Rachel Anne Maddow (born April 1, 1973) is an American television host, political commentator, author, and lesbian who hosts The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as well as Soft and Pretty Things which airs Saturdays at midnight on Lifetime. A self-described Eisenhower-era Republican, Maddow believes rolling her eyes, snickering, and making ironic statements is the key to being an intellectual.
Rachel was born and raised in a compound for those faithful to the revolution in Castro Valley, Cuba to Ivan Maddow, an attack pilot in the Peoples Defence Forces and Oksana (nee. Trotsky) a party informant and former lover of Raul Castro. It was rumored for a time that Rachel may have been fathered by Castro. This was later proven false. Rachel is, however, in fact the granddaughter of Leon Trotsky.
Rachel entered the Joseph Stalin School for Primary Indoctrination in 1978 where she learned the basics of living in an egalitarian, Utopian society. Teachers at the institute explained how people in the United states ate their own children to keep from starving. That no one in the states could read And that only 20,000,000 people had any sort of health care while 310,000,000 Americans were dieing of syphilis. Where in Cuba, at least everyone had government health care, a ration book that allowed for a pound of beans, a pound of rice and a quart of milk for every child as often as every single month. In addition, in Cuba at least one person in each and every neighborhood had access to a 1949 Buick. In America, people didn't even have legs and no one dare travel to Cuba but any Cuban was free to swim to Miami and see the squalor for them selves.
In 1987 Rachel entered the Brezhnev Preparatory Academy for girls where she majored in Political science and minored in cosmetology. Baring a striking resemblance to the academy's namesake, Rachel was quickly chosen the be the Girls Field Hockey team mascot.
Rachel being a bright young lady, finished her 4 year course of study at Brezhnev Academy in 2 years and so matriculated to the Fidel Sassoon Cosmetology Polytechnic in 1989 where she swapped her major and minor. Rachel quickly Rose to the top of her class, was elected master at arms of the schools pantry and had an hour long call in show on the campus radio station (Radio Free Cuba) where she took calls from faithful party members and encouraged Americans to swim to Havana for a better life.
In her junior year at Fidel Sassoon, Rachel was accused of misappropriating the schools electrolysis machine. To this day, Rachel swears she had nothing to do with the missing machine. Rachel's mother feared that the Communist party in Cuba may have been setting her daughter up for a crime she didn't commit. Remembering the fate of her grandfather Leon Trotsky in Mexico City at the hands of the assassins, Oksana Trotsky Maddow saved 3 months worth or ration books to trade for 2 used truck tire inter tubes. One night, Oksana woke her daughter, hurried her down to the beach and the mother and daughter set sail for Miami and a life free of threat from the party.
A Better Life?
By early 1992, Rachel (now 19 years old) and her mother Oksana were living in the Little Havana neighborhood of Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Maddows had set to sea on their intertubes in the midst of a hurricane and were blown all the way to the Central Gulf Coast.
Rachel and her mother lived in a state of limbo in America. With no family in the U.S., The Maddows rented a double wide near the Navy ship yard. Oksana feared she may have to do menial work beneath her station but as a potential political refugee, she managed to scrape together $500.00 per month in State welfare, $295.00 per week in unemployment. $450.00 per month in social security for Rachel's benefit, $200.00 per month in food stamps along with state Medicaid. Rachel took a job in a hair salon and with a grant from the federal government, enrolled at Nathan Bedford Forrest Community College.
Rachel once again switched her major back to Political Science. Ever the activist, Rachel searched for an outlet. Rachel applied for internships with The Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the ACLU but ultimately, found all 3 organizations far too Conservative.
Living without direction. Rachel hoped that her political Science studies would stimulate her. But alas, the courses in the U.S. failed to fulfill. Professors insisted on exploring all political cultures and never focused on the one true form of government that protected the proletariat from Capitalism and Theology. Though the professors seemed devoted to Socialism, they always caved to senseless standards of a well rounded curriculum.
The Maddow Family found America confusing. Where in Cuba, the government removed the stress of choice. In America, people were forced to make choices. In Cuba, if you want coffee, you go stand in the coffee line on coffee day. In America, you first have to decide where you want to buy your coffee. Then you have to compare prices, then quality, then flavor... "I'd rather be water boarded exclaimed Rachel on her first trip to the Piggly Wiggly.
Most frustrating for Maddow was that decent was tolerated in America. In Cuba, The Premier tells you what is right and good, and that's it. One never need worry who to vote for. It's been decided for you. In America, there is more then one party and they all run in one election against each other...At the same time... For the same office. It was during her second year at Forrest Community College that she resigned her self to one day, help lead her new country toward a perfect Socialist society.
I'm finding my course in America, and my cause. America is a beautiful country but it is flawed with Representative Democracy, Too many choices and options and ambition. There is no system in America to deal with Capitalists or people with goals who are not satisfied with what the State provides. I will strive to bring such a system to America. Until the day when we can send dissidents to reeducation, I will have to resign my self to treating people who don't see what I see like the ignorant fools they are. These soft Americans don't know what smug is... Wait til they get a load of me.
