Monday, August 15, 2005

Cable's New Progressive Voice

Air America's Rachel Maddow provides cable news with a fresh progressive voice and makes MSNBC's new The Situation With Tucker Carlson watchable. She consistently argues the left's point of view with charisma, humor and sounds like I'm being paid to pitch her, but I'm completely serious.

And to be honest, Tucker's not nearly as annoying as he was on Crossfire; this show seems to be making the case for civil political debate, the anti-Crossfire. Not to mention the fact that Tucker, unlike the rest of the conservative cable cabal, is actually comfortable enough with himself to allow the show to be about something other than him. But unlike his ex-counterparts on the left James Carville & Paul Begala, Rachel Maddow actually speaks like a progressive, like she's proudly, shamelessly liberal. For example, on the prospect of 2008 presidential nominee John McCain:
That’s ridiculous! The Republicans basically built George W. Bush out of straw . . . They created him out of nothing so that he would owe them everything. They’re not gonna pick somebody like McCain, who has basically no friends in the Republican Party, doesn’t owe anybody anything, and is likely to make his own decisions.
But The Situation is not at all atypical in the sense that when Rachel is on, it's "to provide balance"; in other words, it's the conservative host, a conservative panelist and her. As Rachel puts it:
This idea [of] balance has shifted the idea of objectivity so far to the right that if you look at balance as a seesaw, it puts the fulcrum in a really weird place.
The Situation With Tucker Carlson is on MSNBC weeknights at 11pm Eastern.


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