Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some Thoughts on Rachel Maddow's New MSNBC Show

Big ratings and many rave reviews have greeted The Rachel Maddow Show which took over the 9 PM slot on MSNBC previously held by The Verdict with Dan Abrams. Sorry, but I'm not joining the raving throngs.

Her spot isn't bad, it's worse: boring. Whereas Verdict was lively and fresh, Ms. Maddow's plays like a televised radio show. (Or blog. Yikes.) She is certainly smart, eloquent, witty, with a firm grasp of the issues--and, of course, telegenic, which unfortunately matters in the business she's in--but I don't find myself drawn to her as I was when she would periodically fill in for Keith Olbermann on his Countdown. Admittedly, it might be too soon to criticize, and after all, she's getting good ratings, so I just may be one of the few not entirely in her show's corner. Yet.


  1. Now, now, now, dear Mr. Jones.

    The Abrams show was an abomination. Loud, scattershot, very smug, and usually only a boorish rehash of what you just saw on Olbermann. And oh, did you notice the ugliest, most garish set and graphics on TV? Eeshhh!

    The Maddow show is still getting its legs. Not every moment is golden, no.

    But, definitely adult. What a change. At a time when even Keith is descending into reading his own clippings, and becoming much too smug, and fratboy-ish, it's nice to not have someone give me challenging information without yelling at me, or trying to be too hip for the room.

    I say, give it some more time.

    And breathe at 9pm.


  2. Oops!

    That should have read:

    it's nice to have someone give me challenging information without yelling at me, or trying to be too hip for the room.


  3. Good points, Gotham. And I have nothing but praise for Ms. Maddow and her intellectual gifts, but I stand by my assertion that the show is ia bit of a televised blog or radio show. Time will tell.

    I must confess--if my previous posts haven't made it clear--that I'm a fan of Mr. Olbermann, and find his brand of in-your-face commentary quite refreshing and very much an antidote to the dry, droll approach of someone like Tom Brokaw or Brit Hume.

    It always warms my heart to see a progressive commentator not roll over and play dead a la Alan Colmes. That, I would dare speculate, is a key part of Mr. Olbermann's popularity and growing ratings.


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