Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rachel rising

It looks like Rachel Maddow may finally want to buy a television. News broke yesterday that the (smarty)pants-wearing political commentator will host her own MSNBC show starting Sept. 8. Rumors had been swirling that Rachel was on a “very short list” to host her own show since last month. And, after her triumphant guest-hosting gigs on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” recently, she is now America's first and only openly gay woman to host a prime-time news show. Let's let that sink in for a second, shall we? Really let it swirl on the tongue and savor the flavor. Mmm, sweet.

Rachel will take the 9 p.m. timeslot behind “Countdown” now occupied by “Verdict With Dan Abrams.” Besides making gay history, Rachel also joins only a small handful of women to host prime-time news shows. Seriously, try to think of five women who host their own news shows in under 10 seconds. Start...now. How many did you get? Yes, the awesome Gwen Ifill. No, the wretched Nancy Grace does not count. Harder than you think, eh?

Rachel's promotion also defies the Barbie-caster mentality that pervades most network newsrooms. She isn't a wafer-thin blonde model type who can read a teleprompter. (Not that all wafer-thin blonde model types are stupid. Case in point, Lara Logan. ) Still Rachel is practically the antithesis of what we've come to expect on TV. She is a short-haired, boxy jacket wearing, totally completely gay woman who is also smart as all get out (Rhodes Scholar, hello). She is, in short, the last person on earth you thought would break into the upper echelon of the boy's club of political reporting. Yet, there she is. Atta girl.

The more I think about it, perhaps in an odd way it is because of her obvious gayness that she made it in the first place. She was the “liberal lesbian” they could pit against some crusty old conservative coot. And since the fellas tend to get so terribly distracted whenever a (stereotypically) attractive woman walks into a room, it worked. Think I'm kidding? Heck, even the gay, er, gray ones like Anderson Cooper aren't immune. Seriously, go watch him flirt and flit with Erica Hill. Just go paint each other's toenails and get it over with, you two. Or maybe, possibly Rachel's new gig means that America has warmed up to the idea of a smart, funny lesbian telling them important things. After all, they already have a smart, funny, short-haired, pant-wearing lesbian keeping them company in the afternoon. So why not go from the daytime blonde to a nighttime brunette? Looks like I've got a 9 p.m. date.

p.s. Isn't she cute when she blushes?

15 comments:

Lezlie Mac said...

Well that's progress. I like her big mouthed bluntness. Does she have a twin sister she could send overseas ?

I won't be able to watch the show (no TV in France...) but I'm sure the Snarker cover of it will be plenty. Go Rachel !

cappuccinogirl said...

I saw this on Huffpost yesterday. V exciting. I guess with Ellen's success, there's no stopping us now...

Anonymous said...

i have a TV, and i saw the channel,
it always shows me olympic thing.
?? maybe the different time?

thanks to your post DS!

anouk said...

Smart lesbians talking politics: GREAT!
The first Prime-Time News Show Host: Germans Anne Will - now Rachel Maddow.... Who's next? Way to go world! Come on, France, Brasil, Japan, Canada, Italy or where ever!!

Rituximab said...

Great news - can't wait to take this election journey with her.

To anonymous - it sounds as though you are watching NBC. MSNBC is a different channel (usually much higher up the cable channels).
Inexplicably, when it's not covering news it seems to be obsessed with top-security prisons ;-)

grrlzzrool said...

Hooray! I've been listening to and admiring Rachel on Air America Radio for years. She is brilliant and funny and eloquent enough to bring every old, white, crusty right wing bastard to his bony knees!Thank God we finally have a voice in main stream American media. I urge you all to tune in.
p.s. Thank you Dorothy, I LOVE this blog!

tlsintx said...

even keith seems a bit threatened...oh well, too bad!
Rachel you ROCK!!!

rae said...

we desperately need more progressive voices like rachel's in the msm. i could not be happier. my tivo is so set.

p.s. she's so cute when she everythings.

virgotex said...

I frequent a number of progressive lefty blogs-- and EVERYONE is in love with Rachel. The straight women, the straight men, the gay men, the dykes. I'm telling you, she's got the Kavorka..

Amanda said...

She's soooooo cute!

Amanda

Anonymous said...

This is great news. I'll be watching.

She was on a show with Keith Olbermann ouch!! That must have been fucking unbearable he's such a tool. He certainly gives assholes a bad name. oh well good for her she's earned it...

Anonymous said...

oh my, I think Rush Limbaugh just said Rachel has more testosterone than Chris Matthews. I'm not sure what to do with that.

Just to clarify, I'm not a regular listener just scanning while in the car and heard the above.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Just when I fear for our collective futures, something nonsucky happens :)

Pyewacket said...

I am giddy about this! I watched the talking heads shows during the primaries but lately I haven't been able to take listening to all that hot air.

I am soooo looking forward to some sense among the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I'll raise a dissenting voice here, I used to listen to Maddows show as a way to keep up with US Politics from abroad but as the primary began I just could not get with the anti-Hillary crusade that seemed based not on her positions which clearly seemed (slightly) to the left of Obama but rather on some vague notion of her being "establishment". Then I saw youtube clips of her nodding along to Olbermanns obscene sexist rants and push a ridiculous story that Hillary wanted Obama assasinated.

The representation is good but to me it feels that she's put her intellectual honesty on the back burner to get along with the MSNBC boyz...