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Maddow Gets Her Own MSNBC Show

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (MSNBC)

By Howard Kurtz
Rachel Maddow has been sounding off about politics on MSNBC so often she might as well have her own show.

And now she does.

The liberal commentator and Air America host, who has become a breakout star for the cable channel during this campaign, is taking over the 9 p.m. slot following Keith Olbermann, who she often subs for on "Countdown." Olbermann broke the news in what he called a "fully authorized leak" this afternoon on the left-wing Web site Daily Kos. Dan Abrams, the former MSNBC general manager who had been hosting "Verdict" at that hour, will continue as NBC's chief legal correspondent and will be a daytime anchor for MSNBC.

With the promotion, which takes effect Sept. 8, Maddow, 35, breaks into what had been criticized as a boys club at the network, led by Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Hillary Clinton's campaign frequently ripped MSNBC for what it called sexist coverage during the Democratic primaries. Maddow, who lives with her girlfriend Susan Mikula in Manhattan and Northampton, Mass., may also be the first openly gay woman to host a prime-time program.

Her appointment is certain to draw criticism that MSNBC is moving further left in an attempt to compete with Fox News from the opposite side of the spectrum. John McCain's campaign has repeatedly assailed the network's campaign coverage as biased.

Maddow, who leavens her barbs with humor, is something of a heroine on the left. New York magazine recently ran an item headlined "Why We're Gay for Rachel Maddow," and a Nation article said: "Maddow didn't get here by bluster and bravado but with a combination of crisp thinking and galumphing good cheer. Remarkably, this season's discovery isn't a glossy matinee idol or a smooth-talking partisan hack but a PhD Rhodes scholar lesbian policy wonk who started as a prison AIDS activist."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 19, 2008; 6:26 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Media Notes  
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Posted by: diflucan | August 22, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Maddow is a Bush-hating rabid left winger. She, like Doberman, opps I mean Oberman, are smut peddlers.

Posted by: franco | August 21, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

She seems nice enough and she wasnt the btch most on her radio station were against Hillary,but then again she would join in with sickos olberman and sexist fat faced pig Matthews in demonizing Hillary every single night. Many will soon find out why so many of us wanted Hillary,its because right now she would be 10 points ahead of mccain ,not struggling and losing ground every day the way obama has.

Posted by: Chad | August 20, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

JSG - I agree that you guys need a channel that fully admits it is your own. While Fox may be the only channel that gives a conservative and liberal slant on news items, it is probably more conservative, and it is the only new outlet in TV/Print that does give the conservative perspective.It really is only fair that you have at least one of all channels and newspapers that are biased and in the tank for barak and dems be overtly and unabashdedly liberal, these others try to put up a little bit of a smoke screen and I am sure those brief times are quite offensive to a liberal. If you guys win you will be able to completely stifle all free speech, which I sure you can hardly wait for. I am sure the ratings are soaring just like Barak's.

Posted by: j.stafford.kks | August 20, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...more liberalism being expounded! I am pumped up! Liberalism has made this country so great in the past few decades....less parental rights...less accountability..more entitlements...nanny state government....yeah!

Posted by: MakeUsProud | August 20, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why the right wingers would complain about MSNBC being biased- I didn't hear them complain about FOX News being, literally, paid to put out conservative propaganda.

Oh wait, that's right... they are hypocrites. Now it all makes sense.

Posted by: JSG | August 20, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I've seen that Rachel guy when he subs for Olbermann. Moving to MSNBC from Air America just doubled his audience from 10-20.


Posted by: Gogo | August 20, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse I ever a happy camper...Rachel is fantastic. I have been watching her on line, on the Olbermann show...delayed a Mexico. I sure hope I can see her show that same way. The only other news we get here, on TV, is CNN Internationial, and FOX..YUCK ! This is great news.

Posted by: bill pandolf | August 20, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey you bunch of happy Libs!! Nobody watches anyway!

