RACHEL MADDOW AND CABLE NEWS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I never used to watch 24 hour cable news. But after Trump’s election, I started watching The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC at 9 PM weeknights. I love this show because it has a different format and purpose than most other cable news shows.

Rachel Maddow talks directly to you for much of the show. She rarely has more than one guest at a time and there aren’t that many guests throughout her hour. This in itself sets her apart from the other cable news hosts. She sees her job as explaining and digesting key news items of the day for her viewers. She tells her chosen stories of the day with lots of background and perspective, both historical and political. Some hours are totally dedicated to unraveling and illuminating the complexities of just one story. She starts at the beginning and brings you up to date with the complete story, boring details and all.

Sometimes you don’t quite know where Rachel is going on a story and then suddenly, what she’s saying clicks with something in the news today and the light bulb goes off in your head. Rachel will then explain the significance of today’s facts and evaluate the importance of the information. She makes sense of the barrage of information we are being inundated with on a daily basis.

You end your hour with Rachel feeling that you actually have a handle on what’s going on, at least regarding whatever stories she has covered. I find that I often can help friends understand some issue by imparting some of the wisdom I have absorbed from The Rachel Maddow Show. Friends are grateful for their new-found understanding and look at us like we are founts of wisdom. It’s not us. It’s Rachel.

Lately I’ve started watching other shows on MSNBC, my chosen cable channel. I don’t find them as satisfying as Rachel Maddow. But they do serve a more general purpose. They just report on whatever is happening or is in the news at the moment. They often use interviews with multiple people in those little boxes on-screen. The experts and/or pundits explain different versions of the story and offer different opinions about it. Often there is shouting involved.

Other MSNBC show

There’s nothing wrong with that. Very little in this world is simple or clear-cut. There is a place for the two-sided, “he said/she said” news presentation. Most of the print news I read is presented this way too.

For me, there’s something about how Rachel Maddow presents the news which I find very clarifying. After her shows, I feel like I have a better grasp of the material she covered. I don’t always feel that way when I read or watch other sources.

I find so much in the media to be confusing and uncertain, as well as unbelievable. I’m grateful for every bit of clarity and comprehension I can get. I thank Rachel Maddow for giving me an hour a day of sanity in the middle of the information storm in which we live today.



Categories: dialogue, intelligence, Media, News

Tags: , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. I’m definitely left of center but I find Rachel to be a little sensational. I generally agree with her but the presentation detracts from the message. IMHO.

    Like

    • Garry find her annoying. I feel she over-explains things — but at least she explains. So few people on television explain anything. I’m not a daily watcher, but if I think i need a 1-2-3 explanation, she’s a good place to turn.

      Like

  2. I do like Rachel Maddow but sometimes I find myself caught up watching that darn pen in her hands as she gets deeper and deeper into a subject and starts using her hands more. She is good, though!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like Rachel and her determined, no-nonsense style. It feels less like a newscast and more like shared conversation at the kitchen table. I don’t like her aside-wink “are you getting it?”expression. It’s part of her on camera persona, I get it. It’s quirky.

      As a retired TV newsie, i know we all have little behavorial bits. Some are good, some not so good. My criticism-observation is just nit-picking because Rachel does a great job at really dissecting and explaining complicated stories that you don’t fully grasp in the allotted time given to anchors.

      Liked by 3 people

      • ‘shared conversation at the kitchen table’…that is exactly what I like about her. You are right–she does do a great job.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I love your ‘shared conversation at the kitchen table’ line. It’s perfect to describe her style. And she does have the knack of simplifying complex subjects. But she also does her homework and that’s a big part in her ability to pull disparate threads together into a comprehensible whole. She is the quintessential journalist.

        Liked by 1 person

    • She is definately quirky! But that’s part of what I love about her. She seems like a natural person, not a talking head or ‘pundit’. SHe also admits what she doesn’t know or understand, which is refreshing.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. i feel exactly the same. i look forward to her cutting through all of it and organizing it in a way i can make some sense of –

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree with everything you said about the Rachel Maddow Show. My wife and I watch her every weeknight. Her show is must see TV!

    Liked by 1 person

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