Minnesotan Leo Shidla is among the many Americans getting frustrated by hearing so much about politics and the pandemic on news programs. Unlike the rest of us, the 8-year-old decided to do something about it.
Last week, with the help of his mom, Leo sent an e-mail to public-radio producers, voicing his concerns about National Public Radio's flagship news show.
"I listen to 'All Things Considered' in the car with mom. I listen a lot," he wrote. "I never hear much about nature or dinosaurs or things like that. Maybe you should call your show Newsy Things Considered, since I don't get to hear about all the things. Or please talk more about dinosaurs and cool things."
Minnesota Public Radio forwarded the letter to NPR, and a producer for the show tweeted about Leo's complaint.
By the next morning, it had attracted 22,000 likes. In a matter of days, NPR had arranged for Leo to appear on the show to chat with host Mary Louise Kelly and Ashley Poust, a research associate at the San Diego National History Museum. The segment aired earlier this week.
The story has been retweeted by Hillary Clinton and people associated with the "Jurassic Park" franchise.
Robert Shidla, Leo's father, said that after recording the conversation, Poust chatted with Leo for 20 more minutes.
"You could tell that he was impressed," Shidla said in a phone conversation Thursday.
As for Leo, being on the radio isn't nearly as cool as digging for dinosaur bones.
"It was fun," he said Thursday, "but maybe it's a one-time thing."
Twitter: @NealJustin • 612-673-7431