Despite all the hype and the glowing blogosphere reviews since she got her own MSNBC slot Sept. 8, Rachel Maddow’s program has turned out to be a clone of the Keith Olbermann vehicle that precedes her: “less a show than an annex,” Alessandra Stanley writes in the New York Times. With guests fitting MSNBC’s liberal, Anti-Fox News tilt, “that kind of echo chamber doesn’t make for very interesting television.”
It’s not that Maddow can’t handle the rare righty who comes her way—she recently tore Pat Buchanan a new one. But her talent is stifled by a cable-news culture devoted to comforting viewers instead of challenging them. “Ms. Maddow has the character and political passion; what she doesn’t have is a worthy opponent,” Stanley writes.