Why Rachel Maddow Getting Her Own Show Matters ... A Lot


I'm very rarely encouraged by any of the decisions made by major news outlets. Yesterday afternoon, however, was a spectacular exception.

Rachel Maddow has been sounding off about politics on MSNBC so often she might as well have her own show.

And now she does.


The liberal commentator and Air America radio host, who has become a breakout star for the cable channel during the presidential campaign, is taking over the 9 p.m. slot following Keith Olbermann, whom she often subs for on "Countdown." Olbermann broke what he called a "fully authorized leak" yesterday on the left-wing Web site Daily Kos. Dan Abrams, the former MSNBC general manager who had been hosting "Verdict" at that hour, will continue as NBC's chief legal correspondent, become a "Dateline" contributor and serve as a daytime anchor for MSNBC.

A recent profile of Rachel in the Nation noted, "Maddow didn't get here by bluster and bravado but with a combination of crisp thinking and galumphing good cheer. Remarkably, this season's discovery isn't a glossy matinee idol or a smooth-talking partisan hack but a PhD Rhodes scholar lesbian policy wonk who started as a prison AIDS activist."

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