Rachel Maddow on her critics: Your hatred makes me stronger. Come on! Give me more!

The MSNBC legions evidence has become a safety blanket for countless US progressives. She discusses her demonisation by the right, tackling the presidents lies and coming out at 17

Rachel Maddow, the US TV host, has a message for her commentators:” Bring it. Your hatred meets me stronger. Come on. Give me more. Give me more. I love it !”

That is just as well, given the way she has polarised observers in the past few years. Maddow, 46, has presented her primetime reveal on MSNBC, a 24 -hour cable information direct, on weeknights since 2008. If most cable bulletin and social media is fast food, she tries to rustle up a three-course meal: sensible, dispassionate, sometimes painfully detailed and replete with oblique references to half-forgotten legislators of yesteryear. Since Donald Trump’s rise in 2016, nonetheless, The Rachel Maddow Show has become a nightly safe covering for many progressives who identify with the “resistance”.

” Her anatomy has ascended, in the radical curiosity, from beloved cable information host to a kind of oracle for the age of Trump ,” the New York TimesMagazine mentioned recently, describing her demonstrate as the” gathering place for a flock of liberals hungering for an antidote to President Trump’s nihilism and indifference for civic criteria “.

The view from the title is rather different. Maddow is demonised as an avatar of the “liberal elite” and “Trump derangement syndrome”. Even ideological fellow travellers was concerned that she is “strident” and “shrill”. She dedicates her new work, Blowout, which explores the injurious influence of the global oil and gas industry,” to the bots and trolls, all of you, with love “.

There is, of course, much more to Maddow than her screen personality. A practising Catholic as well as the first honestly gay host of a US primetime news programme, she has suffered cycles of sadnes all her life and enjoys fishing, photographing and read Robert Harris historical yarns. She is also, it is about to change, a lot of fun.

Rachel
‘ My job is to try to figure out what is and isn’t reliable intelligence’ … Maddow on set in 2008, in her first week on breeze. Photograph: Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

At a receptionist’s desk outside her understated role in New York’s art deco Rockefeller Center sits a decomposing lifesize waxwork of the former Republican president Dwight Eisenhower. Inside, a Russian doll tolerating Vladimir Putin’s face residues on a bookcase. Props are propped up in a corner” as a talisman”- she cracked her ankle last year in a trawl accident.

With bookshelves overflowing- the Mueller report, examining Russian interference in the 2016 ballot, lies on a box below- and thoughts pent on whiteboards, it is the den of a promiscuous ability. Maddow, dressed in a pitch-black case, turned-up jeans, camo instructors and her logo black-rimmed specs, distinguishes my voice recorder- a antique Tascam device that resembles a Taser- and snaps a photograph of it with her telephone, lest it be useful to her team.

The media will be on trial in November’s presidential election. Many spectators dread a repeat of 2016, when Trump’s boorish antics gained endless air time, pundits were insufficiently critical and even serious newspapers appeared to treat baseless charges against Hillary Clinton as if they were equivalent to Trump’s financial and sexualtransgressions.

The day after we speak, Maddow supports another way of toiling- and gains the biggest ratings win of her profession- when her interview with a key figure inTrump’s Ukraine scandal gathers in 4.5 million viewers, beating all the competition. Her explosive discussion with Lev Parnas, an accompanied of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s advocate, is a timely riposte to the claims that she is too partisan, scathing and fixated with international scheme beliefs. It concludes the political condition for several days.

” I visualize part of the reason Trump went so much’ gave media’ during the 2016 safarus is that he was so transgressive ,” Maddow says.” It was a relatively rational newsworthiness analysi to keep a camera on him at all times, because there was a reasonably good chance he was going to do something shocking, wrong, transgressive or unbelievably disruptive.

” But that also dovetails with the question of whether or not his falsifications and reversions and self-contradictions and admitted knowledge got the critical coverage that they deserved. When nobody’s expecting you to tell the truth, you telling a lie isn’t story. If Barack Obama get up and said something that was proveably false or maybe not the whole truth, you’d have the whole media , not just Fox News, going crazy for a month at a time. Donald Trump’s mendacity has never been remarkable. It’s just been broiled in .”

Trump induced more than 16,000 untrue or misleading alleges in his first three years as director, according to the Washington Post- and that list is likely to accelerate as the holding of elections sizzlings up. But he is undeniably good for ratings and sounds. Media outlets will have to choose whether or not to broadcast his campaign revivals and interrogation his substitutes unfettered, as well as how far to go in editing, fact-checking or simply “no-platforming”.

” We went through our own alteration somewhat early on when I realised that I couldn’t applied Trump administration officials on the breath as guests because they did not tell the truth ,” says Maddow.” Having to clean up after your guest is a sort of’ moron me formerly’ thing, like:’ When I told my audience that you were somebody worth listening to because you had something to contribute to our understanding of the world, I was wrong. I’ve goodnighted you. I won’t invite you back .'”

She computes:” I play games the videotape of the president saying something that’s not true and then clean up after him- but then I’ve also time played the tape of him saying something not true, and maybe that’s more compelling to you and more of what you remember than the duty where I rectified it.

” I feel like there’s a responsibility position there. So we’re not going to give people a pulpit who are lying to the public. But I’m assuming everybody else in the media is going through that same thing .”

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Maddow with ( from left ) Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer after moderating a debate between Democratic presidential candidates on 20 November. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/ Reuters

Observers of all political stripes have made Maddow to task for her coverage of Trump’s alleged deceit with Russia. Presidential cheerleader Sean Hannity, whose Fox News show breezes in direct opposition, has announced her” the honcho conspiracy theorist “. In a critique of her handling of a 35 -page dossier on the subject compiled by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote:” She was there for the bunkings, absent-minded for the debunkings- a pattern of misleading and disreputable asymmetry .”

