I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who over the years have visited and supported the New American Village Blog. It's been an eventful last few years of blogging and - I'm getting a little misty-eyed here - it would have been impossible for me to keep getting up at 4 am to launch into exhaustive research for yet another fresh and insightful blog post had it not been for the support and encouragement of the thousands of loyal readers who just kept coming back for more. (You know who you are!)
But now it's time to turn the page. As you surely have noticed, I've been taking a bit of a break from the day to day posting as of late, but I haven't exactly been sitting on my hands. Now that my agent has officially consummated the deal, I'm free to disclose that FOX NEWS is bringing me on board as a regular commentator in their new blogger series America, Hell Yeah! Fair and Balanced ™ set to debut this summer on FOXNEWS.com. My contract runs through November 6th, 2012 - election day - with an option year if FOX decides to continue the series. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)
What turned out to be a pretty involved process all started back in early January when FOX contacted me about trying out for this gig along with, as I found out later on, over 200 other bloggers. Turns out, the producer has been following my writing on the New American Village blog since she came across one of my very early posts from about three years back (which is about 100 in blogger years) entitled Strip Tease where I lead off with the observation that "strip malls are the pornography of real estate development."
After a winnowing out period over the next few weeks where I submitted about a dozen pithy shoot-from-the-hip mock blog posts on given topics, I made the the interview cut and FOX flew me to New York for a week where, in what I can only imagine to be an American Idol-style circus of an audition, I made the final cut along with Ed Begley, Jr. for the sustainability guy slot.
Maybe it was the adrenalin rush from being in New York, or possibly my new prescription of adderall, but I was so "on" that week. My lucky break came when they told us we had to think of a special original project that would get our topic across to the FOX audience in a unique, entertaining way. It just so happened that Sarah Palin was there taping something or other so I approached her about doing a weekly one photo /one caption dueling commentary on sustainability that I'm calling Sustain This, America!™
To my delight, she was quite enthusiastic about the idea (I don't care what you've heard about SP, she's really a lot of fun) so we grabbed a cameraman, ducked into a studio and took a few quick stills while hand writing our captions on a post-it note. Bang, bang, the technical guys there slapped a few samples together over the course of the next hour or so, and I made my pitch. The shot that blew everybody away was on the topic of conservation where her caption was "Enough Said." I don't think her impromptu pose will wind up in the series, but let me tell you, witnessing it was one of the highlights of my life. (I'm pretty sure the FCC, at least with the composition of its current board, doesn't let TV networks show full moons, at least not without a stiff fine.) Don't get any bright ideas web surfers; her handlers were pretty adamant about keeping that image under lock and key along with her crotch grab for the domestic drilling commentary with strict no-publish orders until "a time and place of her choosing."
So there I was, sitting in a room with Ed Begley, Jr. (what a stick in the mud!) where Rupert Murdoch himself had been brought in to make the the final decision. As Mr. Murdoch was going on and on about what he expected out of this project, Ed Begley all off a sudden just started shaking his head and saying "bullshit, bullshit, this is all bullshit" and he got up and stormed out of the room. Well, at that point, I was sure that Begley, the polished actor he is, was creating a big drama just for show to land the part, and it got pretty confusing as they all rushed out after him trying to convince him to stay on, even to the point of offering the spot to him right there in the hallway. But he told them to "go to hell" and left so they offered me the job.
So, starting this summer, I'll be posting regularly at FOXNEWS.com on sustainability issues. They've also got me lined up to be a regular guest (piped in from WXXV on the coast) hucking it up with Mike Huckabee on his show (I guess this means he's seriously not considering a run for the presidency), occasionally going toe to toe with Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, and chitchatting with what seems to me to be an endless cast of sexy blond anchors all trying to - as Mr. Murdoch put it - "knock this guy off of his talking points."
Note to long-time readers: Unfortunately, and my agent said I had no choice in this matter, FOX NEWS demanded that I change the name of the blog from "the New American Village" to "the New American Suburb." (Truthfully, considering the size of the compensation package, I really don't give a damn what they call it.) So come summer, please reset your bookmarks to foxnews.com/newamericansuburb and join in on all the FOXed-up fun. See you there!