An Open Letter to Chris Hayes

Dear Chris,

I'm sure you must be feeling anguish and anxiety over your show's dismal ratings, especially since you couldn't hang onto to Ed Schultz's audience, the pundit you replaced. The anguish must come from the blame you're receiving for Rachel's tanking numbers. Trust me. She's done that to herself. And certainly, you must feel anxious about losing your job at MSNBC. After all, look what happened to Cenk Uyger after Phil Griffin sent him packing. "Cenk Who?" you ask. My point exactly. So I'm going to offer you some unsolicited advice about how to shore up your numbers and increase your viewership.

Your weekend morning show "Up with Chris" received much critical claim, and I'm sure for good reason. I couldn't say though since I didn't watch you much. Praise was heaped on you for having diverse discussion panels of not only people from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, education, and professions, but also different political parties as well. But see, that's where you lost me. Oh, I didn't mind the fact that you had Republicans on as guests. Not at all. However, I was irritated that you rarely took them to task for their blatant, outrageous lies.

I could see you had many fine qualities, so when you took over Ed's spot, I gave your new show a try. I liked it. I really really liked. You covered so many topics no other pundit was. Your guests were not only interesting but refreshing. You rarely had on the tiresome trio of Howard Fineman, Joan Walsh, and Ed Rendell.  That was a big fat plus in your favor. But you eventually gave in, didn't you? You and Howard Fineman took great delight in shredding the President for his "unprecedented attack on whistleblowers." Oh yeah, you were "emo" all the way. I looked up the numbers--7 at the time. SEVEN so-called whistleblowers. They really weren't whistleblowers, were they? Were they? Plus you never even mentioned that President Obama pushed hard for the protection of whistleblowers. That's lying, Chris, no matter how you slice it. Rachel does that a lot, too--lying by omission.

Advice: #1 Tell the truth. Be scrupulous even if doesn't fit your agenda.

One show particularly captivated me--the one with the young folks leading the fast food workers' protests in NYC. Wow! Those kids were articulate, concerned, and courageous. Kudos to you for giving them some publicity. I even told friends I liked your show, and believe me, I'll never hear the end of that. But then you latched onto Glenn Greenwald, and Snowden. Really, even before that, you were beginning to drone on and on. (Get it? Drone on.) Needless to say, you started losing me. Not because the use of drones shouldn't be discussed, but you overdid it. There are so many pressing problems beyond the world of white privilege that you no longer cover.

Ah, but then you hit pay dirt, the big time, a moment in the sun--the NSA security leaks. Your first reaction to Edward Snowden was to gush he's like Martin Luther King Jr. Seriously, Chris, aren't you now just a smidgy embarrassed now. Why exactly does the white punditry also want to toss out MLK Jr. comparisons when talking about President Obama? But I digress. You then began to trot out Glenn Greenwald ad naseum with a little dash of David Sirota.

Advice: #2 Lose your Libertarian friends. They are duplicitous, discredited hacks. I suggest you read more of The Daily Banter and Little Green Footballs and less of The Guardian and

Pay attention carefully to this.  You and your buddies have always misidentified President Obama's base. We ordinary common folk are his base, not the the likes of Hamsher, Greenwald, Moore, Adam Green, and Sirota. They and you have never spoken for the base. Guess who MSNBC's audience is? President Obama's base. That's right, the Obamabots and Obamatrons who mindlessly follow dear leader. Obamabots are just like I am although I happen to be an old white woman. Even though Obamabots cut across all spectrums of American life, young, old, black, white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American, we share many similarities. We are educated, and we are activists. We are politically astute and knowledgeable.

We also recognize bullshit when we see or hear it. The mistaken notion is that we never have any differences with President Obama, which is just absurd. Of course we would have differences with President Obama. What we object to is unfair and unfounded criticism of the President. What we object to are the vitriolic tempered 
tantrums thrown by so many of the professional left and libertarians.  We object to unreasonable expectations. We object to half-truths and lies. We don't object to fair criticism contrary to what you and your fellows may think.

We actually listen to President Obama's speeches. When he said change will take time, more than one president's term, we knew he was right. In fact, when he said change may take the terms of several presidents, we said, "Amen! We understand." When he said change happens because all of us work together for change, we said we know that and we have your back. Too many of you folks on the left saw unicorns and sparkle dust and never really heard the words the president said.

Advice:  #3 (probably the most important piece of advice I'm going to give you). Know your audience.

That doesn't mean that you are not free to criticize President Obama, but make sure you have a sound case for that criticism. To keep yourself honest bring in knowledgeable people who disagree with you and who can further a civil debate. Now that would be a novel idea for MSNBC.

I promise you, you may not bring in a huge audience but your ratings will start to come up and your viewership will grow if you just follow those three pieces of advice I have given you. Otherwise, not to be too unkind, you're toast.


Ms. Desert Crone NM


  1. He lost me with the morning show when he allowed Republicans free range to say what they wanted and he never called them out on it.

    Where are the shows that refute the GOP claims of too many people sitting on their asses living off the govt? Where was the show explaining how the middle class is getting lost?

    These pundits need to remember their on the upper end of the food chain and nearly 41% of Americans have slipped down to the bottom and that's even dropped out on them.

    I no longer listen to any of them. They either don't or won't address the issues of poverty and racism on any real level.

  2. Thank you, from one old crone to another. I don't have a blog, so my criticisms of the increasingly unwatchable, unlistenable MSNBC hosts end up on Twitlonger directed to their Twitter feed.

    Jeff Gauvin @JeffersonObama has been on Chris Hayes' ass since he got his own hour slot; I wondered why at first, but lately I'd agree Jeff was right all along. Rachel Maddow seemed pretty OK until recently. I HATE it when they host guests whom they don't challenge when bullshit comes out of the guests' mouths. Rachel usually does that, but her monologues seem more and more loopy lately. I wonder what's going on...

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  4. Anyone who takes issue with this sound and reasonable advice to Chris Hayes regarding his ratings plunge needs to go suck an egg. Chris Hayes is intolerable and you nailed the very reasons for why he is intolerable.

    It seems as if both he and Maddow are abusing the hell out of Occam's razor and should review it for personal and professional survival. Their inclusions of their many assumptions regarding why PBO does what he does lacks any understanding of the multiple complexities that force PBO to make certain decisions that don't jibe with their purist Progressive ideals.

    Hayes' lauding of GG and Snowden's release of stolen intelligence is a prime example of this. They know not what the repercussions will be since they refuse to acknowledge that our Intel orgs are a "necessary evil" but instead deny why we need these Agencies to do what they do.


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