Posted by: greathawk1 | August 20, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Great news!! She is one of the best out there.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Rachel is a welcome addition to the MSNBC line up. MSNBC is a great destination after you have gotten the news on a subject from CNN, Fox, or the internet. The current lineup of Chrissy, the Richard Simmons of pundits with a tremendous Man Crush on Obama, and Olby, the Sen Byrd of psuedo intellectual pundits, has been fun watching them contort logic and deliver a pro Obama or anti McCain screed. Olby is just not very enjoyable due to the appearance of being a Thesarus fool. He should have Rachel proof his screeds.

Posted by: j.stafford.kks | August 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Good for her.

In all the times I have seen her on these shows I never once sat there and asked "Is she gay?". Why would I or anyone even care? She talks politics not lesbian lifestyles and she does it in a different way than the other talking heads on MSNBC. More diversity is better than less.

Posted by: nclwtk | August 20, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Rachel!

Posted by: Tim | August 20, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Psycho and the Dyko...

Posted by: New Yorker | August 20, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow... For years, I have been waiting for a show like keith olbermann, then I got it. Now, I have a Rachel maddow keeps getting better.
Congrats Rachel...

Posted by: Pierre | August 20, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I am sooo thrilled! I am a 63 year old political show junkie. Since I retired a year ago, I have been hooked on the 2008 political campaign. I can't get enough of the shows and try to give everyone a chance to tell their side. Rachel Maddow is a tall drink of cool water in an otherwise barren oasis of political pundits. I love her candor, sense of humor and intelligent discussion of the facts. I have waited impatiently to hear she might have a show.

Now, my suggestion for her show. I have been reading a lot a comment sessions. Most seem terribly illiterate and don't deserve to be heard. However, I have read many who question the "Keating Five." What is wrong with the media. I'm talking everyone, including MSNBC. CNN, of course, would probably like to hide it.

I have lived in Arizona since I was an infant in the 40s. For the life of me, I don't understand how a man like McCain has reached the point where he could actually become President!! I watched people I knew lose everything they had in the savings and loan scandal that should have taken down all involved. McCain tried to claim his only involvement was to see that a constituent was treated fairly. I'm sure a lot of those who lost their money were also constitutents. He claimed he was in no way involved otherwise. Of course, everyone knows his inlaws were investing hundreds of thousands dollars in Keatings' schemes. McCain said that had nothing to do with him, that was his wife's family -- ask her! Please, Rachel, either you or Keith Olberman should report on this, because we sure won't hear anything from other news programs.

I am tired of hearing of McCain's POW experience. I was in the Navy in the 60s and know other former POWs who would tell you how they feel about this man. I also researched his voting record on Veterans issues, in particular, anything to do with opening up documents relating to Viet Nam and the POW/MIA experience. Why?


Posted by: sharicook | August 20, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Great News! Congratulations Rachel and MSNBC. You are terrific, intelligent, and articulate. Rachel, how about having Amy Goodman on your show once in awhile!!! She's another intelligent, articulate woman.

Get rid of Lock-Up. I turn off MSNBC when that comes on.

Posted by: Helene | August 20, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse


I've been waiting a long time for this. Rachel Maddow's fresh perspective and searing whit on MSNBC has ignited my interest in nightly news once again.

Posted by: Vincent Marquez | August 19, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I've died and gone to intelligent voice, so smart, so savvy, so gay. Wow, never in a million years would I have thunk great. Congrats!

Posted by: Ellen | August 19, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

This is GREAT NEWS! Rachel Maddow is wonderful. Not taking any credit or attributing any causality, but I wrote an email to MSNBC just the other day strongly suggesting they give her her own show. Good to know MSNBC has come to the same conclusion as the rest of us--she would make a really good host of her own show. Looking forward to them.

Posted by: S. Ssuark | August 19, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Progressive Showdown with Rachel Maddow

Posted by: Drayton Nay | August 19, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Excellent decision on MSNBC's behalf! I'm sure having Keith on her side didn't hurt either. I've been hoping that Rachel would get her show for a long time now and it's finally happened. As for a suggestion for the title, how about "The Rundown" with Rachel Maddow, if not "Down for the Count" does the trick too.

As for Dan, I kinda liked him. How about putting him to good use on the weekends in addition to dayside coverage? I hate how MSNBC's weekend news line up is completely non-existent. I'll forward this to MSNBC as well...

