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Why watch Maddow

It’s because she is a good story teller. In fact, she’s mesmerizing. And in this news environment, story telling is very important.

When I say the word “story”, I don’t mean something that is fiction. A story in this sense is an explanation of a situation with characters, plots, rising actions. When you listen to the news as a story, the complexities are simplified. They get tied to one another. The personalities are interesting. This is the reason why she is overtaking Sean Hannity in her time slot.

It’s less news than a brilliant written history — in real time.

I listened to part of her interview with Comey last night. The precision of her questions and her unflappability made it uncomfortable to listen to. But not only was this interview planned, Comey’s memos were released to the public just minutes before airtime by the justice department. I can’t think of anyone in journalism who is more adept at turning on a dime to cover breaking news without missing a beat and clarifying what could have been chaotic and confusing. And she did it with an ease that was formidable. You would not want Maddow as your special prosecutor.

I would recommend everyone, including Trumpers, to watch Maddow. This is especially true for Trumpers because the story aspect of the Mueller investigation makes it easier to understand, even if they still support Trump. While other news outlets like Fox, and even CNN to some extent, behave like the person speaking the loudest wins, Maddow especially makes everyone think through every sentence until it is mutually intelligible, while everyone uses their indoor voices.

You may not like what you hear. You may even disagree with the interpretation of facts. But if we are all taking about the same story, we can argue with each other about the common contents of that story. A Maddow listener is less likely to be thrown by new characters and plot lines. She seemlessly weaves them into the narrative.

She is truly a gem. There’s no one in news who comes close. She’s an unusual journalist with prodigious gifts of narrative and steady assurance.

And if you missed Maddow’s interview with Comey where she was able to put him on the hot seat and extract information from him that no other interviewer has gotten from him in the last week, you can listen to her podcast from last night and catch every second.

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