From the NY Times Style Section (Style Section!):

Tucker Carlson may have paved the way, becoming a host of “Crossfire” when barely over age 30. More-recent role models include Luke Russert, the 23-year-old son of the late Tim Russert, who was hired by NBC this summer to cover the youth vote, and Rachel Maddow, who is 35 and rose from nowhere to become a top-rated headliner on MSNBC.
It's fair to say--in a vacuum--that Maddow has come out of nowhere. She's only been in the radio and tv business for the last four years, after all. But she's been really good at it for those four years, and lots of people were suggesting loudly that she deserved a shot at MSNBC long before she got it.

But of the people on that list, doesn't Luke Russert deserve the "came out of nowhere" tag a bit more than Maddow? Would he be anywhere near the camera if he didn't have that last name? Come on--credit where it's due, okay? Maddow's holding onto most of Olbermann's audience, she's beating Larry King fairly often and she's inching up on Hannity and Colmes. If we could get MSNBC without having to pick up the Fox channels on our satellite system, she'd be on the DVR alongside Democracy Now! I guarantee. As it is, I watch her show the next morning online 3-4 days a week.

The rest of the article is depressing, frankly, because it shows just how degraded our national discourse is. Pundits who go to these schools are taught to score points, not argue honestly. It's all about smiling while you lie and twist the knife, and how to answer the question you wish you were asked instead of the one that came out of the news person's mouth.

Speaking of which, pundits could learn a bit from Joe Biden's reaction to this piece of craptacular interviewing.



It's the way Biden responds with complete incredulity, especially after the quote from Karl Marx (at about 2:25). When an interviewer asks a question as stupid as that one, the only response is to point out the ridiculousness of it. Mock them as they deserve.

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