So I put my application letter to attend the Republican National Convention in the mail today. I thought you all might like to read it.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to formally request access to the 2012 Republican National Convention as an Independent Blogger.
I have thought long and hard about how to present myself in this letter, trying to think of the “best” way to convince you that I’m not some kind of crazy hack that is attempting to get in to the convention as a joke. In doing so, I realized that if I had to trick you into believing that I was something I am not then I wasn’t being honest about who I was or why I wanted to attend the convention.
And that’s just not me.
So here’s my pitch, with no exaggerated claims or grandiose promises, and with all of the many reasons you can probably think of not to let me in stated right up front.
I am a blogger, and I have been so for over ten years. My audience is modest, to say the least. I can probably make the legitimate claim to having around five hundred people who may actually take the time to leave my social media feeds to read my blog. While I accept donations and have affiliate links on several of my web sites, I do not make any form of significant income from my writing or my podcasts. I am, for all intents and purposes, a passionate hobbyist. I do not have a journalism degree, I do not belong to any professional writing organizations, and while I can honestly say I have been paid to blog in the past the content I was paid for was not of a political nature. When I DO write about politics, it’s usually from a very irreverent and occasionally profane angle.
Have I mentioned yet that I’m a self-identified liberal atheist and a fairly unapologetic supporter of President Obama?
With all that in mind you might be wondering why on Earth you’d let me anywhere near the convention, much less validate my presence by giving my press credentials. Well, I’ll tell you. I’ll even do so without breaking into song (Yes, that was an obscure reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail…I do that kind of thing often).
I am relatively well known in the Tampa Bay arts community, especially amongst the theater crowd. If you search for my name on any of the local newspaper web sites you’ll likely find several reviews from productions I have done. I have a respectable Klout score that, as of this writing, hovers around the 58 mark. I have several acquaintances that can make legitimate claims to a level of “celebrity” that is considerably higher than mine, and on occasion those kind folks have helped boost the signal of my content. While I personally find the entire industry that revolves around Search Engine Optimization to be fairly repulsive, I can make the honest claim to fairly well owning any sort of search that revolves around my name. My web presence is small, but is well-established.
During the recent election cycle I started an experiment where I began to live blog the Republican debates. Much to my surprise, I got a very positive reaction from my audience. I have even noted that on the occasions when I have not been able to blog during a debate I’ve actually gotten complaints from my readers. With all of this in mind, it seemed only natural for me to try and continue my coverage of the Republican primary process by seeking entrance to the convention that was taking place in my own back yard.
At this point you may be asking what is in it for the convention to grant me access. If not, let’s just pretend that you are because I’m going to put a bulleted list here anyway and it would be awkward for both of us if you didn’t really care.
- My audience is largely dominated by folks who, for the most part, wouldn’t pay attention to the convention other than to ridicule it. By giving me access to the event you’re opening up the possibility that people who normally wouldn’t care may tune in just to see what it is I’m talking about.
- I don’t answer to any kind of corporate entity or editor. I am truly Independent, and I have no bottom line to meet that may cause me to sensationalize what I’m reporting on simply to increase my advertising dollars. Heck, I don’t HAVE any advertising dollars. I’m going to be using vacation time to attend the convention, and I’ll be covering any costs I have out of my own pocket. I have considered the possibility of soliciting equipment donations, but for the most part I’m an unsupported one man operation.
- Most importantly, I am firmly convinced that the divisive, combative nature of politics today is largely a matter of perception, heavily influenced by a for-profit media industry that operates under an “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality. While I don’t believe there is an overwhelming liberal agenda in the media, I do acknowledge that they have a vested interest in doing whatever they can to increase their audience by focusing on sensationalist news. I feel passionately that the vast majority of people in politics really want to do what is best for our country, and I hate the fact that we’ve gotten to a point where simply having a different opinion on what is “best” makes someone evil. My goal in covering the convention is to show that the people there are just regular folks who think they know the direction of a clear path to prosperity for our country. Not only that, I want to give them the opportunity to convince my readers that in some cases they might actually be right. No pun intended.
With all of that being said, I have nothing further to do to convince you other than offer samples of what I have written in the past and let you decide from there. Attached to this letter you will find a transcript of a post I wrote recently about Senator Marco Rubio. I’m including that one in particular because I believe it’s an example of the kind of rational eye that I want to bring to the convention.
You may find the rest of my blog, along with my debate live blogs, at http://www.michaelcmcgreevy.com.
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/critus
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/mcmcgreevy
My Klout profile can be found here – http://klout.com/#/Critus
Whatever your ultimate decision is, I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I realize that you’ll probably be dealing with a large number of requests like mine, and I appreciate your consideration regardless of the final decision. My interactions so far with everyone on the Republican National Convention staff have been nothing but stellar, and I genuinely enjoyed interacting with your team in person during the media walk-through. I am looking forward to doing so again during the convention in August.
If you have any questions about my credentials or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email using the information provided in the header.
Michael C. McGreevy