The Meet the Press panel needs fewer David Broders and more Christopher Hitchenses--irresponsible wits who can challenge the B-list senators and warhorse commentators who trundle on and download all that sonorous received wisdom. And for the top spot, how about going way outside the box? How about bringing in the cool forensic skills of a David Boies? Or the fresh intelligence of a web star like Josh Marshall or Glenn Greenwald? Or the political/policy smarts of a journalistic intellectual like the Guardian's Michael Tomasky?
Or how about... a woman? Since NBC has not heeded my last suggestion to appoint either the unsung cable Rottweiler Greta Van Susteren or a reinvented Katie Couric, I say give Meet the Press to Rachel Maddow. She's smart. She's quick. She's witty. She does her homework. And she listens to what the person she's talking to is saying. She doesn't just go to the next question on her list.
If Obama is post-racial, Maddow is post-gender--divested of hair-frosted femininity in the anchor genre and more appealing because of it. Like him, she's a calm, unflappable new era phenomenon. Sure, she's a lefty, and in the past week she's been swinging away at Obama's cabinet choices, but I suspect she's ambitious enough to dial it back if she had to. (She also has that weird TV gene that's so hungry for air time she'd probably insist on keeping her five-day job at MSNBC. Russert himself was on every show except Project Runway.)