From the Madd(ow)ing Crowd

Wow, who knew how many people love Rachel Maddow?? In the wake of Jacques Steinberg’s New York Times profile of the MSNBC pundette—favored, Steinberg reports-slash-suggests, to get her own anchoring gig once Chris Matthews’s contract expires next year—the often snark-laden world of media blogging has united in massive, fawning, and not-even-ironic adoration of Maddow.

Vanity Fair:

She has been top-notch. She’s no one’s cutesy sidekick. Openly gay, with looks that might be described as “handsome,” she’s fast-talking, geeky, flawlessly informed, and absolutely dogged in exposing scandal no matter how un-sexy it is for cable news….O.K., she’s been a bit relentless about McCain’s clueless-ness at the computer. But self-puffery by humiliation is not in her arsenal.


Rachel Maddow is pretty great, right? We had no idea she had a doctorate from Oxford! Also—she’s gay? We learned those things and other things in a Times piece about how Chris Matthews better watch his back.


Very quickly, Maddow became MSNBC’s work horse, guesting on others’ shows whenever asked and filling in whenever necessary — even though she has her own daily 3-hour Air America show to attend to. Likely, she’d have to abandon that show to take a permanent MSNBC gig.

And then there’s Maddow’s little lesbian matter, as in, she is one! And except for accepted closet cases like Anderson Cooper and Shep Smith, Maddow would become the first out pundit on cable news. Big deal, indeed.

New York:

Phil Griffin (who you may or may not remember as being an awesome hippie) who just became the president of the network, loves her, and after reading today’s Times story about her, we kind of love her too. (With apologies to Chris Matthews whose job she’s probably going to get. Our love is fickle — what can we say?) Below, six reasons why Rachel Maddow is our new girl crush.

1. She once had a job that feels like one we would have had: “Less than a decade ago she was working odd jobs in western Massachusetts, including one at a Northampton coffee-bean factory where she cleaned out buckets.”

2. In another job, she wore “an inflatable calculator costume at a local Ford dealer.” (That feels like a job we would have had, too.)

3. Also, she has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and a doctorate from Oxford, which she attended on a Rhodes scholarship. She wrote her dissertation on AIDS in prisons. (Here is where we stop relating and start admiring.)

4. She is openly gay, but: “I will not dance the way Ellen does.”

5. She says “Duh” in an interview with the New York Times. Speaking about how Fox asked her to comment on Madonna kissing Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, she said: “They thought I had expertise, maybe,” she said. “I said no, duh.”

6. Despite being a total liberal, she’s not one of those annoying Obama people. “I am not a fan of either candidate.”

Okay, we still don’t want to kiss her or anything. But still: Swoon.

Sheesh. Perhaps Maddow’s MSNBC show should be called Everybody Loves Rachel.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.