Chris Hayes Is Not Helping the Democrats; He Might Even Be Hurting Their Prospects

Anthony Biglan
2 min readApr 14, 2022


My wife and I watch Chris virtually every evening. His coverage of the Pandemic, the investigation into the January 6, Insurrection, and the continuing attack on democracy has been excellent. I frequently share segments of his show via Twitter.

However, he is not helping the Democrats as much as I think he would like to.

Covering the antics of Marjorie Taylor Green, Ted Cruz, et al. provides Progressives with a steady diet of the things Republicans are doing that endanger democracy. This clearly heightens his audience’s concern. But it is unlikely to motivate them to take action.

What might be called the Zuckerberg Principle, says that threat messages build your audience. They bring people back for more and motivate them to like and share such messages. But I can find no evidence that they lead people to take effective action against those threats.

It is understandable that many people would simply turn away from trying to do anything about the threats to democracy, especially, when they have little guidance about what they can do.

One of the earliest things social psychologists learned about people’s attitudes is that they are more likely to adopt an attitude you want them to, if the message comes with concrete information about what they can do to take action that is consistent with the message.

Rachel Maddow frequently reports on activities of progressive democrats who are organizing support, delivering an effect message, mobilizing people to get involved.

Sadly Rachel has cut back on her broadcasting.

So, Chris, if you read this, please start pairing your reports about Republican attacks with information about messaging for Democrats that will mobilize them to take action. For example Ruy Teixeira has laid out a set of messages that poll well and are completely consistent with Progressive values and goals. And showcase door-to-door canvassing that works.

We ten months to bring about the support needed to prevent a Trump Dictatorship. Good ideas for what works are available. Report them!



Anthony Biglan

Anthony Biglan, PhD, is the author of Rebooting Capitalism: How we can forge a society that works for everyone.