Good luck and congrats to Cenk Uygur and The Young Turks on their debut tonight on Current TV. Cenk really paid his dues during a lot of lean years to build a significant audience and he is rightly reaping the rewards now. Regardless of whether you love Cenk or not, we should all celebrate the fact that a non-conservative source of commentary and news has percolated up from the blogosphere into broadcast television and a mass audience.
It does beg the question though, in a media environment where liberals and progressives have created so many wonderful communities at places like Dailykos.com, talkingpointsmemo.com, firedoglake.com and drudgeretort.com to name just a few, why have there been so few successes at daily, live internet TV from a progressive perspective?
Partially, the answer is expense: it simply costs more to have a TV studio, cameras, technicians, lights, editing equipment, etc than it does to type on a keyboard, as is the principle requirement for text-based blogs and news sites.
At the risk of seeming offensively self-serving, I am planning on starting a daily internet-based hour long Internet TV show on hard news and politics beginning March 1, 2012. I already have a full-functioning TV studio in midtown Manhattan (for my training business) and I have plenty of interns and access to interesting guests (my studio is right down the street from the Today Show and Fox News Channel). For now, the format will be similar to Morning Joe and The Young Turks, but with a higher percentage of Skype TV interviews and telephone interviews with news makers and prominent liberal/progressive voices.
While I have tried a lot of different live and on-demand online TV ventures over the years, I'm the first to admit I've never figured out the ideal editorial mix or strategy. So I wondered if I might pick your brains on this:
1. Do liberals/progressives even like the medium of video/TV? (After all, the audience for Fox destroys the audience for MSNBC and Current combined)
2. Is there a need for another daily live Liberal/Progressive online TV show? (The Young Turks will still be doing an online show and they do a good job).
3. Is there some way of doing a New York City-based daily show that will compliment other liberal/progressive shows already in existence?
4. How can a new liberal/progressive online TV show integrate and unite the liberal/progressive blogosphere and help build a larger community?
5. Would you like to see a show that had a regular cast of, say, the top twenty liberal/progressive bloggers with regular or semi-regular on-camera appearances?
6. What would make the most prolific commenters on liberal/progressive blogs also want to participate/comment on a live daily TV show?
7. Would prolific liberal/progressive commentators want to call into a show regularly or merely text in comments?
8. What sort of guests on a show like this would make it stand out from already excellent segments seen on Rachel, Keith or Cenk?
9. Who would be great guests of interest to the Liberal/Progressive community you would want to hear from but who normally never get airtime?
10. Who would be good co-hosts for a show like this?
11. What else could a show like this do to build a large, mass audience?
12. Would you like to be involved as a host, co-host, pundit, producer, booker or armchair adviser for this new show? If so, please leave a comment here or email me directly at tj (at) dailynational (dot) com.