Saturday, March 31, 2012

BIRTH: March 31–Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow and her dog.
Garrison Keillor reminds us today is the birthday of political commentator Rachel Maddow, born in 1973 in California's Castro Valley.

The connection to Oxford us that she was the first openly gay American to be chosen a Rhodes scholar. Today she is the first openly gay American news anchor, though my enjoyment of her show is not directly related to her sexual preferences.

She told the Stanford Daily as a 17-year-old freshman in 1990 that she was gay. They were supposed to hold publication until she got home to tell her Catholic parents first. Shock... the paper didn't keep its commitment, and her distressed parents had a clipping before she got home. But her parents are supportive now.

"The Rachel Maddow Show" on cable news channel MSNBC began in 2008 and was the network's most successful launch ever. The program airs at 9 pm Eastern, Monday-Friday and is rebroadcast at midnight. She lives in New York City and western Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula. Rachel Maddow's website sends you to Susan’s.

I've wanted to get her to speak to the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race Dinner but it's on Thursday evenings (the next Boat Race Dinner in New York is April 12; it is completely sold out) and her show is on at the same time! In 2008 she told New York Magazine:
I do worry if being a pundit is a worthwhile thing to be. Yeah, I'm the unlikely cable news host. But before that, I was the unlikely Rhodes scholar. And before that, I was the unlikely kid who got into Stanford. And then I was the unlikely lifeguard. You can always cast yourself as unlikely when you're fundamentally alienated in your worldview. It's a healthy approach for a commentator. 
Her latest book is on how the United States gets into wars. It is called Drift. Get the Drift? Here is a link to her books.

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