It's called “Drift.”
It describes the last decade as one of increased acceptance of a madness, the idea that you can fight wars without having to pay attention to them, even pay for them, leading to a society divided between those who fight the wars and those who send people to fight our wars.
Good premise. Interesting book. Maddow is one of the most intelligent and verbally agile TV hosts I've ever seen. (Even those who hate her have to admit to her verbal agility. She's a Rhodes Scholar, for pete's sake.)
But as Maddow was interviewed by other MSNBC anchors, and people like Jon Stewart, it occurred to me she's been going through her own drift.
But when she became a TV star, there was something wrong with looking like that. To MSNBC, at least. From the first time she appeared on camera for MSNBC it was wearing contact lenses and enough make-up to de-emphasize the little birthmarks on her long neck. They also put her in suit jackets with scoop-neck shirts.
For a while she continued to appear, as herself, on commercials and on shows like Jay Leno. Thick glasses, sometimes even lumberjack shirts.
Lately, though, the Barbie Doll aspect has been taken up a notch. She is wearing more eye makeup and she's got some new outfits, including a really nice-looking, eggshell-colored tailored jacket you might tie in the back. When she's on others' TV shows, the glasses are gone too.
Dude looks like a lady.
It's her own sort of drift. I strongly suspect it's coming from the network, the same network that employs “analysts” like Barry McCaffrey, a former general who has been making a fortune for himself this last decade pushing war for his clients while pretending to be disinterested. (It was part of a large, and ongoing, disinformation campaign that Maddow also describes in her book.)
The McCaffrey drift is what Maddow decries, so why is she letting her own network conduct the same sort of drift on her?
It's done in the name of seeming acceptable, of appearing non-threatening, to a mass audience. I get it.
But the whole thing says something about our culture. The two drifts are not coincidental. Networks are reluctant to challenge authority or audience preconceptions.
Maybe, before she's turned completely into Barbie, Maddow might like to let out her inner Ken.