Today, Salon‘s Rebecca Traister has a terrific essay analyzing the success of CBS’s Katie Couric, CNN’s Campbell Brown, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow during this year’s presidential campaign.
From the piece:
While pondering the meaning of this year’s 18 million cracks in the White House ceiling, we might easily have missed the shower of shards falling from other glass domes, like those atop television newsrooms. In the final weeks of October, days before what many consider the most crucial election of our lifetimes, the probing interviews, fine-boned analysis and buzzy commentary showing up on television screens and Internet browsers all over the country are often delivered not in the deep rumble of a wizened Uncle Walt but in a higher register belonging to one of several female newscasters to have kicked ass, taken names and otherwise owned the coverage of the 2008 election.
Sure there are still men, like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, who have done notable journalism and created reverberating sound bites of their own this year. But if 2004 was widely touted as Jon Stewart’s career-making election, then it would be more than plausible to call this year Katie Couric’s (for her eye-crossing serialized interview with Sarah Palin and her impeccably timed career rebound) or Rachel Maddow’s (for her Speedy Gonzalez scramble to the top of her profession and her sharply seasoned take on the race) or Campbell Brown’s (for her fire-roasting of McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds and her series of rants on gender, access and the presidency).
In August, The Observer spoke with Rachel Maddow.