Rachel the Maddow as an Emerging Cultural Icon

Have you noticed that Rachel Maddow, the newly en-scheduled MSNBC Cable News Show host, has a lot of interesting and rather endearing mannerisms of speech and presentation? Of course you have. But have you also noticed that Rachel also has a large and growing influence on the manersisms of others on both radio and TV? She is a trend setter in this regard.

There is a woman who has a radio talk show on Air America (as does Maddow) who has stolen all of Maddow’s mannerisms. If you tune her in, you’ll think it is Rachel Maddow. Lately I’ve begun to notice TV anchors and presenters emulating some of Maddow’s style. Keith Olberman did it first, I think. I’ve seen a couple of minor reporters do it.

Today, when I saw David Shuster deliver a line in a pure Rachel Maddow style, I knew the phenomenon was for real.

I predict that in the near future we will see Bill O’Reilly doing the Maddow. (Well, maybe not.)

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0 thoughts on “Rachel the Maddow as an Emerging Cultural Icon

  1. I don’t know if Maddow can be given all the credit, I think it might just be that she’s the first of the new generation on TV news. When I watch her speak, I see my friends, myself. She’s just got the youthful, geeky, mid-twenties to mid-thirties Anglo-North American mannerisms because that’s what she is. As my generation gets older and becomes a bigger part of the news-watching demographic, more announcers/anchors/reporters will look and sound like us, whether for marketing reasons or just because they *are* us.

  2. no this mannerism should be called the “Olbermann” since its kieth olbermann who originated this style of reporting THEN maddow then the rest

    rachel maddow should definitely not be credited for this style of reporting at all

  3. Maddow doesn’t hyperventilate like a Tennessee backwoods snake handler; Olberman does.

    I predict that in the near future we will see Bill O’Reilly doing the Maddow.

    O’reilly probably fantasizes about doing (the) Maddow all the time. But… ain’t gonna happen, Bill.

  4. Right. Elvis was not the first to swivel his hips, but when we speak of late 50s early 80s cultural icons, we speak of Elvis the pelvis.

    Over the last wto years as Maddow went from guest to having her own show, I’ve been watching Olberman and Maddow interact, and yes, some of these things are his (she would evevn go out of her way to emphasize Olbermanerisms when subbing for him) but may are hers, and many were picked up by him over this period of time. Also, there are numerous Maddowisms that you just don’t see Keith do.

    As usual, it is all an interconnected complex whole.

    (Keep in mind, Maddow has been doing her stuff for quite a long time before Olberman could have known her. Maybe we can get the tapes from Holyoke or wherever she started out and see!)

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