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MSNBC's 10pm Slot: How About a Populist Progressive?

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Last month, the New York Times ran a story about MSNBC looking for a host to fill its open 10pm time-slot and many of you encouraged me to apply for the job after seeing me on programs like The Rachel Maddow Show, Bill Moyers Journal and The Colbert Report. Of course, I didn't really know what that meant - after all, how the heck do you "apply" for a TV show? Well, today, my friend and fellow OpenLeft.com writer Chris Bowers launched a formal campaign to ask MSNBC to consider me for the slot, and now I'm asking for your help - and the good news is, I'm not asking you for money, I'm just asking you to take 1 minute of your time to send an email, join a Facebook group and tell all your friends to do the same.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin told the New York Times he wants the process of selecting a host to be "organic." That means I need as many of you as possible to send an email to MSNBC at letters@msnbc.com with a simple message: Tell them you'd like them to bring me on for the 10pm job. It also means you forwarding on this email to as many people as you know asking them to do the same. It means blogging about this, Twittering this message to friends, and joining this Facebook group.

Griffin has told reporters he's not sure MSNBC is going to fill the slot with a progressive, but that he is watching to see viewer response for feedback. So, as Chris said in his post, it's a good thing for as many progressives to publicly campaign for this as possible. Indeed, this isn't like the Democratic primary where you have to choose one or the other candidae - you can support me and someone else at the same time, knowing that if we all make enough noise, we'll have a shot at making sure that slot goes to a progressive voice one way or the other. That's why your help in this campaign is so important - and I wouldn't ask for your help unless I was sure it could make a significant impact.

As many of you know, I've appeared on MSNBC many times as a guest with my friend Rachel Maddow, and appear regularly on other networks. I also have a syndicated newspaper column, two bestselling books and a blog, thanks in no small part to all of your support over the years. So, after a lot of scratching and clawing (and help from you), my work is starting to get out there. And in all of those forums, I try to focus on the economic and political issues important to regular folks - the issues that get short shrift by so much of the media. Over the years, I've worked with so many of you - you've given me ideas, provided leads for stories and critiqued me. It's improved my work so much, and now we have a chance to take it to the next level - and if we do, our work together will only intensify.

At this moment of economic crisis, we need as many populist progressive voices in the media as possible. If we make this happen - if you help me in this campaign - we can bring all of those issues we care so much about to the forefront of the national media conversation.

Let me close by saying that while I've never been bashful about promoting a campaign, a cause, a candidate or a book, campaigning for myself is new to me. It feels a bit uncomfortable, because I've tried to make all of my work about the issues, not about me personally. But MSNBC has made clear that it wants viewer input in this process of selecting a host for 10pm, so I decided to swallow my pride, get over my unease, and do whatever I could to make a real go at this, because this opportunity to amplify all of our work is real and achievable if we make our voices heard.

Chances like this come around so rarely - so I hope you'll take a moment and email letters@msnbc.com and ask them to bring me aboard, and then forward this email to all of your friends, join the Facebook group and blog/twitter about it where you can.

As I said before, I wouldn't ask you to do this if it wasn't important, and if I wasn't sure it would make a huge difference. With your help, we have a real shot at making this opportunity a reality - one that can boost all the causes we've been pushing for so long.