My Latest Column: Maddow, the New News Star

If there was any doubt about MSNBC’s faith in Rachel Maddow, look where they sent her in the past few weeks: She guested on Jay Leno and visited the ladies at “The View.” Her ratings are a vast improvement over what has been there recently, and she has helped erase doubts the network could carry over sizable audiences from the record heights of the campaign season.

But it remains to be seen whether this formula can last in a hypercompetitive environment dotted with fragile egos and fussy tastes. That’s not to mention what happens as progressive polarization against George W. Bush gives way to more nuanced differences over President Obama’s agenda.

That’s my latest story in Sunday’s print version of Variety, which you can read here.

Also, Maddow appeared on “The View” on Thursday, riffing on her sessions going through makeup, and defending President Obama’s stimulus package.

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