Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rachel Maddow

I appreciated this post by Jon Cohn criticizing the New Republic, where he blogs, for calling Rachel Maddow overrated. His description of Maddow's work to prevent Uganda from instituting the death penalty for homosexuality is especially powerful.

It was hard not to smile when reading the New Republic editors' criticisms: "She knows the answers even before she has the questions. The truth about everything is completely obvious to her. She seems utterly incapable of doubt or complication." I guess the problem is that she's clearly right about things that annoy centrists like TNR editors. (By the way, is 'The Editors' really just Marty Peretz? If so, that'd explain a lot.)

I don't watch a lot of TV, because I find a lot of it overstimulating and dumb, even when it's presenting views I agree with. And anyway, I can take in news ten times as fast through text as I can by having some newsperson read it to me. But Rachel Maddow is one of the few people I can watch, because she just keeps saying smart things and doesn't treat viewers like morons.


Anonymous said...


You get MSNBC in Singapore?


Neil Sinhababu said...

I don't, but I've seen her on trips to the states and on YouTube clips and such.

draghkhar said...

Yeah, I agree, Rachel is awesome! You can watch her show for free on MSNBC's website (I'm in US but without cable).

Some get the impression she's one-sided because she has a liberal worldview and doesn't adopt bad ideas from the other side merely for the sake of "balance", like most other mainstream journalists. Also, regular viewers of the show know that she regularly seeks out conservative guests to debate, but oftentimes they won't go because she out-debates them, inducing a gaffe! The most famous example was when Rand Paul (R) withheld support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and put his Senate campaign in Kentucky in a Republican wave election in jeopardy.

Overall, the line that she's like Fox News is only superficially appealing. The reality is that she favors a marketplace of ideas instead of party-line orthodoxy, and she's never been involved with unethical behavior like Rupert Murdoch.