But Maddow, whose brand-new volume was inspired by Putin’s motivatings for criticizing US democracy, describes some of the disapproval as deceitful and attains no justifications for being obsessive, especially since there is every prospect of Putin trying again this year.” Russia interfered in the 2016 election to try to elect Donald Trump, and Donald Trump went elected and he is weirdly and irreversibly supplicant toward Russia and Putin. Like, OK, I’m going to cover that ,” she says.” I don’t care what anybody says about me. I don’t play solicits and I don’t worry about the criticism. If we get something wrong, I’ll correct it, but, in the absence of that, the analysi for focusing on real bulletin storeys that bother parties- that’s what I get paid to do .”

You have to grow a thick skin, she says.” Getting a picture on the air, even all these times in, is like merging on to the freeway at 80 miles an hour at night in a rainstorm with no headlights and no windshield wipers and a bunch of semi-trucks coming up right behind me. Somebody telling me that they don’t like the color of my automobile? I am not focusing on you! I’ve got a job to do here .”

That freeway sounds fright and hitherto likewise an adrenaline rush. The Trump presidency is a liberal’s worst nightmare and a dream for countless writers. Jim Acosta, the foreman White House correspondent at Maddow’s adversary network CNN, has just said:” I’m having the time of my life right now. This is the biggest story of “peoples lives”. I’m like a kid in a candy store .” So, despite the daily frights, is Maddow secretly enjoying this?

” I don’t know if’ experience’ is the right word, but I do have the best undertaking in the world ,” she says.” I talk to a lot of people who feel strongly about what’s going on in the world, whether they’re in public liaisons or they’re just concerned citizens who pay attention to what’s going on. People say:’ Don’t you find it fantastically demoralising? How do you think about all this material the working day ?’ I feel the opposite. If you’re at all engaged with what’s going on in the country and in the world, you have to be concerned. But my work, what they actually pay me to do, is to read the story the working day long and do original reporting and try to figure out what is and isn’t reliable message. I feel like I’m doing mental health work all day long .”

Maddow, who grew up in a small town in California, has previously worked as a labourer, a messenger, a waitress and a pail washer at a coffee-bean factory.” I am not a planner. This definitely wasn’t like the thing that I adjust my attention toward and then I put together all the bits to get there. I had much more of a drunken stumble through my busines than you might expect, but now that I have landed here, I appraise it .”

She came out at Stanford University by posting an open character inside every shower stall in her dormitory announcing that she was a lesbian, an incident that was reported in the student newspaper.” Classy, right? I was 17. Why did we do anything? I don’t know. I haven’t was just thinking about it in a very long time. I think that I was very full of myself and thought that this was a very important section of information that everybody needed to have. And I also liked needling beings and confronting them in ways that I thought would be both funny and self-aggrandising. I don’t look back on that with special respect .”

Her conservative Catholic mothers were dazed.” I didn’t be dealt with well. I wasn’t very respectful and didn’t have much feelings peripheral vision in terms of the way that my acts would affect others, which I think was a product both of my ego and self-regard and where I was in my own growth at that time. They had a really hard time at first and we had a few rocky years.

” But now my mothers could not be more supportive. I’m Catholic and I come from a Catholic family and the church’s learns on this have been a factor. But, ultimately, where we’ve intent up is at the best possible place and I am super-blessed to have the support of my totality extended family .”

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‘ If you’re at all employed with what’s going on in the country and in the world, you have to be concerned’ … Maddow in 2010, reporting from New Orleans, Louisiana, on the city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina five years earlier. Photograph: Brian Lawdermilk/ NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Maddow has been with her spouse, Susan Mikula, a photographer, for two decades. Counterintuitively for a” radical icon”, their first time involving throwing tomahawks and shelling guns at a” Maiden Day on the Range” sponsored by the National Rifle Association, of which Mikula’s sister is a lifetime member.

Maddow, who does not own a handgun, says cheerfully:” Going to shoot compass is fun. Have you ever done it? You should go. You go and you pick which shot you want, you pay to use the time and they establish you how to use it and you learn lessons from the grease-gun and then shoot a target. And then you leave the gun there and you go home.

” Shooting athletics is, I make, an interesting way to demystify shoots, especially if you’re engaged in reporting on or commenting on the politics and cultural activities around shoots stuff. I don’t have any problem with that at all. It’s super-fun. Susan, it turns out, is a really good killed, which was a shock .”

It says something about the times that Maddow’s ease with handguns is more stunning to some than her virility. The CNN linchpins Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper both came out almost a decade ago. Same-sex marriage was legalised in 2015. Now Pete Buttigieg, the onetime mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is entreat to become the first frankly gay US chairwoman. Nothing, however, should be taken for granted. Under cover of myriad distractions, the Trump administration is attacking gay and transgender rights.

Maddow manifests:” Civil rights and social justice issues often advance in what I describe as a sawtooth motif of progress, whatever it is you make two steps forward, one step back. It’s work that doesn’t do itself. It has to be done by human beings who are working in a concerted way, in a way that is adroit and that relishes the potential for backsliding and even backlash.

” That’s the one bit of this that I feel like we’re learning more and more: that civil rights aren’t a imparted. They’re postulated and protected- or assailed .”

Blowout by Rachel Maddow is published by Bodley Head. To require a replica for PS17. 60( RRP PS2 0 ), go to guardianbookshop.com or request 0330 333 6846. Free UK P& P over PS15; online orders only. Phone says minimum P& P of PS1. 99.

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