Women’s History Month 2013: Rachel Maddow

18 Mar

RachelMaddowToday we honor and celebrate Dr. Rachel Maddow, a woman who is trying to bring real discussion back into television journalism. Maddow was born in California in 1973. While a freshman at Stanford University, she was outed in a campus paper interview before she was able to tell her parents. I always love papers that out people just for the sake of outing them–my what code of ethics does that follow?  Fortunately, they were supportive, and she has been out and proud ever since. After receiving her degree in public policy from Stanford, she was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, becoming the first openly LGBT Rhodes scholar. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University with her thesis entitled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons.

These early events clearly hinted at her outspoken nature and her dedication to open discourse. She won a contest to become a radio announcer shortly after returning to the U.S., launching her broadcast career. She worked in radio for local Massachusetts stations and then joined Air America. Unabashedly liberal, she has observed the rightward drift of this country’s politics with the quip

I’m undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I’m in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform.

While still on Air America, she began regular guest spots on MSNBC’s nightly programs. Soon she was offered her own show, a TV version of her radio program, The Rachel Maddow Show. This made her the first openly LGBT host of a major prime-time news show in the U.S. She also routinely has her network’s most highly rated show–in what still remains a “white hetero male dominated” industry.

Her program is a wonderful mixture of straight news, opinion, and interviews–all offered through a social justice lens. In fact, I’m not sure there are other national programs that stand in such solidarity with those that are marginalized and oppressed by those in power and charged with the task of representing all Americans.  I love that Maddow holds these hypocrites’ feet to the fire. She has no tolerance for liars or people who put talking points above reality. Her no-holds-barred approach to discussing critical events is very refreshing. The media need more people who stand up and say “that’s not right!” Hooray for Rachel Maddow for showing that caring about the truth can still matter to the viewing public.

20 Responses to “Women’s History Month 2013: Rachel Maddow”

  1. Christine Noble March 18, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Dr. Maddow is one of my favorites. She opened the door for Melissa Harris-Perry, who approaches many of the same subjects in much of the same style.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 18, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      I’m embarrassed that I have never heard of Melissa Harris-Perry. I shall have to investigate and look for her show.

      • Christine Noble March 18, 2013 at 8:44 am #

        You have to! She’s great. I know you’ll love her!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 18, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      I just looked her up! I have to celebrate her. Do you mind if I write about her and thank you for inspiring me?

  2. dykewriter March 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Reblogged this on dyke writer.

  3. Jay March 18, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I’m a big fan of reasoned discourse, and without detracting from Rachel Maddow’s estimable contributions to that, I’d like to cite a few other programs where it can be found.

    PBS is a particularly rich source, as the home of Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and the PBS Newshour (especially notable is that show’s every-Friday feature Shields and Brooks).

    Rachel mixes comedy into her program very nicely, and if one enjoys an even-higher percentage of humor in their civil discourse, then Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are often both amusing and insightful.

    I understand that I haven’t cited any women, so am off-point in regards to Women’s History Month, but I wager that Rachel wouldn’t mind a shout-out to any of the male practitioners of civility in broadcasting that I have cited.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Thank you for pointing to and celebrating others that are engaged in reasoned discourse, while also allowing me to celebrate our Rachel during Women’s History Month. Regarding The Daily Show, I am particularly fond of our Samantha Bee.

  4. mixedupmeme March 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Rarely miss a show!!

  5. nevercontrary March 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    There are no words for how much I love her.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      I knew you would love Rachel. How are you, dear heart?

      • nevercontrary March 21, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        Oh man michael, my life is the usual crazy as hell. But at least my wife and girls are perfect.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

        I’m just glad to hear you, your wife and kids are well!🙂

  6. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 18, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you for reblogging this. I love our Rachel!


  1. Women’s History Month 2013: Rachel Maddow | The Solipsistic Me | Central Oregon Coast NOW - March 18, 2013

    […] Women’s History Month 2013: Rachel Maddow | The Solipsistic Me. […]

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