I read a post over on Beet.TV on this, and I’m trying to figure out exactly why in the hell Cisco would pick Rachel Maddow on MSNBC as their first recipient of some cutting edge video conferencing hardware. I really couldn’t figure it out. Here’s the relevant quotes from Andy Plesser’s writeup:

Cisco Systems, which has a big* video teleconference business with a product calledTelePresence, is entering the broadcast world with the MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who is using the system to conduct remote interviews. The Rachel Maddow Show is the first program use the Cisco system.  It is also the only MSNBC program to be sponsored by Cisco.  Cisco display ads and pre-rolls dominate the show’s site.  We assume that the use of the conference device is part of the sponsorship arrangement.

There are so many other deserving, influential and apolitical hosts to choose from. It’s another bizarre and frankly silly move from Cisco in a long line of them, but aside from that, I kept coming back to “Why Rachel Maddow?”

imageMost of you know me and my political leanings.  I am not exactly what you call a fan of Rachel.  I’ve heard her name for ages thanks to the shady dealings of her former (and now fully defunct, right?) employer Air America Radio. The entire organization seemed corrupt from the top down.  Not paying taxes, not paying employees or the talent, stealing from charity.  Even the hosts were certifiable idiots.  I lived in South Florida when Rhandi Rhodes was there before AAR existed, and I can say that she was always that looney. 

There were a number of times when she regularly skirted the line of what is actually legal to publicly say about a sitting president.  That sort of rhetoric was pretty commonplace on AAR.

And then there’s MSNBC, the current employer of Maddow.  If there ever was a video version of the insanity that was Air America, it is now MSNBC.  I used to hold them in a somewhat of a soft spot in my heart due to their early days tech focus and association with Microsoft.  Those days are long past: Keith Olberman and his made up news hour. Chris Matthews and his whatever the hell you call this sort of stuff.

But I spent some time researching Rachel Maddow.  I may disagree with 80% of what she says, she’s kept her nose clean as long as you don’t judge her guilty by her associations.

She didn’t say any truly outrageous things at Air America like her fellow hosts.  She, so far, is only guilty of favoring Hillary over Obama during the primaries at MSNBC. 

So her strategy, apparently, was to find the craziest bunch of poli-retards on the planet, and be the sane one by comparison, and wait until people noticed her.

Apparently it works.

Food for thought.