Dear Rachel:

Congratulations on your new gig as the host of ?The Rachel Maddow Show? on MSNBC. Kudos also goes to the executives at MSNBC who were responsible for hiring an openly lesbian liberal as the host of a prime-time television show. maddow.jpeg

Ellen DeGeneres of ?The Ellen DeGeneres Show? (What is it with openly lesbian liberals and self-titled shows?) finally has an evening counterpoint. ?I will not dance the way Ellen does,? you told The New York Times. I support your decision.

You were amazing as a guest host for Keith Olbermann this year, so you deserve this opportunity. Please do send my sympathies to Dan Abrams, however, for the loss of his show to make room for your show. (Way to go Dan, taking one for the team.)

I?m writing you to not only tell you how proud I am of you (which I am), but also to ask you a favor. Well, not so much ?ask you a favor??perhaps ?demand your attention? is more accurate.

You?ve heard the recent HIV/AIDS news?the revised CDC estimates for new HIV infections (they?re up); the HIV rates in the African-American and Latino communities, as well as among women and in the South (they?re up); and the HIV rates among young gay men (they?re up). The situation requires all hands on deck.

You?ve been an HIV/AIDS activist. Your doctor?s thesis from Oxford University (which you attended as a Rhodes Scholar) addresses HIV/AIDS and incarceration. As an HIV/AIDS expert (oh, and the new host of your very own prime-time TV show), you can bring much-needed media attention to our issues.

I know, it?s television (and not a major network at that, but it is basic cable?lots of people watch basic cable). I understand that people primarily want to be entertained when they watch television. But, if anyone can succeed at delivering HIV/AIDS news to the masses in an entertaining way, it?s you!

Good luck (and thanks in advance),

Watch Rachel Maddow being interviewed by Keith Olbermann about her new TV show.