received hateful comments.
Obviously, the lesson I must take from this award is that I haven’t been offensive enough!
Seriously, I want to thank every editor who has been at AssociatedContent during my tenure as a content producer. Each and every person that I have had contact with here has been helpful, patient and supportive beyond belief. It is not traveling into the territory of hyperbole to admit that without Associated Content I could not now be realizing my dream of actually making a living as a freelance writer. The use of AC as a live portfolio has resulted in my being approached with offers of work from faceless individuals to famous corporations. None of that could have happened without Associated Content.
There will be some who will try to convince you to hide your work with AC in the shadows; they will try to tell you that publishing here isn’t “respectable” or is looked down upon by “real” media companies that you might want to work for one day. Yes, these are the same respectable companies that consider a nightly recap of American Idol to be worthy of three minutes on your local newscasts. These are the same respectable companies that hire people like Glen Beck and Joe Scarborough. These are the same respectable companies that eschew stories of international interest like the genocide in Darfur for unending 24 hour a day coverage of local stories like Scott Peterson and Natalee Holloway. These are the same respectable companies that gave George W. Bush a free ride for five years until his approval ratings got low enough for their testicles to drop from their abdomen, allowing them to assign one reporter each to actually publicly criticize our most famous civil servant. Associated Content is not respectable? If that’s so, then what on earth does that make Fox News? I would rather write for Associated Content, where every single viewpoint is allowed-no, encouraged-than write for any of the so-called respectable media outlets that determine space or air time solely on the basis of circulation numbers or ratings.
I don’t necessarily think I was fortunate enough to win this award because my writing is so spectacularly better than others. Anyone wanting to criticize the level of writing on this site needs to take at the writing of people like M.M. Lyons, Jeff Musall, Greg Reeson, Jason Cangialosi, Brian Rice and the Barefoot! And many, many more who I’ve left out. I want to share this award not only with those with whom I agree, but also with people like Daniel Doyle who couldn’t disagree with me more. But it is Associated Content and not CNN or USA Today that gives people with our distinctly diverse viewpoints an outlet.
If you want to find out what is going on in Paris Hilton’s world today, by all means turn on MSNBC and Joe Scarborough will give you every last detail, all the while bemoaning the influence of Hollywood on America. If, on the other hand, you want to find out about a woman who died by drinking too much water in a radio contest, you’ll find it here first. If you want to hear Nancy Grace driving a woman to commit suicide because she thinks she’s still in the courtroom, turn on CNN; if you want to find out how to fix your motorbike yourself so you can save money, better come to Associated Content. If your thing is finding how who is the bigger anus, Rosie O’Donnell or Donald Trump, then tune in to The View, or Good Morning America, or the Today Show, or The Tonight Show or read The Washington Times or the Chicago Tribune; if you’d prefer to know what the Smoke Free Arizona Act entails I’m afraid those respectable media outlets will be of no help, you’d better come to Associated Content.
I not only have no intention of hiding the fact that I write for Associated Content and won the Producer of the Year award, I’ll shout it out to the heavens. Don’t believe me? Check out the home page on my web site. I think the real reason I was honored with this award is because I represent the real spirit of Associated Content. Goodness knows, the quality of my writing varies; some of it I’m incredibly proud of and some not so much. Regardless of the actual quality, however, I consistently produce content. I don’t think there is a single category on Associated Content that I haven’t published at least one article under. I think this award was bestowed upon me as a reward for being not only prolific in the number of articles I have written, but in the subject matter.
Whatever the reason I was granted the inestimable honor of being AC’s inaugural Content Producer of the Year, I humbly thank everyone at Associated Content and everyone who has ever read anything I have written. I must also make special mention of Beth Allen who was the only CP to volunteer to interview me, so her masochism must be rewarded with a mention.
And, of course, none of this would have been possible without the extraordinary patience and support of my children and my beautiful, smart wife. You have no idea how much more prolific I could be if only she wasn’t so damn sexy!