Posted by: Ej | August 19, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Good for you Rachel-- your air america show is terrific- you just need to get over some of your Clinton hatred--asking on countdown why all other women's progress should be sacrificed to promote Clintons missed the point. They were asking about Sebelius, who as a one term governor, is far less qualified than HRC and without the broad-based support that HRC had shown. If the question had been about Boxer, Fienstien, or one of the woman that is more equally qualified, your answer could have been correct. Gender is the only reason Sebelius would be seriously considered- and it is infact insulting to pick another woman who is less qualified.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Alright, I must confess. I have a fantasy television moment that is so removed from reality that I must not think about it for more than a few seconds. RACHEL MADDOW vs ANN COULTER! Just the image of Coulters' head exploding over and over again would be the highlight of a lifetime.

Posted by: Franke | August 19, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I like Rachael Maddow for her intelligent comments on Air America, most of which I find offensive, even though I am a dyed in the wool liberal. Rachael did not jump on any left wing candidate's bandwagon as did Randy Rhodes and Thom Hartmann. She just offered clever insight and good humor. How refreshing!
MSNBC needs help. Rachael Maddow is the one to dispense it. Great decision!
BTW, I had no idea until now that she was gay.

Posted by: Betty Louann | August 19, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. Congrats Rachel - you've earned it. We need more smart, articulate, well-informed progressives like you on the air. Kudos to MSNBC who will reap ratings and ad dollars as a result of this decision. I hope she is a bit part of the convention coverage of both parties. So refreshing!

Posted by: Capone1 | August 19, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Rachel:

You so deserve it! Did Keith help or are you just that good?

We have a name for your new show.

"Rachel's View"

Hope you like it.

Gary and Linda Stewart
Portland, Or

Posted by: Linda Stewart | August 19, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Jealous much, Mr. Kurtz?

Posted by: Jill | August 19, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, and congrats Ms. Maddow.

I like Dan Abrams, but the show stunk. The comics graphics were distracting and made the whole show seem like a bad comedy.

Now all we need is a Chuck Todd show. How about getting rid of those losers in the morning and replacing them with someone with brains.

Posted by: Susan | August 19, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Finally we don't have to rush to change the channel once Countdown is over. Good luck. We know you will do great.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: Bill O'reilly, aka Billo the clown, wants to give her a scrub with a lufafa.

Posted by: playa | August 19, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse


If only I could get my cable company to dump that televised rag FOX NEWS, life would be perfect.

Unfortunately, we all need the FOX henhouse to remind us how slimey RepubliCONS are.

As for you RepubliCONNED McCain supporters...Keep clucking chickenhawks!

Posted by: chickenhawk_choker | August 19, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Rachel is the greatest!! Cannot wait for her debut. Congratulations, it was bound to happen to the smartest and most beautiful one. I Love you Rachel and your benefactor Keith. You go girl!!!

Posted by: Winfred | August 19, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey hey! Thats great, Rachel. Way to go!
I had a feeling they were auditioning you as you were on so much. Well done MSNBC!

Posted by: Narnia | August 19, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

When her show finally airs on MSNBC, Rachel will take the helm as television's most intelligent news analyst.

I predict a sea change in American news coverage when Rachel Maddow, a national treasure, comes to play.

Posted by: Bout Time | August 19, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, responding to someone else's comment:

I think it certainly IS news that someone can succeed in the mainstream media today while being openly gay, and very welcome news at that. Barrier breakers--dare I say glass-ceiling breakers--are to be commended regardless of their particular demographic group, because that is an added aspect of their achievement.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | August 19, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Rachel. I live 20 miles north of you in Mass and think of you as our "local girl" who made it big! Love your attitude, intellect and viewpoints and I can't wait for your show to hit the air.

