Journalism at its Best : Rachel Maddow Takes on Tom Ridge


Rachel Maddow leaves Tom Ridge begging for Homeland Security

In what essentially amounted to a seminar on left-leaning critiques of the Bush administration, Maddow asked pointed questions on the gamut of security issues…

By Joe Coscarelli / September 2, 2009

See Videos of Rachel Maddow interviewing Tom Ridge on MSNBC, Below.

When a high-ranking government official meets an establishment journalist, the ensuing fawning at the feet of power can sometimes be too much to bear. Just last weekend, blogger Andrew Sullivan compared Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace to a “teenage girl interviewing the Jonas Brothers” for his lack of incision in a televised segment with former Vice President Dick Cheney.

And then there’s Rachel Maddow, who on last night’s episode of her MSNBC show was the most well-prepared “teenage girl” on TV, calmly dismantling every argument put forth by former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

In what essentially amounted to a seminar on left-leaning critiques of the Bush administration, Maddow asked pointed questions on the gamut of security issues, but landed the most blows when she zeroed in on U.S. intelligence in the lead-up to war. Under President George W. Bush, Ridge helped build the case for the war in Iraq by corroborating reports that America’s domestic security was at risk from chemical and biological weapons. On the program to promote his new book The Test of Our Time, the former Pennsylvania governor was reduced to a rambling, stammering mess as Maddow took him to task as a “crucial” part of a “false case to the American people.”

Maddow remained smooth and assertive throughout the interview, keeping Ridge on the hot seat with questions about his level of responsibility for “Homeland Security failing so catastrophically” during Hurricane Katrina (only seven months after he left office) and the manipulation of terror alert levels. New York University professor and press critic Jay Rosen went so far as to call Maddow’s measured, piercing performance “one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen on television” and even compared the host to the late Edward R. Murrow.

Check out the entire interview, in three parts, embedded below.

Source / Mediaite

A knockout in three rounds:
Rachel Maddow interviews Tom Ridge on MSNBC

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Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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4 Responses to Journalism at its Best : Rachel Maddow Takes on Tom Ridge

  1. Sarito says:

    Thanks so much for gathering this all in one, user-friendly place. Makes it easier for me to pass along to others, as I wanted to when I watched last night! Rachel is one of the less-than-a-handful of real journalists on cable, and refreshingly free of the “gotcha” games played by others like Olbermann, whom I love but who don’t have nearly her credibility and thoroughness – priceless.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, reduced to stuttering in the first round…. asked if Saddam was a danger he stutters through “if he had a radiological device”…

    If he had a damn radiological device, like an x-ray machine – he could have been his own dentist!

    The brains we had in charge…. Someone asked what the conservatives were conserving the other day. Brainpower for sure, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, so why waste it by thinking.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If Tom Ridge had been an advisor during the Cuban Missile crisis, advised a strike to protect the country because of the threat, had major cities blown up on the East Coast he’d say the same. It was out of patriotism, and protection, in our best interests and not a mistake in policy 🙁

    Hoping Obama will be wise enough and brave enough to see the folly of Afghanistan at this point.

  4. dospesentas says:

    REAL JOURNALIST!! Hardly. She spends most her time attacking not reporting. This woman’s a cynical smart ass. Her spinning would make Bill O’Reilly dizzy. I put her in the same class with Hannity and Limbaugh (only lefty with ‘attitude’).

    Maddow is well educated, but with the exception of a few years ‘attacking’ on the air, she has no actual journalistic credentials.

    An interesting side: I always believed Maddow to be a powerful intellect able to debate (or at least argue) – UNTIL, I saw her on Bill Maher as a panelist. Outside her ‘controlled’ environment (sans writers, script/teleprompter, and/or like minded guest) she’s an empty suit. I was shocked how easily she was crushed when confronted with knowledgable, articulate opposition.

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