A good friend of mine — a comic book artist who takes his superheroes very seriously — texted me early this week to tell me he’d cracked Rachel Maddow‘s code. “She’s Clark Kent + Lois Lane,” he wrote. “A charmingly self-deprecating journalist who becomes a full-blown superhero at night.”
We’ve written about Maddow extensively here at AfterEllen.com, because media about media is in, and everyone is smitten with Rachel Maddow.
You’ll notice on the latest cover of The Advocate that Maddow has donned suspenders. Usually suspenders on a woman scream “gay,” but on Maddow, they’re simply a nod to Mr. Suspenders himself, Larry King. Within two weeks of the first Rachel Maddow Show airing on MSNBC, she was consistently pulling in more viewers than the longtime 9 p.m. go-to guy.
In The Advocate‘s cover story (read it, it’s good), Suzan Colón writes about the thing that has impressed me most about the Maddow phenomenon.
Even more exciting than having achieved this level of success as an out lesbian is the fact that her intelligence, wit and fresh take on politics have overshadowed the fact that she’s an out lesbian.
She is proudly out, speaking affectionately of her partner, Susan, at every turn, but that’s not the story. The story is that she is now the Queen of Cable, a moniker given to her by one of cable’s most royal newsmen, Stephen Colbert.
And because omnipresence is apparently one of her super powers, Maddow was on The Colbert Report last night.
When The Advocate asked Maddow about the outcome of the election, she had this to say:
People said, “Oh, won’t you be disappointed if John McCain loses? You won’t have anybody to rail against anymore.” OK, because idiocy will die? And those wars — Puff the Magic Dragon will come in and everything will be fine! If you’re a policy liberal instead of a partisan liberal, there’s no reason to expect life to be any different after the election than it is now.
Translation: Rachel Maddow is here to stay. Which is fine by me, because like Aunt May once told Peter Parker, “Everybody needs a hero.” And it’s nice to have the occasional one who plays for our team.