Posted by: CC in WMASS | August 19, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Maddow is just plain smart and clear-sighted. While she's progressive in her politics, that doesn't cloud her tough assessments of reality and how well progressive candidates are or are not doing strategically and politically. I trust her and also find she often surprises me with insights and perspectives I just hadn't thought of before. Kudos to her and to MSNBC. This is not a "left-wing" pundit of the formulaic, talking points variety, but rather a smart person and commentator from a clear perspective. There is a difference. I hope to see plenty of interactions between her and Pat Buchanon as his thoughts have been of interest also and they have an unexpected screen chemistry when they debate.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | August 19, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish to suggest a name for the new R. Maddow show. To whom do I submit my idea? Thank you

Posted by: J. Mitchell | August 19, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian listening intently to Air America with Rachel hosting I was sure that she would go on to bigger things. Sure enough, she now has the chance to change the way television news is done - truth will out they say. Rachel knows the facts and understands who the good guys are. She will expose the rotten Repugs for the fools and liars they are. Go Rachel, Liberalism is making a massive come back lead by people such as you.

Congratulations and wishing you a better America......

Love your people, hate your present government.

Posted by: Andy Turner | August 19, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Rachel. Finally Msnbc has realized that Maddow who replaced Keith O. while he was on vacation got great ratings and realizes that there are many proud liberals out there who are demanding more liberal exposure. Kudos to MSnbc and Maddow and thanks to Keith O. for giving her the chance. Wonderful news.

Posted by: Millie Barrett | August 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

conservatives out there

that want to have their esses handed to them???

I got five minutes.....

or are you just "afraid of me?"


Posted by: any | August 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations! It's about time!

Posted by: SoBeale | August 19, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I am extremely excited that Rachel will be given her own show. Even my Republican husband enjoys her show and made a comment when Keith was on vacation that if MSNBC were smart, they would give her her own show. She is smart and entertaining. You go girl!!!!

Posted by: MsStargate | August 19, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Maddow.

I dig both her and Olbermann. For to many years, especially during the Clinton administration, Limbaugh,that sexually deprived nutcase Anne Coulter, and especially now Hannity have done a masterful job of tormenting and humiliating democrats without a spine.

Olbermann and Meddow give as well as take. I love it.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 19, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

do people attack those that they consider

socialists or populists?????

because they want welfare for the corporatocracy to continue...

what's good for AMERICA, they don't give a flying fxxx

about what's good for AMERICA, witness the selling of AMERICA going on while properties and businesses are at bargain basement laundering Colombian and Afghani DRUG MONEY and stolen IRAQI OIL has provided some of the lose money that is creating friction in the banking industry...

that and the fact that the FINANACIAL GENIUSes

somehow seem to have overlooked that when a country consumes 70 PERCENT of what the world produces and you get rid of the


who made up the BULK OF WAGE EARNERS until recently

that consumption drops, credit card debt goes up...and more banks fail....because the temporary loan becomes permanent

because the job losses are permanent and are not being amended.

how do you fix it????


while simultaneously arresting the bush administration enmasse to send a message to the world

that bullying and intimidation will not be tolerated

and Russia might be NEXT....

you gotta set the tone.

set the tone....

crush them.

Posted by: why | August 19, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Love you Rachel. really deserve it. But, how, you're forcing me to watch another hour of TV in the evening (following "Countdown", of course)...but well worth it.

Posted by: Don Jackson | August 19, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives have been crying about "the liberal media" for decades. Now finally Rachel Maddow should give them something to cry about.

Posted by: Dennis | August 19, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Yippee! Great! No wait, fantastic!

This from a long time Republican who remembers when thinking and debate and not lock step politics were one of the hallmarks of the party.

Posted by: Franke | August 19, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

So glad..way to go..Massachusetts is proud of you girl!

Posted by: ILUVRACHEL | August 19, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

real here,

neo conartists, use the label conservative...

they are no more conservative than a $5.00 ROLEX is a good watch...

they're frauds, manipulating sheeple.

Anyone in this day and age using labels, is attempting to

LEAD, MISLEAD and slant....or just plain stupid and incapable of dealing in a discussion of deeper import than...


working on a project and requires ANALYSIS

and verifiable delivery as well as being able to discuss the analysis...

what I see here most prevalently is playground behaviour and flagrant appeal to that is about as rigorous as the Washington Post writers capable of going....

Socratic Dialogue? don't know what that is do you?

