Quietly Twisting The Knife
TNC admires Maddow's interviewing chops:
That interview would have gone a lot better for Rand Paul if Maddow had have just thrown her notes in the air and accused him of being a bigot, and a covert member of the Klan. That's what they want. And I don't simply mean conservatives--I mean people you disagree with. I know I've won a debate when my adversary says, "What the fuck type of name is Ta-Nuh-hah-see, anyway?" It translates to "I've got nothing." Much scarier is the opponent who takes your argument, with whatever nuances it may or may not possess, and politely disagrees with the argument as it is.
I try to do this in writing, with some success. Much more difficult, for me, is to do it in person. I'm always impressed by broadcast journalists who can, without getting angry, grab the point of contention and drive at it in a manner that is as civil as it is relentless. This is the art of killing softy, of quietly twisting the knife.
It's also, in my view, the answer to the cable news dilemma. Instead of going to FNC propaganda route, or the CNN fake "neutrality" route, you have a host who has a point of view but is open to other points of view, and can keep his or her cool under fire. Yesterday was a good day for cable news in that respect. Maddow offered a glimpse of a more useful future.