If I'm not listening to my local liberal talk radio station, I typically keep MSNBC on in my home office during the work day, in part to support its decision to have actual liberals on during prime-time, and in part because it usually focuses on politics during the day more than CNN.
But after this morning I am boycotting MSNBC today, until Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow come back on.
MSNBC has put a manufactured outrage, a non-story, in a constant loop all morning. (I will not waste one letter of my time or your time explaining it.) As if that should be the lead story while the nation looks for answers on how to get our economy back on track, solve our energy crisis, rebuild our infrastructure, make education and health care affordable and accessible to all, and restore our global standing.
Then I flipped over to CNN. I can only assume this non-story got some attention there at some point today, but I didn't see it for 40 minutes straight, so at least it's not being treated as non-stop breaking news. So CNN is what's staying on my TV today.
As a mere single news consumer, I am putting the media industry on notice. You will not get my business by trying to shove the trivial down my throat. You will not get my business with a parade of political hacks pontificating on non-stories. You do that, I grab the remote.
In the case of MSNBC, yes I will come back for Keith and Rachel. Not because they are liberal, but because I trust the focus will then return to important news.
And it is particularly critical to support The Rachel Maddow Show. If it continues to beat Larry King in the ratings (as it did for its premiere), it will send shockwaves throughout a media industry that has long believed liberal views should be marginalized, pandering to conservative audiences is profitable, and that a liberal anchor can deliver an informative program that elevates discourse and strengthens a news brand.
It doesn't make sense to ignore traditional media and tune it out completely. To get a robust, aggressive, investigative and informative media that helps the public govern, we need to engage the media.
We need to let media executives know -- with our words and actions -- that they will make money by delivering a good product, and lose money by repeating misinformation and prioritizing non-news that fails to help us citizens run our democracy.
So MSNBC, know that you lost a customer today. If you want me to come back tomorrow, you know what to do.
Originally posted at OurFuture.org