Ms. Information

As we all know, this election season has been an important one for women in politics. It's been a particularly exciting election year for one woman who entered the American political sphere early this fall and has gone on to excel in a male-dominated job. Don't worry, I'm not a Palin supporter. I'm talking about Rachel Maddow, the host of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, which premiered September 8th.

Dr. Maddow's show offers political commentary with a liberal bias and a healthy dash of wit. Also a radio host, her television career began when she was a commentator on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. She is the first out lesbian to host her own cable news show and she identifies as a butch dyke. It is refreshing to see a show hosted by an intelligent and opinionated woman who not is not only a rare female face in the overwhelmingly male world of cable news, but who also challenges the Barbie-doll ideal that has been the standard for female newscasters and pundits. Even more impressive, MSNBC's ratings in her time slot are now twice what they were before her show's premiere.

As an avid watcher of The Daily Show (the best fake news show on TV), I'm overjoyed to have found a real news show with an equally smart, funny, feminist perspective.


Rachel said...

When I first saw this, I was like "Ellen Degeneres?" but then I looked it up and saw she came out on the fourth season.. kudos, Rachel Maddow. To have an openly lesbian woman having her own show from the start is really something, but I have to wonder whether they capitalize off her sexuality being in the forefront rather than her humor. I'm intrigued enough to start watching either way ;)

Emma said...

Well, Ellen has her talk show, of course, but Rachel Maddow is the first out lesbian to ever host a news show. An important distinction, I think, because news is taken a lot more seriously than sitcoms or talk shows, and because so few women in general host news shows. Not that I don't adore Ellen. And hey, if it weren't for her paving the way, I'm sure Rachel Maddow wouldn't be able to have her show and be out. I definitely think it's more acceptable to mainstream America to see gay people being funny or talking about entertainment or fashion than to see them criticizing conservatives on national TV.

I've been watching clips here and there, and so far I haven't seen her or anyone else say anything about her sexuality on air. Her show is funny, but it's still professional.

Rachel said...

I watched it for the first time yesterday, and thought she was super clever and funny (maybe this is because I particularly enjoy seeing conservatives ridiculed, but neverthelss.) I didn't get the impression the show was "Rachel Maddow, political commentary from a lesbian", but rather "Rachel Maddow, smart and funny woman who is well-versed in politics and the art of making fun of John Mccain". Very refreshing!