Rachel Maddow’s unauthorized biography is everything you already know


What did a gal like me do before Rachel Maddow? For one, I rarely tuned in to cable news shows. My day job consists of knowing what is going on in the world, so the last thing I needed was some too loud, too cocky pundit shouting at me about his opinion on the day’s events. No thanks — I have columnists and political blogs to read for that.

Thankfully, Maddow’s show is smarter, funnier and just plain better than any other cable news program out there — and I’m addicted.

Photo by Angela Jiminez

Like many of my fellow Maddow addicts, I find her funny, brilliant and (obviously) attractive. When her ratings skyrocketed making hers the most-viewed show on MSNBC, interviews with were plentiful. From lesbian blogs to the New York Times — everyone wanted to know Maddow’s story, and she told it many times.

We quickly learned of her accidentally coming out to her parents in a school newspaper article, her AIDS activism, how she met her longtime partner, Susan Mikula, her Rhodes Scholar status and how her experience with Air America led to her MSNBC gig.

Sure, we know a lot, but we Maddow-addicts want more!

So, imagine our surprise when we heard of a new-ish book titled Rachel Maddow: A Neowonk Guide to the Leftist, Lesbian Pundit. Christine Badowski, writer for the Chicago-based LGBT newspaper The Windy City Times was as excited as many were: She ordered the book online, was giddy when the UPS man came to her door and, though she was disappointed with how small the book was, read it anyway.

“Trust me when I say there is nothing new is this book,” Badowski wrote in a review published on the Windy City Times website this week. “If you’ve ever watched MSNBC; Googled Maddow or her partner Susan Mikula; or read any magazine article about either of them, you’ve read this book. Quotes are completely taken from other sources and noted throughout. Even information about Maddow’s early days in California is all taken from other sources. And forget about being able to justify the purchase because you can ogle at some good pictures of Maddow. There’s not one in the book.”

I suppose you know you’re a celebrity when writers with names like Xander Cricket capitalize on your fame by writing a poorly researched fluff book about you. Fortunately for me, I judged this book by its cover and didn’t bother ordering it. (Call me a snob, but I refuse to purchase a book with such a disgusting font on its cover.)

In any case, if you are still longing for more Maddow, know that if it’s out there, we will find it and promptly divulge our learning’s. Last week, the recently revamped Velvet Park website featured an interview with Maddow before she was wildly famous in 2005. This tidbit about her Rhodes Scholar days is pretty great:

I lived in London with this Trannie photographer, and had a bar life … crazy, like Shane on The L Word.

Despite the Shane reference, she says she left a trail of “happy hearts” rather than broken ones. Sigh. Such a dreamboat.

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