Debate has a winner and a loser....why use two minds for opposing ends?

As a manager or a project lead there's only accurate and more accurate....

the sophomoric attitude that says you can settle what properly requires analysis is as stupid as saying that you pick your leaders by choosing a team....

you don't.

you get sold your leaders because you're _that_STUPID_

you don't pick jack sxxx.

but you know that, you're just pretending...

because you're weeners.


Posted by: let's be | August 19, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"MakeUsProud": You must hate all those "socialism"-provided roads and schools and libraries and whatnot that you enjoy every day. You know, all those evil liberal ideas.

Rachel, way to go! Keep punching the bad guys and holding the good guys' feet to the fire. And above all, keep peeling back the covers and flipping on the lights -- the cockroaches will keep scattering.

Posted by: Atario | August 19, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Bravo. Rachel is a class act and an engaging TV personality exuding intelligence, wit, and charm.

Posted by: labman57 | August 19, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals have good intentions...just lousy ideas."

Congratulations! You just described the modern conservative movement!

And I'll take Maddow's talents over yours, any day, "proud."

Posted by: vegasgirl | August 19, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Yawn....another liberal on TV. Great. Air America can't cut it (reference bankruptcies), and the network she's joining continues to lose. Liberals have good intentions...just lousy ideas. Better off to take responsibility for your life and not count on government. Try doing something good for someone on your own terms with your own money vs forcing me to.

Posted by: MakeUsProud | August 19, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

A good move by MSNBC,to give Rachel Maddow her own show.Thanks to Keith Olberman,for giving her the exposure without compunction,but one of respect to her.Keith,your are a class "ACT".

Posted by: Bosworth1 | August 19, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

me know when calling or labeling someone

"left wing" and "liberal"

aren't used to hide facts....


we need to manage our energy resources in order to have a predictable and good future...

you but holes call it "being liberal," without disclosing that you're writing for the Petroleum INSTITUTE or HALLIBURTON or you're an _ILLEGAL_OPERATIVE_ manipulating the public with slanted intelligence....



so HOWIE's use of the word liberal and leftwing

identifies Howard Kurtz as a lederhousen wearing member of George W. Bushes Hide the salaami in der nedder regions clubbe...

but we all knew that

Howard, how about being something besides a swallower and take a job somewhere else where you have no running the library at Lorton.


Posted by: let | August 19, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Rachel! Her great intellect and good humor will serve her well in this new post. Even when she was forced to read Keith's lines when he was on vacation, she managed to make them sound less officious.

Go get ‘em!

Dan Abrams was OK and I would recommend keeping him as a follow-up to Rachel because - as one commenter has already noted - anything is better than those worthless documentaries.

Posted by: Political Junkie | August 19, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Maddow is smarmy and a horrible left wing ranter. One less MSNBC "news" show to watch

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

the only thing Howie did was go to bat

for corruption.


Posted by: thought | August 19, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are two of the only progressive commentators on television in this country. They are very much needed, as well as appreciated, by anyone with a rational perspective and a moral conscience.

Rachel and Keith are needed to counter the overwhelming presence of neo-cons, reactionaries, conservatives on television.
They especially offer a fairly consistently reasonable perspective on international issues, a refreshing contrast to the chauvinistic, xenophobic, simplistic perspectives of most reporters.

Posted by: Independent | August 19, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hoo!! Yippee!!! Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

Posted by: S in PA | August 19, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

It’s about time!

I predicted this months ago (I know, so did a lot of other people). Now that it is about to occur, I hope that she and MSNBC create a smart, creative program that enhances the news sphere. The last thing we need is another descendant of the Crossfire genus of shouting matches that has already proved to be a failure.

Go Rachel - and take the fight to the rightists and their boy J-Mac.

The election season now officially starts on 9/8/08.

Posted by: Mark @ News Corpse | August 19, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Maybe it's sad that I'm surprised that such an opportunity would be afforded to someone whose qualifications include intelligence, compassion, sharp wit, and a reputation for reason and research. But I'm still a bit surprised.

