by Conor Friedersdorf

A reader writes:

Why do you assume liberals who watched Keith Olbermann didn’t do those other things too?  I subscribe to Washington Monthly, I read the NYTimes daily, I have read Tocqueville, I read political blogs daily…and I still enjoyed watching Keith (in fact I usually did some of those other things WHILE watching Keith).

I’ve been a liberal for about 45 years.  Ever since Ronald Reagan the right has stopped treating the left as fellow Americans who have different ideas and began treating us as a dangerous, hated enemy that had to be annihilated to save the country for “real” Americans.  It has gotten increasingly ugly and most liberals I know feel vaguely unwelcome in our own country now.   

Until Keith there was almost no one on television that presented our side.  Keith shared our sense of outrage, he called out the angry anti-left bloviators like Bill O’Reilly.  Keith didn’t make us angry, we already were.  He allowed us to release our anger, to blow off  steam.  We felt relieved knowing someone else got it and was allowed to say it on TV.  It gave us hope for the future of America knowing that someone had been able to break through the unofficial ban on anything liberal on TV.

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