Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey won CPAC 2010’s “Blogger of the year” and told the Washington Times how surprised he was when talk Radio icon Rush Limbaugh appeared through a video message introducing Mr. Morrissey. This award was given on the heels of the announcement that Salem Communications would be acquiring the Hot Air Web site (more on that later). The Hot Air blogger was notified he had won the CPAC award a week ago. CPAC Director Lisa DePasquale sent out a message on Twitter announcing Mr. Morrisey’s award thereafter, and fellow friends and bloggers gave their congratulations.:
“I had a week to think about it, and I’m thrilled to have gotten it. I think it’s pretty easy to do what I do, because I get paid very well to do it.
I think there are a lot of bloggers out there who don’t get paid or don’t make a lot of money doing it or doing it as second job, or doing it between jobs, who work really hard. That was me for a long time. That was me for three and a half years.
So I know what that’s like, and it’s tough for those guys, and I think there are a lot of really great bloggers, and I think we have a lot of them here at CPAC. It’s really special to get that now.”
CPAC kept to its tradition of surprises, and Rush Limbaugh’s video appearance to introduce and congratulate Ed Morrissey for the award was no exception. Mr. Morrissey thought he would go on stage and receive his award from Ms. Depasquale. He would then introduce GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a fellow Minnesotan.
“I was working on some notes backstage, and Lisa DePasquale says, ‘I’m just going to go up and announce your award, and we’ll bring you up on stage.’ And then she says, ‘Oh wait, we’re going to play a quick video first.’ I thought it was going to be some video for one of the many organizations or causes, so I had my eyes on the stage, and she said, ‘You should turn around and watch the video.’ So I was like, ‘Oh this is cool, it’s Rush Limbaugh. He’s addressing CPAC.’ I knew he couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict. I was like, ‘Great! Rush gets to speak to CPAC.’”
At first, Mr. Morrisey figured he would follow a major icon in the conservative movement and introduce a popular conservative congresswoman from his home state, but, to Mr. Morrissey’s shock, Mr. Limbaugh began talking about the CPAC blogger of the year award:
“So I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m following Rush Limbaugh and preceding Michele Bachmann. I won’t be noticed much.’ Then Rush starts talking about me. My jaw was hanging open. I don’t think anybody knew about it backstage. I was absolutely stunned to haveRush Limbaugh – a guy I have aspired to be put into a position of introducing — to introduce me at CPAC. It was an amazing feeling, and I started laughing, because I didn’t want to cry on stage. It was really emotional for me.”
Ed Morrissey and Rush Limbaugh first connected four years ago, when Mr. Morrissey was blogging at the Captain’s Quarters Web site and had undergone surgery for an injury.
“He intervened and made sure I knew what I was getting into when I injured my back a few years ago, but it’s part of the Captain’s Quarters thing. I get an e-mail out of the blue from Rush Limbaugh, after I wrote in the post about some of the painkillers I was taking [while recovering]. He warned me about things I should look for, because some people are naturally prone to addiction to painkillers.”
The conservative talk radio star conveyed his own experiences to help the talented conservative blogger through a time of need, and Mr. Morrisey was so grateful for the advice, the Captain’s Quarters blogger felt the world deserved to see this side of the radio host.
“This is a guy who went through a very public humiliating battle with his addiction, and to this day, is still ridiculed by his enemies over it, and it was just unbelievably vicious. I had never written to Rush Limbaugh before that. He had never written to me before that. Just out of the blue. I took his advice, and then I asked him if he would mind if I wrote about this. So, I wrote a post about it, and he wrote me a note back, and said, ‘that was the nicest thing anybody has ever written about me.’ He is a tremendously generous man, and he has a tremendously generous heart, and a lot of people don’t know that about Rush.”
Along with Mr. Limbaugh, fellow bloggers at CPAC and others lavished praised about Mr. Morrissey and his award this year:
Rep. Mike Pence (R - IN) : “Hat’s off. Ed is a pioneering voice on the blogosphere, and I offer him all of my heartfelt congratulations.”
Erick Erickson (Red State): “I think it’s awesome. Ed Morrisey is one of the guys who inspires me routinely to do a better job online.”
Meredith Jessup: (Townhall): “I’m a big fan.”Jeff Dunetz (Yid with Lid): “He is one of the few bloggers who is generous to other bloggers. He really gets the key information that you need for readers.”
Phil Kerpen (Americans For Prosperity): “I think it’s great that Ed Morrissey is Blogger of the Year. He has great insights and facts in his blogs.”