She has a very good radio show, much less of the blustering hot air so prevalent on political talk radio (on both sides), and she has acquitted herself well during her television appearances. This should spell success. Good for Rachel.

Posted by: John in Mpl s | August 19, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

This chubbie, straight white guy says "You go girl!" I'm not a bit surprised. You earned this!

Posted by: Greg | August 19, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Finish the story, WaPo. What we really want to know is whether MSNBC's gain is Air America's loss. Somehow I think my afternoon commute just got a whole lot duller and less infomative without Dr. Maddow (Rachel Maddow IS a Doctor... just not THAT KIND of Doctor) in that time slot.

Way to go Rachel. Rock on!

Posted by: Prattle in Seattle | August 19, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Why not give Chuck Todd that hour and leave the one-sided news shows for Fox?

Posted by: mpp | August 19, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Rachel Maddow is one of the most intellectually engaging personalities on radio or television. She is brilliant, always well prepared and argues the progressive point of view with passion and intelligence. As to your purported assumption that this will signal that MSNBC is moving further to the left (progressive) I say it is about time.

Posted by: Watson | August 19, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Rachel Maddow, and a wise move on the part of MSNBC. Rachel Maddow brings intellect, superb political instinct and a natural persona before the camera.

I'm tired of seeing "washed" out blondes getting all of the choice TV posts. Moreover, MSNBC has demonstrated that it is color blind so far are as lifestyles are concerned. Finally, this liberal, 83 year old Demo loves the way Rachel responds to the right wing GOP.

Posted by: Forrest Gerard | August 19, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Well Maddow is an Obama supporter but as sad as that is she usually has SOME touch with reality unlike Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Nina Totenberg and Mark Shields.

When Obama loses, maybe she will learn to evaluate candidates better.

Here's hoping.

Posted by: Truth Seeker | August 19, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Maddow is great and has built a following not based on name-calling, cheap shots or viciousness, but through an entertaining show, sharp humor and humility (something Keith Olbermann, for all his other skills, badly lacks). Go, Rachel! I'll be watching.

Posted by: vegasgirl | August 19, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

No surprise here, really. Unlike other "guest" hosts on Countdown, Rachel makes you really want to watch when Olbermann is on leave. Such was the case in July, and the fact that ratings probably held firm was enough to put her over the top.

As for Dan Abrams, he did a nice job in the 9 PM slot, but daytime - perhaps leading into Chris Matthews slot - may work out better.

Well done, Ms. Maddow...

Posted by: wxdancer | August 19, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding. Rachel is both smart and has a sense of humor. They ought to put her on in the mornings to replace Morning Joe. That guy's constant petty anti-Obama whining makes the milk in my Cheerios curdle.

Posted by: Al in Fl | August 19, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Madow is the best new face on TV "news". She is brilliant, extremely well qualified, always on top of the issues, funny when funny's appropriate, and always a feeling, human voice in the Text Reader/Hot Shot wilderness. It took me some time to "get it" with Rachel...but it was worth the wait. Congratulations to MSNBC for grabbing her while the grabbin's good. She would knock the socks off the ratings if she took Katie Couric's gig. She's a pro with a unmatchable resume and will raise the bar that really needed raising.

Posted by: elbajoeste | August 19, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Awwwww ... another smart person Kurtz can't intimidate or out-think. So sorry.

It's too bad that he finds it an essential part of his column to mention Rachel's sexual orientation. It's almost as if he thinks thats news or an important part of anybodies resume.

I'd like to see the part of Kurtz's resume that says he's a Rhodes scholar. Oh, wait. He got his job through bluster and sycophantic right-wing non-sense.

Hail to the new news!

Posted by: topwriter | August 19, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

One of the most qualified people ever to be on the talk circuit. I love it when they describe the various guests as a "Democratic strategists" or a "Republican strategists". Mean time they are out of work journalists writing some blog somewhere. Maddow is the real deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Whoo hoo! Good for you, Rachel! I don't know whether I'm happier that she's got her own gig, or that MSNBC is showing one less prison documentary! Seriously, this Ph.D., Rhodes Scholar with a sense of humor is a winner. Well done!

Posted by: abqcleve | August 19, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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