the kicker

M(addow)S(oft) N(ational) B(roadcasting) C(ompany)

November 24, 2008

Not making a list of “Top 25 Censored Stories” of this (or perhaps even next) year: This Rachel Maddow? On MSNBC? She’s downright appealing! And, people have been watching…

Add two more Maddow profiles to the pile. From columnist Jon Friedman:

What has been the key to Maddow’s early success? Much has been made in the media about her lesbianism, intellectual prowess (a Rhodes Scholar, she has an Oxford Ph. D.) and penchant to dress down in a way that would make Joan Rivers blanch. New York magazine’s Jessica Pressler might have put it best, though. In a recent profile, she wrote of Maddow: “As one New York acolyte told me, ‘She is more like one of my friends than anyone else on television.'”

Being fashionably late to the story having both benefits (you can quote other people’s sources) and drawbacks (it’s slim-pickings by then for a compelling lead, resulting in:”These days, the “M” in MSNBC might as well stand for Rachel Maddow.”)

Also, Friedman can personally confirm Maddow’s “star quality” because he was dining recently “in a Greenwich Village restaurant when word spread through the place that Maddow was seated a few tables away” and “even the jaded New Yorkers in the vicinity craned their necks to get a glimpse of her.”

From Newsweek‘s contribution in the December 1 issue:

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A funny, cerebral and likable young woman who reads graphic novels and hungers for political change is more representative of the times than the older, angrier male pundits who’ve dominated the debate for so long. Maddow is not angry—her fans find her adorable, often confessing to crushes on her…

More “adorable” fodder for fans:

Maddow was, according to her parents, a curious, serious child who never spoke baby talk.
When her mother, Elaine, would walk into the kitchen to prepare breakfast, the 4-year-old Rachel would be perched on a stool, with her nightgown and bed socks on, reading the newspaper.


A calm and focused Maddow is made up and wearing one of her identical pantsuits (she refuses to say who the designer is for fear of “insulting them”).

Which leaves something (a challenge, perhaps) for any publication which has yet to write its Maddow report.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.