Based on the largest study of local news ever undertaken, We Interrupt This Newscast delves into hard data to find out what really drives viewership on TV. The numbers reveal that many of the conventional ideas that dominate decision making in local TV news decision making are myths. Democracy, however, is the worse for them. The idea that certain topics are ratings poison, for instance, doesn't hold up. The notion that it has to bleed to lead actually irritates viewers. The key to winning viewers on television is not what you cover but whether you cover it well. The problem is quality is harder to do and the Pavlovian mythology of the dull viewer is a safe argument.