I watched my first Rachel Maddow show last night. It's not surprising she has her own show as even when she was part of MSNBC's roundtable whatevers on the endlessly super Tuesday's back in the winter and spring, she had a way of being the most captivating person in a sea of the usual babble.
She's erudite. She's savvy. She's got a good ear for politics. She can spar with Uncle Pat like nobody's business. She hits the right pitch between Comedy Central snark and "I'm thiiiis close to being MSM so really, heed my words." She talks fast and well. She's a she.
So did I love her show. Yes and no.
For one thing, I'm jealous of her seemingly meteoric rise from Air American to primetime host (albeit on MSNBC, but still. They have at least 2x the viewership as I have readership these days. Maybe 2 and a half). As I near a milestone birthday, I'm engaging in that sort of self-assessment navel-gazing that makes for crappy blog posts and that hopefully ends promptly upon said milestone birthday. I have a new mortgage. She has a new TV show. And she wasn't even into politics at 19. I was. What's the opposite of schadenfreude, as Amber would say? But that's not the real love qualifier.
The real qualifier is that I don't want to be the D equivalent of a Fox News viewer.
There can be no mistaking Maddow's left-leanings. Then again, why I can't I just chalk it up to being right - as in correct - when she slams McCain and Bush for their stumbles, gaffes, violations, and unholy wars of both real and public-relations varieties? Hell, I feel like those are things that deserve to be torn apart on television.
I guess the qualification for my Maddow-madness can be likened to my reasons for eschewing Berkeley: I don't want to hang out solely with people who agree with me or with whom I agree. I just don't. At least not in a knee-jerky, let's sit around and pat-each-other-on-the-back kind of way. I need more balance. Somehow, it feels like that comes more from Jon Stewart than Rachel Maddow.
I think I miss Tim Russert.
(p.s. I linked to her official page above, but it seems kinda outdated. Get on that Rachel! Try the MSNBC version for the current tv show.)