|Murphy Abigail Shuler:
the schnauzer who
inspired a blog
But we've decided to join the band of bloggers who attempt to "monetize" their online efforts. Quite a few readers have told us over the years that they would like to provide financial support for our reporting on legal and judicial corruption. My response always has been something like this: "Thank you, but I didn't start this blog with the idea of making money, and I kind of like the purity of spirit that comes with that approach. We appreciate your thoughts, but we don't have a mechanism for generating funds from the blog."
The chorus of folks wanting to help has grown to the point that we've decided to add a PayPal donation button, which now can be found in the upper left-hand corner of the blog. Purity is nice, but our work involves quite a few expenses, and we definitely could use help with those. We have a motivated, intelligent, engaged audience, and it seems quite a few readers feel strongly enough about our work to lay some money down.
Legal Schnauzer has evolved in many ways over the past six years, and this is just the latest example. We recently were ranked No. 37 in an international ranking of the top 50 independent law blogs in North America. When you consider that there probably are several hundred thousand law blogs out there, that makes a pretty powerful statement about the reach and impact of our little enterprise.
Based on my research of the top 50, as determined by the Chicago-based social media/marketing firm Cision, it appears that Legal Schnauzer is the only blog on the list with no affiliation to any law firm, university, publishing firm, or interest group. In other words, we probably are the one truly independent blog on the list--the only one that stands on its own feet, with no supporting institution behind it.
Hopefully, our new donation button will help change that, allowing us to continue providing the kind of accurate, insightful, hard-hitting justice reporting that all-too-often is missing in mainstream publications.
Are we making a difference? Just consider the past two days, and our reports on the photos of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor that showed up in the 1990s at the gay-porn supersite badpuppy.com. Pryor has been staunchly anti-gay throughout his career, and our reporting has unmasked him as a monumental hypocrite. It also raises serious questions about possible irregularities in the FBI and U.S. Senate investigative process that led to his confirmation under President George W. Bush.
The facts of the Pryor story have been out there since at least 1997, but they remained dormant and under the radar until we launched about a six-month investigation that dug them up. (Schnauzers are known for digging things up.) Leading legal blog Above the Law picked up on the story yesterday, so the public now has insight on the federal judiciary that it didn't have before.
To those of you who decide to click on the button and support us with your hard-earned funds, we say a hearty "thank you." And we say that on behalf of Murphy Abigail Shuler (1993-2004), the beloved schnauzer to whom our work is dedicated.
Please know that our mission statement remains the same: "The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice."