The unabashed love for MSNBC normal-person liberal Rachel Maddow has spread from the liberal blogosphere to the mainstream blogosphere and now into the mainstream media. Maddowmania infection alert, America! Click to watch a clip of her telling Conan O'Brien that straight men send her fan mail, despite the fact that that makes them gay. Newsweek has a mythmaking (but good!) profile of Maddow out today that actually quotes her boss calling her "magic." And Marketwatch media person Jon Friedman says that he was in a restaurant when Maddow walked in—and everybody turned to look! "That is star quality at work." Instead of getting to work engineering the inevitable Maddow backlash—the internet's main job—we'll simply ask: How does Keith Olbermann feel about all this? Poor Keith was the voice of liberal America for a moment; now, he seems old and strident. Largely thanks to unflattering comparisons to Maddow—even though it was Keith who urged MSNBC to give her a show! Now everybody talks about Maddow, and it seems like forever since people gave Olbermann serious attention. He's been definitively upstaged, for the moment. But like we said, the Maddow backlash will come. It always does. Early fans will drop her now that she's popular, like hipsters giving up on bands. Her mistakes will draw more attention. Slate will run some piece about how terrible she is, per its contrarian mission statement. And the pendulum will swing back towards Keith for a while, before some time passes and both of them settle into "plain old liberal TV host" territory in the public mind. That's assuming that Olbermann doesn't fly into some jealous rage prematurely and say something snide about her, which would only serve to increase her popular period an make him an unsympathetic figure once viewers grow bored and go looking for an alternative. Just bide your time quietly, Keith; the internet which Maddow loves so much does not love anybody for an extended period of time. Although this will probably keep her neck deep in public sympathy for months:
What only those close to her know is that she has suffered from cyclical depression since puberty that, she says, you can set your watch by. At her lowest points, she loses her sense of smell: "It's a warning sign that like, 'Oh, I'm not going to be able to live with myself for the next 48 hours'. It's weird."