Liberals are thrashing The New Republic for suggesting that the cable news doyenne is anything but marvelous. In its latest issue, the center-left magazine dings a handful of the left-left's sacred cows, including MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who is portrayed as blindly partisan and similar in style to Fox News, meriting her inclusion to "D.C.'s Most Over-Rated Thinkers":
Maddow is a textbook example of the intellectual limitations of a perfectly settled perspective. She knows the answers even before she has the questions. The truth about everything is completely obvious to her. She seems utterly incapable of doubt or complication. Her show is a great tribute to Fox, because it copies the Fox style exactly.
TNR has always prided itself in publishing views that drift from liberal orthodoxy (cough, neoconservatism, cough) but this insult to Maddow has been deemed beyond the pale by the blogging left.
TNR doesn't understand television Think Progress blogger Matt Yglesias attacks the "wrongheadedness" of TNR's listicle by pointing out that Maddow's contributions to liberalism need to be considered in the context of cable television. "Different media have different advantages and disadvantages and it’s simply quite difficult as a logistical matter to do really in-depth thinking on television," he writes. "Beyond the logistical difficulties there are the economic ones. Maddow isn’t backed by a non-profit, and doesn’t have the luxury of producing a television show that survives as a money-losing vanity project of some hedge fund managers. You have to compare people to other people doing comparable things. Is Maddow’s show the worst thing on prime time cable news? Absolutely not. It’s the best."