Dear Keith Olbermann,
Thank you for making my job harder.
You see, I am a television producer here in Salt Lake City Utah, the state that is home to your pick for "worst person in the world" state Senator Chris Buttars. You bestowed the honor on him Tuesday night on your MSNBC talk show because of his call for the passage of a resolution encouraging retailers to use the phrase "Merry Christmas" in their holiday promotions. By doing so, you have given him more attention than he ever deserves, and brought people out of the wood work wanting to defend him, and Utah, from a "sad lonely bitter man" (their words, not mine). That's just great.
Let me explain something to you, Keith, here in Utah Buttars is a joke. Few people give what he says credence, and he is seldom mentioned in the press unless it is a in a "how does this guy get re-elected" or "what kind of crazy thing is he saying now" sense. Of course, that was before you stepped into the picture. Just as we were about to file this story away in the "not important" bin you came along and blew everything to hell. Now, not only are we covering it, but people are writing in saying Buttars has a good idea. The economy is in a shambles, more people here in the state are seeking food and housing assistance than ever before, and cuts are being made to state and local programs that could help them, but we are wasting time on Chris Buttars. Thanks.
Look, I know how hard it is to make people care about the important issues, and how great it is to have a firestorm issue to rant about. We do stories on the economy, or the election, and I can hear remote controls across the Wasatch Front changing the channel. But sensationalizing the person who is basically Utah's crazy uncle is not the way to increase viewers, and it certainly isn't the way to improve the viewer's opinion of television news.
So, please, leave Chris Buttars alone. For me, and for everyone else covering news in Utah. We'll take care of him. Don't worry. And if you really need something to talk about, why don't you go after Peggy Noonan? She says we can't be in a recession because people are still overweight. Doesn't that make her worse than Hitler? Go get her!
Follow Libby Mitchell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/logicallibby