Those were the words said by Jack Paar, the original host of NBC?s ?Tonight Show,? on March 7, 1960, the first night he came back on the air after nearly a month?s absence from the show. Paar had walked off the ?Tonight Show? set during its broadcast the month before due to a disagreement with the network?s censors.
Paar?s return and those infamous words are frequently mentioned by pop culture historians as one of the most memorable moments of live television. So I dedicate my return as ?GayPatriot? to the master of comebacks and timing?..Jack Paar.
While the circumstances of my absence are different, I am sure that Mr. Paar reflected a lot during his time away just as I have while I was gone from blogging. My two postings today are intended to convey my reflections, shed some light on the circumstances I have faced during the past ten weeks. My last posting, on Good Friday ? March 25 ? was very cryptic, I know.
Because potential civil litigation claims are still outstanding against another party, I cannot get into the exact circumstances of what happened that day. Depending on the outcome, I?m not sure I will ever be able to fully recount what happened.
However, I believe that the reports filed by bloggers Christian Grantham (here, here and here), LittleGreenFootballs, Instapundit, Polipundit, NorthDallasThirty, LimeShurbet, GayOrbit, and Steve Koval at The Washington Blade Blog provide accurate enough overviews of the circumstances. Feel free to read their accounts in the days following March 25 if you are new to this site or need a refresher.
Before I forget, I want to thank all of you who supported me through your emails, personal calls and supportive comments on this blog and others. I also want to especially thank Tom Watson and Curt Renner of Watson & Renner in Washington, DC. Mr. Watson and Mr. Renner are top-notch litigators and have provided outstanding counsel to me on matters of tort law, privacy, the First Amendment and other relevant legal matters that they know a hell of a lot more about than I do or than others who claim they do. Thanks Tom & Curt. Who knows, maybe this whole matter will bring you guys more clients?
The first lesson that I learned in March and April is that if you believe in what?s right and in standing up for what you believe in, you have to decide pretty quickly what it is worth to you. I started this blog because I was upset at the shocking tactics resulting in the invasion of personal privacy and the workplace privacy of innocent Congressional staffers who were targeted solely because of their political beliefs. When I became a target of a similar attempt, I had to decide how much it is worth to stand up for myself and for my principles.
Good attorneys in DC are not cheap. To date, I have incurred significant legal fees. This is money out of my own pocket. I do not have the luxury of pulling tens-of-thousands of dollars out of my pocket and not feel financial pain. My partner John and I have had to reorder our financial priorities for the rest of this year and possibly beyond as the result of this matter.
But I felt the time had come for me to put up or shut up and that I had to make an investment in my own beliefs and in my own protection as an independent blogger. And I will continue to do what is necessary to protect my right of free speech. And, honestly, isn?t it simply delicious poetic justice to confront our liberal activist foes by using one of their own favorite tools ? the legal and court system.
I will also take whatever legal action is necessary, with no hesitation, to protect my family, my partner, my job and my safety ? all of which I believed was in jeopardy during the days following March 25 and my departure from the GayPatriot blog.
Another thing that I have learned through this ordeal is how tenuous our personal privacy is in the Internet Age. While investigating the March 25 incident, my attorneys and I discovered that confidential information about my America Online account was divulged to The Washington Blade, either directly or indirectly. I will be able to and eager to, comment on that side of the story in the coming days and weeks and will question the appropriate use of private and personal information by The Washington Blade and the news media as a whole and the accountability of news organizations in releasing that information to the public.
Finally, while the roots of this blog began to counteract the personal outing of innocent Congressional staffers, I think that those who favor these kinds of tactics have done more in the past ten weeks to discredit themselves and expose their true intentions than anything I could ever hope to do. So it is time for me to “Move On,” as they say, focus on other topics and look to the future.
And it is the future not the past of the GayPatriot blog that I am most excited about. Dan and I are excited about what we have created here and want to take this outlet to new levels. We are ecstatic to be one of the original blogs approached by Roger L. Simon, Charles Johnson, John Hawkins and others to become a part of the ?Pajamas Media? venture. I am confident there will be more to report about PJ Media in the coming weeks.
We are also actively looking at ways to improve the GP site and bring some new ideas to both the content and visual presentation. More on that in the coming weeks as well.
I have purchased a brand new Dell Inspiron laptop with wireless capability so during my many travels I?ll be able to blog during my free time from work responsibilities. I will also be doing a lot more photoblogging to try and capture what I see in our Post-9/11 America.
In addition, I?m hoping to blog from the PatriotVacation in July and I?m also hoping to blog from the Lewis & Clark Annual Meeting in Portland Oregon in August. We are in the midst of the bicentennial of the monumentous journey of these two American pioneers and my biggest regret over the past ten weeks is that I have been unable to mark some of the important milestones in the Corps of Discovery?s march into the West that happened in March to June, 1805. I hope to make up that ground very quickly in my postings in the next few days.
Thanks again to the GayPatriot readers who supported Dan and me during my absence. I look forward to continuing our relationship and thank you for making this blog a vibrant, independent, conventional wisdom-challenging marketplace of ideas.
NOON UPDATE: Welcome to any new readers coming over from The Corner @ NRO, Instapundit, PoliPundit, Jackson’s Junction… and thanks to my blogger friends there for their unwavering support of this blog!
3:00PM UPDATE: Wow…thanks for all the kind emails and comments. I can’t thank Dan enough for keeping the fort together while I’ve been away. Thanks also to readers now coming over from Powerline, HughHewitt, TimBlair, and…drum roll please… my very first Sully-lanche! Thanks Andrew.