Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Celebration of Liberal Women in Radio

They Look Nothing Like Rush Limbaugh

Published: November 13, 2005
RACHEL MADDOW is the sunny, 32-year-old early bird of liberal talk radio, who spices her pre-dawn newscast on the Air America network with news of the weird. "I have to tell you about this story, or it will possess me for the rest of my natural-born life," Ms. Maddow mentioned one very early morning last month.

A Chinese man had been harvesting bile for medicine from the gall bladders of live bears until the day before, when his bears ate him. "You keep six bears and poke them with a sharp stick through their abdomen every day for their bile," Ms. Maddow said in a buoyant rapid fire, "eventually they're going to make their own decision, don't you think?"

Ms. Maddow's Air America colleague, Randi Rhodes, is a more political, more acidly caustic voice who calls the Bush administration "the dark side." On Ms. Rhodes's four-hour afternoon show, she's the middle-aged woman (she's 46) who doesn't have the time or patience to be nice. "You're a pig!" she cries at whatever male conservative broadcaster has angered her that day.

They are two sides of the liberal talk-radio coin. In their own small way, over at the far end of the AM dial where Air America is broadcast in most of its 72 cities, Ms. Maddow and Ms. Rhodes are changing the world of talk radio. Michael Harrison, editor of the trade magazine Talkers, said that, "For the most part, political talk radio is male," dominated by conservative broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. "But in the next 5 to 10 years we're going to see an invasion of talk radio by women of all political and subject stripes."
Read the rest here, but hurry. The Times waits for no man...unless you pay for the archives.