Just when you thought that NBC’s cable news network MSNBC could not move further to the left, it did so this week — announcing that Rachel Maddow will replace Dan Abrams as host of its 9 p.m. EDT hour.
It was no secret that Maddow, a quick-tongued, hyper-partisan pixie, was being groomed for stardom by this network.
She of late had become the regular substitute when its loony-left host Keith Olbermann took days off. She reportedly recently signed with Olbermann’s agent. And she has been shoehorned as a commentator almost daily into one or another of MSNBC’s programs.
One reason for Maddow’s hiring is youth. Born on April Fool’s Day 1973, she is 35.
MSNBC has failed as a network from the day Bill Gates of Microsoft and NBC gave birth to it. But former sportscaster Olbermann’s infantile rants have created at least a token audience in the advertiser-cherished 25-54 age group and given the network a desirable younger audience demographic than that of rival Fox News Channel, whose total viewership is much larger.
The telegenic Ms. Maddow, MSNBC hopes, can attract a Maddowing crowd of younger viewers.
A larger reason for Maddow’s hiring is ideology. As New York Times reporter Bill Carter acknowledges, MSNBC is unofficially “rebranding” itself “as the liberal alternative to Fox News” and is “a network seeking an audience of Democratic and liberal viewers.”
Maddow, who has hosted shows on the ultra-liberal Air America Radio network since its 2004 founding, has become the fresh young voice of a senile leftist ideology whose other spokespeople are graying hippies or wrinkled power-craving vampires. She is what the godless Left used to pray for: socialism with a human face.
Her national radio show can scarcely be called a great success. It airs on only 35 stations, compared with Fox’s centrist Bill O’Reilly on more than 400, Fox’s conservative Sean Hannity on more than 500, and Republiconservative Rush Limbaugh on 600 stations.
But Maddow has skillfully parlayed her position as the most successful host on a failed liberal radio network into left-wing stardom.
Maddow has at least 20 I.Q. points on her patron Olbermann, a pundit so cowardly that he refuses to debate ideas on his show with any conservative.
Olbermann’s MSNBC show is one-sided to the point of permitting no balance, perspective or free thought whatsoever — and therefore ought to be an embarrassment to its parent NBC-Universal.
Maddow’s new show, which launches Sept. 8, will almost certainly be a bit fairer and more intelligent than Olbermann’s. Maddow studied at Stanford University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England (like Bill Clinton), where she later earned a doctorate in political science. (Maddow may or may not be aware of the codicil in imperialist Cecil Rhodes’ will indicating that the purpose of these scholarships was to brainwash bright young Americans into adopting the ideology and serving the purposes of the British Empire. She certainly now speaks and thinks like a Eurosocialist.)
Maddow’s father was a U.S. Air Force captain stateside during the Vietnam War. She describes herself as “a national security liberal . . . all about counterterrorism.” Early next year Crown reportedly plans to publish her book about the shifting role of the military as an issue in American politics.
“I’m not that much of a typecastable liberal,” she told New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg. “I am not a fan of either [major party’s presidential] candidate.”
One of her disagreements with Democrat Barack Obama is that she would “let the Pentagon figure out the smartest way” to withdraw combat troops from Iraq, not do so based on a political timetable.
Most political junkies first experienced Maddow’s glibness as a regular guest on MSNBC’s then-token right show hosted by libertarian-conservative Tucker Carlson, long since purged by the network’s leftward-goose-stepping commissars.
Dan Abrams, son of famed First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, lost his show to Maddow because his lawyerly mind, albeit liberal, occasionally criticized the politically correct left.
Maddow bested her chief rival for the new show, Michelle Bernard, a brilliant and articulate lawyer, for the same reason. Bernard is president of the Independent Women’s Forum, a group that includes prominent conservatives.
Despite Bernard’s occasional positive statements about Sen. Obama and her history of channeling thousands of lobbyist dollars to Democratic Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, she lost to Maddow.
But how could lily-white liberal MSNBC chose Caucasian Maddow over Bernard, an African-American born to Jamaican immigrant parents? Maddow is nine years younger and smiles more than Bernard. And more important, Maddow also comes from a minority group beloved by liberals.
“We will never be normal,” Maddow reportedly yelled during her keynote speech at a 2006 banquet of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Bar Association.
Maddow has long been a proud lesbian activist and, as one gay blogger described her, “is queer, very queer.” Her bio on the Web site of Air America Radio describes her as living “with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.”
“Does she think America is ready for an openly gay host on cable news at night?” asked New York Times reporter Steinberg. “Well, I think Ellen DeGeneres has shown people are ready for her,” replied Maddow. “But I will not dance the way Ellen does.”
An Internet search readily uncovers footprints of a large concerted push by the nationwide gay community to persuade MSNBC to give Maddow her own show, the kind of organized effort that did not exist for Bernard.
Until now Maddow has avoided discussing issues such as gay marriage during her appearances on MSNBC, as if under network orders to avoid gay topics. One writer at The Washington Post online Web site of Slate.com perceived that “MSNBC does load on the mascara and lip gloss, as if anxious to remind viewers that [Maddow is] still a woman,” to tone down her “dykey self-presentation.”
MSNBC should let Rachel Maddow be Maddow. Let Maddow freely, proudly share all her values, most of which are the values of the Democratic Party’s left-wing ruling elite.
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