In 1994, Rachel received a Associate of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in Cosmetology with an enfaces in eyebrows. She remained in the Gulf coast area while waiting for the INS to conclude the status of her family. In addition to working at the salon, Rachel would do odd jobs for extra money to donate to the American Socialist party and the Black Panthers. A friend from school took Rachel to a movie set in Louisiana where they would be paid as extras and stand ins. While she had worked in radio in Cuba, this was the first time Rachel was in front of the camera. She realized the power of the medium and noted some conversations from the movie set in her journal.
This past weekend I went with Bobby on her Harley to Louisiana where we worked on a movie. It was so exciting. We were told the working title was "No Ones Fault," but I heard some one else say they were going to release it as "Dead Man Walking." I met some fascinating people there. I met Susan Sarandon ... You know, from "Rocky Horror Picture Show," and that Baseball movie where she sleeps with all the players. She is a political genius. Sean Penn was there too. He's the guy who was married to Madonna for a week and played the stoned surfer in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Brilliant!!! I'm hitching my wagon to there star. They'll both be running this country some day.
In 1995 the Maddows were granted permanent political asylum in the United states. As such, Oksana was issued a work permit and released from her entitlements. Oksana went to work at a casino as a coctail waitress. At first, She was excited about having joined a labor union complete with health care and paid vacation. Oksana soon realized that all she was doing was helping to run the "Robber Barons" machine while he raped the prolitariate and grew fat on the sweat of the masses (Not realizing that public corporations like the casino are owned by the people.) Oksana decided she had enough and after 9 days of employment, threw herself down a flight of stairs causing her to have permanent headaches. So, She applied for Permanent disability and Medicaid. This was in 1995, She remains addicted to entitlements to this day. She is the editor of the 'Mississippi Peoples Voice," a semi-annual socialist news paper that focuses on the issues of socialists in the state of Mississippi. Oksana's paper has a circulation of 249 readers per publication.
Inspired by her mothers work with the "Peoples Voice" (and having been dropped by Social Security) Rachel decided to strike out on her own. To make her way in life and help spread the doctrine. in 1996 She applied for a position as a production assistant at WJFK, a left of center talk radio station in Boston. Rachel loaded her belongings in her Yugo and headed to Massachusetts.
Boston Mesmerized the young woman from Castro Valley Cuba. High rise buildings. Public Assisted housing. A single party political system. "Why didn't the hurricane blow is here?" Boston had it's Plutocrats to be sure. But the Kennedy were of the people. And they possessed something vital. The ability to afford being Liberal.
Rachel stayed in a motel for several weeks while looking for a room mate and working at WJFK. Her days were filled with running errands for on air personalities, Picking up guests hosts from Logan Airport like Al Gore, Al Franken, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale or driving out to pick up local hero Penn Kemble. The biggest names in socialism would come to the KJFK Studios every friday and the station wold do a live broadcast from the parking lot. This was Rachel's favorite day of the week. It was her job to hand out programs, signs and buttons. towards the end of the broadcast, it was Rachel's jog to hand out the Kool Aid for a toast (Boston has very strong blue laws so they substituted Kool Aid for wine.)
The motel was so expensive and Rachel hadn't had an opportunity to start a personal life in Boston. She answered an ad for a room mate on Mass Ave in Cambridge. A man answered the phone... Rachel hadn't considered sharing an apartment with a man... But she agreed to to come meet with him. Saturday morning, she walks up 2 flights to the apartment located above the Paradise Gay Club, Knocks and enters. The man seemed friendly, benign. a few years older then her but he put her at ease. She got a good vibe from him and the neighborhood. The following weekend, Glenn Beck added Rachel to the lease and she moved in.
Well, I found a place to land. My new room mate (Glenn) seems like a decent guy. Maybe a little more conservative then I'm used to. He cries all the time. I think he's paranoid or maybe schizophrenic. He spends a lot of time in the gay bar downstairs but always puts on a wig first and insists every one call him "Philipe." We don't seem to have much in common but we stay out of each others way. I'm sure we'll be the best of friends one day!
By 1997, Rachel had started filling in for on air personalities on KJFK. This garnered the attention of local liberal television WAH-UHF-45 in South Boston. Maddow was hired to do a weekly news segment called "Maddow About Town" where she would stop Bostonians on the street and ask their opinion about current political events.
A selection of quotes from "Maddow About Town" from questions asked of typical southies:
- Q) Isn't Dan Quail an idiot?
- A) He's wicked retahded!
- Q) Don't you agree that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush should be tried for crimes against the proletariat and executed publicly in Harvard Yard?
- A) Both of those guys were wicked retahded. Let Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and the Pat's pull the triggah... Retahded!
- A) Smothah that retahd with a pillow. Retahded.
