Verge Loves: Rachel Maddow

Many people know Rachel Maddow as one of America’s most popular news anchors. She currently hosts The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, where every weeknight she discusses the day’s major news stories, usually related to American politics. Her rise to become one of the country’s biggest news reporters and her intelligent, matter-of-fact approach to reporting make her an inspiration in the world of news and politics.

Politics have been an interest for Maddow for a long time. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford in 1994 and later went on to earn a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Oxford.  After graduating, she began a career in radio in the late 1990s. She hosted several radio shows in Massachusetts before joining the Air America radio network as the third co-host of the show Unfiltered, a morning political talk show also hosted by Chuck D and Lizz Winstead. Later, when Unfiltered was cancelled, she got her own radio show on Air America, The Rachel Maddow Show.

In 2005, she began her work in television. For three years, she made regular appearances on MSNBC shows such as Tucker, Race for the White House, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. During this time, she attracted many fans, and many excitedly speculated that the network might allow her to host her own show. MSNBC did so in 2008, and The Rachel Maddow Show premiered with great success, immediately boosting primetime ratings. It also made Maddow the first openly gay person to host a primetime news program in the United States.

The Rachel Maddow Show has now been on the air for almost a decade, but it has experienced a massive surge in popularity just within the last year. This has largely been due to her coverage of Donald Trump’s election and presidency. Maddow, a self-proclaimed liberal (though not always a supporter of the Democrats), has been critical of many of the president’s actions and policies. This has gained her an increase in left-wing viewership over the course of a contentious election and a series of major political scandals. For many American liberals, her show has become the left’s answer to Fox News, the news network known for its highly conservative bias.

Despite a largely liberal audience and personally holding liberal views, Maddow has done her best not stray into the territory of partisan news broadcasting. She values reporting on the truth, on verifiable facts with limited input from personal opinion. Her reporting style, though certainly not devoid of emotion or personality, is generally calm and straightforward. This adherence to factual reporting is another possible explanation for her recent increase in popularity, as the current era of infamous “fake news” and “alternative facts” has displaced many Americans’ trust in much of mainstream media.

Regardless of your political views, Rachel Maddow’s rise to political news stardom is remarkable. The fact that a gay woman with a love for policy over personal politics was able to break into the difficult world of American primetime news with such success is no small achievement. Her continuing dedication to talking about policy and truth on her show make her an admirable figure in an industry that can often be hostile and biased. We appreciate Rachel Maddow for her intelligent, diligent adherence to her values and the work that she does for American news.

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