Watch Rachel Maddow's Debut Show Launch on MSNBC Tonight: She Fights Lies Uttered by Politicians, Repeated by Media
Rachel Maddow, Air America's homegrown star and the hottest new face on TV, is launching her very own new show tonight -- Monday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. on MSNBC -- and the Masher couldn't be happier. There are thousands of people -- Facebookers and all -- who are planning parties to watch the debut. Let's all watch it by the millions and blow those ratings through the roof and show the MSM turkeys that smart, provocative, truth-telling journalism and commentary has a potential massive audience.
It goes without saying that Maddow has myriad fans from every walk of life. (Feel free to visit the "unofficial" Rachel Maddow fan site.) Still, the Masher finds it rather astounding how much goodwill and admiration is being beamed to Maddow -- and how many unabashed sexual crushes. She must be feeling a super glow. When AlterNet posted The Nation's article about Maddow by Rebecca Traister, the staff was astounded. AlterNet commenters are a very critical and cranky bunch -- and many a writer has freaked out, run away and decided not to engage with the sharp-tongued denizens of the AlterNet underground. But not for Maddow. It was a near-unanimous lovefest. There were hundreds of glowing love letters (hopefully we'll get a chance to share some of them with you soon).
The corporate media hasn't quite known what to make of Maddow, since her rise seems to have no historical parallels. The best way they have been able describe it is as the second coming of Keith Olbermann, for whom she has substituted on his signature show Countdown. According to New York Times TV writer Bill Carter, the emergence of Maddow, along with Olbermann, has "led to an unofficial rebranding of MSNBC as the liberal alternative to Fox News, which is dominated by conservative hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity."
Of course Maddow is very different from Olbermann in style, temperament and approach. No doubt her show will strike a different chord than the sometimes bombastic approach that has made Olbermann Bill O'Reilly's bete noir and a very popular TV dude, but he hasn't exactly brought subtle analysis to cable TV. The Masher guesses that Maddow will be more unpredictable. In a telephone interview with Carter, Maddow discussed her new role:
"This is great; getting a regular cable show is something I've wanted," Ms. Maddow said. She acknowledged that the intensity of the presidential race meant that will remain the focus through the election and probably for the first 100 days of a new administration. But she said she would likely reshape the show as more of a general news program after "this political Christmas" has come to an end. That is the kind of show she does on Air America, and she will continue that show after she joins MSNBC, she said. As for being branded another partisan voice from the left, Ms. Maddow said she was no more partisan than any other host in cable. "I am who I am," she said. She dismissed the expected criticism from the right, saying, "Everybody likes to work the refs to make their own kind of political hay."Probably the most important task that Maddow will tackle is to be the media's best lie detector. You can tell from this great clip of Rachel doing "Countdown" after McCain's speech that Maddow is going to aim her guns, not just at the McCain-Palin lies being spewed like the oil gushers they lust for -- and they have integrated all of them into their stump speeches -- but at the whole of corporate media, for accepting the words of these liars at face value. The lies perpetuated in the McCain and Palin speeches about Barack Obama bordered on the absurd, like Obama writing two memoirs but never sponsoring and passing any legislation, which is ludicrous; or his never working across the aisle with political opponents, when that is actually what he is known for; or his planning to raise taxes on all Americans rather than on only the tiny slice of the richest among us, which is his plan.
Needless to say, it is a tough job fighting lies. But if anyone can counterattack in this street fight of dirty politics and stick the dagger in deeply with charm, calm and super smarts, it is our Rachel Maddow.