Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 13:23
Today, I am launching a campaign on Open Left to support our very own David Sirota as the host for a new show on MSNBC that will follow Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. I started a Facebook group for this campaign, and you can show your support by joining that here. Do that, then email MSNBC at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you want David in that 10pm slot.
Yes, I am perfectly serious. Read more in the extended entry.
Why David Sirota for MSNBC? Four reasons:
1. David is great on TV: David appears on television about once a week, and always does a great job. You can see this for yourself by going to his website, and clicking any of the links on the left-hand column. He's forceful. He's funny. He is unabashedly left-wing and populist. He can really make conservatives angry while still offering a clear message. Television is a difficult medium to consistently perform well, but David has a proven ability to do so.
2. David is a leading anti-corporate, pro-grassroots voice: In David's two books, Hostile Takeover and The Uprising, and voluminous writing online, he has proven himself to be a leading voice against the corporate imbalance that has come to dominate our economy, and the increasing backlash against it. This is exactly the sort of voice we need on a cable news network that is, lest we forget, part of a gigantic conglomerate that sells everything from news to military grade weapon systems.
3. Don't get angry about the media, become the media: For years, left-wing complained about the sorry state of the Democratic Party. You know the complaints: too timid, too centrist, too disorganized. However, about five or six years ago, progressives began to do more than just complain about the Democratic Party, they decided to start becoming the Democratic Party. In a campaign Jerome Armstrong termed "the silent revolution," progressive grassroots campaigns sprang up around the country to run for elected positions in the Democratic Party. In several states around the country, these campaigns succeeded in transforming the local state Democratic Party. Even I jumped into the mix, becoming a local precinct captain and winning a seat on the Democratic state committee here in Pennsylvania. The apex of this effort was when Howard Dean became DNC chair.
The same principle applies to the national media. Like many people on the left, I complain about the corporate media all the time. However, rather than just complaining about the corporate media, shouldn't we be working to take it over? We have done a great job of building online progressive media, but even with the recent changes at a cable news network like MSNBC, the Republican media dominance of the last few weeks shows that we still lag behind on television. That is why it is a good thing for progressives to campaign for new cable news network time slots whenever such openings appear.
4. The more progressives campaigning for the new MSNBC show, the more likely it is that a progressive will land the show: Speaking of progressives campaigning for cable news network time slots, as many people know The Young Turks and Sam Seder are already underway for the new MSNBC time slot. As a fan of both Sam's and Cenk's, I wish them both the best of luck in winning the new show. Further, I believe that the more progressives we have publicly campaigning for the time slot, the better the chance of any progressive eventually winning the time slot.
It is the same principle as the extended 2008 primary season, which I strongly believe helped President Obama's chances in the general election. The more public supporters that David, Sam, and Cenk each have, the more attention it draws to all progressives campaigning for the time slot, and the more interest it demonstrates in progressives winning the new show. Keep in mind that MSNBC President Phil Griffin has said both that he is paying attention to the progressive campaigns for the new show, and that he will not guarantee the new show is given to a progressive:
MSNBC President Phil Griffin said he's not necessarily looking for someone who shares the political leanings of Olbermann and Maddow, but is delighted by the response.
"If people identify with us, I'm thrilled," he said. David Sirota For MSNBC!
"Obviously, we're going to have flow between our shows," Griffin added. "But it isn't going to be ideology that drives it. I want that hour to be edgy, to be smart, to be a little snarky."
Clearly, the more the merrier. The stronger each of the progressive campaigns for the new show, the better chance each of the candidates has to win.
So, join David Sirota for MSNBC on Facebook now! Let's work toward building a more progressive national news media.