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From the diaries, by Erick
Last night, I was honored by being the 2013 recipient of the Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting. Below are the remarks I gave last night, with a few additions that were cut due to time. Nevertheless, this award was possible due to the support of the many faces I see at these conferences every year. You share a piece of this award.
A little over a year ago, I would never have imagined standing here accepting this award. This is truly humbling.
Thank you Teresa Oelke, Jillian Weleski, Tim Phillips, the executive staff at Americans for Prosperity Foundation, in fact, everyone at this organization, and Erik Telford, for all that they do to advance economic freedom. Of course, where would I be without the support and love from my family, especially my mom and dad.
What would I do without the staff of AFP-VA, especially Dave Schwartz and Annie Celotto. And very special thanks to the former media manager for this organization Stephanie Fontenot — without your help and support, I wouldn’t be here accepting this award.
To Melissa Clouthier, Tabitha Hale, Joe Schoffstall, Stephen Gutowski, Jon Gabriel, Larry O’Connor, Dianna Peterson, Erin Haust, Monique Morton, Stephen Green, Stephen Kruiser, Sarah Rumpf, April Gregory, Misfit Politics, Brandon Morse, John Brodigan, Fingers Malloy, Jordan Bosstick, Maggie Thurber, Laura Gatz, Andrew Lawton, Ali Akbar, Robert Stacy McCain, Jim Hoft, Dana Loesch, Chris Loesch, Ben Howe, Breeanne Howe, Donlyn Turnball, Javier Manjarres (THE Shark Tank), Kristina Ribali, Kira Davis, Jack Nischik, Katie Pavlich, Jeff Reynolds, Glenn Reynolds, Bryan Preston, Ruth Vine, and everyone who attends these events regularly – you’ve been mentors to me and your support in this fight (through your work, tips, etc.) is truly appreciated.
Also, I’ve had the privilege of working with Media Research Center over the past year in fighting the left’s biggest ally: the media. So, thank you Brent Bozell, Tim Graham, Rich Noyes, Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Ken Shepherd, Matt Hadro, Matt Balan, and everyone at the News Analysis Division within the MRC. The education you gave me has made me a better blogger and more effective in conveying a message to conservative audiences.
Another special thank you goes to Ed Morrissey Of Hot Air and John Hawkins of Right Wing News, who allowed me to blog on their sites and publish material related to the pro-economic freedom agenda advocated by the AFP Foundation.
I never thought of becoming a blogger, but that changed when I was laid off two years ago. To stay engaged in politics, I decided to keep busy by writing, and did so while reading a copy of Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation. That was it. I had caught the bug.
As Jon Fleischman, who is doing incredible work in Commiefornia – and who received this award last year said – keep fighting, keep fighting, and keep fighting. This should be the call the arms to every online activist out there.
For those of you on the fence, questioning if you should blog, or get involved, DO IT! We want your help. We could always use reinforcements as we combat this hyper-regulatory progressive state that’s emerged over the past five years. I’m sick of it, I know you’re sick of it, and we want more people, not less, involved with our struggle.
Sadly, I never had the chance to meet Andrew Breitbart, so I don’t have a nice anecdote about his vibrant personality – or his passion – but if he were here, I would thank him for being an influence in my life and work, as I’m sure he is in every freedom fighter at this conference.
So, thanks again AFP Foundation for this honor, but tomorrow is a new day in the fight economic liberty – and I’ll be right there with all of you in waging that war. Let’s have some fun.
* This post has been updated.