It’s not television’s fault


It’s the people on it.

From New York’s profile of Rachel Maddow.

This is not to say that Maddow doesn’t have opinions about cable news. For starters, she loathes the format that casts the host as a referee between squabbling guests and has vowed to have only one speaking guest at a time, because, she’s says, it’s more respectful. “You’re essentially watching for the kinetic activity of the fight rather than listening to what anybody says about the issue,” she says. “And I think what people end up cheering for is winning, you know, rather than getting something out of it. I think there’s more intelligent ways to entertain people” … “Put a lot of information out there. People can handle it. It’s okay to use big words. You don’t need to dumb stuff down! You don’t need to make stuff simple and repetitive for people. If you assume that your audience is as interested in what you are talking about as you are, you’re going to connect with your audience in a much better way.” She might not be saving the world, but she is intent on making it a little smarter.


It’s not television’s fault

  1. I saw her on Jon Stewart. Hopefully she is the the first sign that American TV journalism is finally rising from the gutter it finds itself in. I hope one day us Canadians won’t have cause to be sanctimonious about how terrible their Hannity and Colmes types are.

  2. Did anyone else see her on Colbert? Colbert said something about her mother being from Newfoundland, and she said something along the lines of “how can you tell, was it the long black hair and the drooling?” I’m surprised Danny Williams didn’t demand an appearance on Larry King to clear the matter up.

  3. ok, so who’s going to forward this to Duffy and Newman?

  4. I hope one day us Canadians won’t have cause to be sanctimonious

    I was never sanctimonious. I was mystified. I stopped watching American television news in the early 90’s because I didn’t get anything useful from it. Then, after 9/11, I despaired. especially when I found out, via the web that there are indeed millions of American liberals (and even a few conservatives) who are not nearly as cartoonish and vacuous as the ones the networks consistently promote (who in fact, are rewarded for failure) and who never get within spitting-distance of the American networks.

    I’ll be sanctimonious about our penchant for panel discussions with evenly matched experts (and not spokespeople) who know they won’t be able to get away with saying anything outrageous unchallenged, but that’s not unique to Canada..

  5. Ti-Guy, methinks you would appreciate Rachel Maddow (and Keith Olbermann), they’ve genuinely changed the political slant of American cable news. (Whether they’ve made TV anything but a complete waste of time is another question.) I guess MSNBC isn’t available here? But you can find it online at msnbc.com. It ain’t CNN!

  6. MSNBC has some good stuff – if you’re what passes for a liberal in the USA.

    But it’s always worthwhile watching the drama that is Wolf Blitzer ( in small doses ).

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