Have you thought about Rachel Maddow in the last 24 hours? There’s a pretty good chance you have. After all, she was on Letterman last night, and he called her “probably the smartest person in all of journalism.” It would be hard to disagree, even if you wanted to.
And if that’s not enough Maddow for you, you’re in luck: she’s also on NPR’s Fresh Air today! The 45-minute interview (which you can listen to online) covers topics like the process of making the show, Maddow’s years as a student, and why she thinks humor is important:
“I think that humor has underappreciated explanatory value. If you are trying to explain something to a broad audience, using humor is sometimes a way to help people either make a leap in logic with you or shorthand to what’s important about something. Usually when I use humor on the show, it’s in the form of absurdity. I’ve pointed out something that somebody says is normal that I think is not normal, or something that should be seen as very serious that I don’t think deserves seriousness. You can explain that away or you can poke fun at it, but sometimes it’s not only shorter to poke fun at it, but also more effective at moving the argument along.”
And also, of course, American military policy, national intelligence, and public disconnect from America’s wars abroad. Because Maddow’s new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, comes out today, and it’s an incisive look at the way “we’ve drifted away from America’s original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails.” (Also, in case you were worried, it’s also been described as “scathingly funny.” Obviously.)
This is excellent news! What’s even better news is that you have the chance to win a signed copy. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us one question you’d want to ask Rachel Maddow if you got to have lunch with her — about her book or otherwise. As of midnight EST on Thursday, the comments will be tallied and a randomized winner will be chosen! Good luck, because she looks really dreamy on the back of this book jacket, and you’re going to want to have this on your coffee table (bedside table?) for sure.