I was on the fence about "The Rachel Maddow Show" when it premiered in early September. The show felt a little redundant, paired as it is with “Countdown With Keith Olbermann.” But hey, talking-head TV is, by definition, redundant. It's all blah blah blah all the time.
And I've really grown to enjoy Maddow's wry attitude and tone, as she interacts with all the clips and guests and monitors the lame-duck presidency (“Quackitude”). She's not as heavy with the hammer as Olbermann; she has enough faith in her choice facts to let them stand on their own, without bluster. And she's refreshingly non-self-referential. Why, I do believe she is the sanest and most gracious of TV's left-leaners. (I know, Globe leftist conspiracy etc. etc. The comments section is all yours.)
It was surely a sign of the times to see her on Friday night interviewing Phil Donahue, who lost his own MSNBC show in 2003 reportedly due to his anti-Iraq War approach. The moment was very that-was-then-this-is-now, as Donahue plugged his documentary "Body of War," which is about a paralyzed veteran who is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The movie airs tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7 on Sundance Channel.