Rachel had found her highbrow, intellectual audience at WAH-TV. Soon, she took the tradition of handing out Kool Aid at WJFK to her Maddow About Town" audience at WAH-TV. People would come from all over New England to drink the Kool Aid with Rachel. In addition to the "Maddow About Town" segment, she now had a weekly program on WAH-TV called "Southie's Have Your Say." The new show was based on the BBC radio program "World Have Your Say." The show focused on American self loathing and guilt. The Kool Aid Flowed at "Southies" as well Until Kraft Foods (Owner of Kool Aid} Issued sees and desist order. The segment continued but Dave Chapelle's "Purple" was served instead.
By 1999, Rachel had left WJFK to focus on her on camera work at WAH-TV. She was also becoming popular on the Socialist talk circuit. Rachel spoke at colleges and union meetings. Tina Fey would hire Rachel to speak at her parties in New York. At this point in time, Air America was a concept for a far left, neo-Marxist radio network. "My life changed that night at Tina's apartment. I had done 2 excellent sets in Tina's living room. The audience was ideal. All believers who have disproved the claims of the right. No one in that room was netting over $1,500,000.00 a year and no one had more then 3 homes. Yet we all manage to survive and thrive." What happened next started the next faze of my life. I had gone to the restroom at Tina's when there was a knock on the door. The next 5 words changed everything." "Rachel? It's ME, Al Franken.
Was in NYC this weekend with the beautiful people. I had a conversation with Al Franken... He was that guy on Saturday Night Live who did the Stewart Smally thing... Any way... Brilliant. I have no doubt a guy like that will be a Senator from his great state of New York one day. I suppose he could carpet-bag it like Mrs. Clinton but he's so NYC. Where else could he go to run??? Anyway, Al and an other political Giant (Janeane Garofalo) are starting a new Marxist radio network and they want me to come with them. I ran home and told my room mate Glenn that I was going to NY to change the world. Glenn just cried and said our lives were in perral then he stormed out. That was 3 days ago. I hope I see him before I leave... Is it just me or does Tina Feye look rather masculine?
New York and Air America Radio
December 1999, Rachel had moved to Greenwich Village, NYC. to start her career in national broadcast Radio. Air America Radio still had the better part of a year to get up and running so Rachel work with Al and Janeane every day until 2PM. Working on format and affiliate recruiting. Lining up hosts. Then she would take a commuter flight to Boston, do her "Southies" show then head back to New York in the evening. On one such flight on a Friday evening, Rachel sat next to a production Assistant from NBC Sports. Keith Olbermann was on his way to Boston to cover a jets Patriots game... Well, He was on his way to Boston to serve the sportscaster who would cover the game. "Obi was like a blank sheet of paper back then" Maddow noted. "He was ripe for the picking and for training. I got his number and I would call him from time to time. He seemed interested in what ever I said I was interested in. In a way, Obi was a little clueless." "Best of all, he was so introverted at the time, I was sure he didn't have it in him to hit on me."
In 2000, Maddow, Franken and Garofalo went on the air at Air America. Early programing consisted mostly of rebroadcasts from NPR affiliates in Berkeley, California and Madison, Wisconsin while they produced newer, more liberal programing. The first original, live show was called "Smug and Smarter then YOU!" It was simulcast on the Internet (Invented by Al Gore) with video. The program consisted mostly of the three hosts telling Moderates, Conservatives, Independents and Blue Dog Democrats how stupid they all were. This show was the first to break stories like "George W. Bush" was certified retarded by a fellow Skull and Bones member who had come forward but then was kidnapped, stuffed in a duffel bag and buried under the Reagan Library. They broke the story that President Bush doesnt like Black People, Asian People, Brown People or people of any kind who couldn't trace them selves back to the Mayflower (Unless they cleaned his house, pool or car.) All the hosts noted how they regretted the bile and hate they had to show for people who were not on their intellectual level (Which is EVERYONE) but it was important to make their point of just how stupid the right is. A signature of the show was every time either of the hosts made their point, they would face the web cam simulcast, paste on an incredibly smug look and pause for 5 seconds. Maddow has continued this practice throughout her career including her current shows "Soft and Pretty things" on the QVC Network and "Love line" on the Playboy Network.
Air America was a quirky operation unlike any of the other national networks. For instance, No one was prepared for the simplest things like obligatory monthly Emergency Broadcast System tests. A call to the corporate offices from the FCC alerted the network that if they didn't broadcast a test in the next hour, their license would be revoked. They didn't even have the tone generator with which to make the alert sound for the test. But this was a bright team. From that hour until the day the station went off the air the buzzing sound listeners heard was actually the sound of Garoflao's home made tattoo gun inking her rhino like hide.
OMG, I love my job. The people are so fascinating and quick witted. Today, we got a call from the front office while we were on the air spreading the truth about George Bush, The Roswell Landing and how Skull and Bones killed our friends from outer space who were trying to warn us all about the Conservative agenda and the rise of the Bush Family. Any way, the front office said "FCC called and said to do an emergency broadcast test or we'll get our license pulled." Janeane started ranting "They're here to kill us!!!" OMG, Then she grabbed her purse and a tape recorder and locked herself in the bathroom. 30 minutes later she returned with a tape of a buzzing noise and a brand new tattoo on her stomach. She has "Fascist Communication Cops" written upside down on her stomach. Crazy. She's my new BFF.