Today's column has been pre-empted, so that we may bring you a major announcement. To compensate, we have linked to a funny video at the end, in an effort to hold your attention until then. So, are you sitting down? Comfortable? OK, here goes:
ChrisWeigant.com is going to the Democratic National Convention!
The kindly folks at the Democratic National Committee have generously seen their way to awarding this organization a press credential so we can get access to the interesting parts of the convention hall. There is a great danger in offering such credentials to yours truly, and this danger is that if I walk by one of those blowdried helium-brains who is our society's poor excuse for a "national news anchor," that I will not be able to restrain myself from telling them exactly what I think of their "journalism." Heh. Even now, I am restraining myself from naming names as possible candidates to receive my valuable insights as to their shortcomings.
Kidding aside, though, we see being allowed access to the Democratic Party's biggest party as a great and signal honor, and are profoundly humbled by this measure of respect which has been offered to us.
Now, you may be thinking: "Big deal, he goes to Netroots Nation and doesn't even bother to blog about it..." and you may be forgiven for thinking such errant thoughts. Make no mistake -- Netroots Nation is also a conclave of bloggers, journalists, activists, and politicians, but it is a vastly different affair than a national nominating convention. Netroots is an insular affair, and we here have always believed that few folks outside the convention hall really have all that burning a need to hear our take on what's happening inside. Not so the Democratic National Convention. This will be a truly newsworthy and historic event which we will not only get to participate in, but will also be writing as much as is humanly and technologically possible about for the benefit of you, faithful reader.
Otherwise, when you think about it, it wouldn't make much sense getting a press pass, now would it? So relax -- we will cover as much as possible and give our own slightly unique perspective on the goings-on.
We do feel honored, though, and the reason may be traced to you folks, in large part. Emphasis on the "large." Four years ago, we applied for a press pass for the 2008 convention and were turned down cold. Back then, we regularly got something like 40,000 page views a month here. Today, getting 250,000 is more normal. That is not my doing, that is all of you out there. Press credentials are given out to folks who actually reach an audience, and that audience is all of you, so pat yourselves on the back for me.
As for how big an honor this is, I have no solid figures. In 2004, there were 100 press passes awarded to bloggers -- 50 to state-level bloggers (one from each state), and 50 to national political bloggers. It was reported that they got over 1,500 entries, so it's not hard to understand why we didn't get one, with such poor odds.
But whatever the numbers this time around, we do indeed feel that a responsibility and duty has been thrust upon us, and we will strive to keep that point of view throughout the proceedings.
Which sounds awfully noble and all of that sort of thing, so allow us to let the veil slip slightly for an insight into how we really feel about things:
We're going to Charlotte! Woo hoo!
[Note: As promised, we now have an amusing video to bring you from Ireland. Currently, London (at least according to its cabbies) is devolving into Hell On Earth. The city has something like eight million people, and they're expecting four million visitors for the Olympics. I find this staggering to imagine, personally. In any case, the folks at the Irish tourism board decided to use this theme to entice Brits to flee their city and have a vacation in Ireland until the whole thing blows over. It is downright hilarious, and has now "gone viral" in Ireland. Enjoy.]
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant