Having spent much of the past five days “Chasing Rabbits,” I was excited to see a headline related to my work appear on the Drudge Report just after midnight (i.e., early early early Thursday morning):
“My rabbit story made Drudge!” I thought to myself upon seeing the link above as it appeared 10 headlines below a photo of the presidential limousine (a.k.a., “The Beast”). And then I clicked on the link.
It turned out that the world’s most-famous fedora-wearing blogger had not linked to my original story about the case of John and Judy Dollarhite’s nightmarish interaction with agents of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Instead, he had linked to a Yahoo! News story which was a republication of a Jonathan Strong story they had picked up from The Daily Caller. Unfortunately, the Yahoo! News story was published with my last name misspelled the way it was during its first hour of life at The Daily Caller — that is, before Strong received a phone call during which I asked him to take the “h” out of my last name.
And how did The Daily Caller’s Strong get the idea for the story? He read my story about the Nixa, Mo., couple that was facing a $90,643 USDA fine for raising rabbits when it was published May 20 at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, a site at which I am a regular contributor. Then he called me for the Dollarhites’ phone number. And I gave it to him, on the precondition that he include a link to my original story in his piece.
Am I responsible for the rabbit story coming to life? You might say that, but the first breath of life that bunny story ever breathed came from Clay Bowler at Bungalow Bill’s Conservative Wisdom. He called me May 18 with the news and asked if I would use my contacts and resources to try and make the story go viral, and I said, “Yes.” And I published my original story the next day.
Am I disappointed that Drudge didn’t link to my original story? In a way, I am. After all, a Drudge link tells the world in its own unique way, “You’ve arrived!” — unless, that is, you’re John Edwards and you made Drudge today. At the same time, however, I realize that a link on his site would probably have caused my servers to crash and, thereby, prevented people from reading any of the seven follow-up pieces I’ve published about the Dollarhite’s case.
If you’re one of those people who haven’t read them all, links to those stories appear below in chronological order (oldest to newest):
*Though not related to the Dollarhite’s case, this story involves the same kind of hare-brained enforcement of USDA regulations.
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