December 11, 2013

The journalistic bond between The Post and MSNBC just grew a bit stronger, as the paper’s opinion section announced that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will be writing a monthly column. “We expect that she will bring to Post readers the strong arguments, sharp wit and thoughtful analysis of political and social issues that have made her show an Emmy Award winner,” noted a memo on the move.

Rachel Maddow tends bar at an MSNBC event. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) Rachel Maddow tends bar at an MSNBC event. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

In a brief chat, Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt (the Erik Wemple Blog’s boss) said he was “really excited” about adding Maddow to his roster of columnists. “She’s written for us before and what she has done is great,” said Hiatt. In 2012, Maddow wrote opinion pieces for The Post on the protracted war in Afghanistan and on the “war on birth control.”

The Post’s arrangement calls for Maddow to write once a month over six months, though Hiatt said he’d “certainly be happy” if Maddow wanted to up the frequency and extend the term of her engagement with the paper.

Hiatt said he doesn’t perform any sort of ideological accounting before bringing on someone like Maddow, a staunch liberal. “Our goal is to have the smartest, most original commentary about Washington and its issues from left to right,” said Hiatt, noting that the spectrum is “pretty well represented.”

The Maddow announcement comes a week after The Post’s opinion section announced the addition of the Huffington Post’s Radley Balko as a blogger on criminal justice topics. Do these moves reflect a beefier budget for opinions under new Post owner Jeff Bezos? “I don’t have more budget, but I do feel as though we’re all being encouraged to think about opportunities, not just limits,” said Hiatt.

Numerous opinion and news staffers from The Post appear regularly on MSNBC airwaves, including Dana Milbank, Jonathan Capehart, Chris Cillizza, Eugene Robinson and Ezra Klein.

Memo on the move:

We are delighted to announce that Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” will be joining The Washington Post’s Opinion section as a monthly columnist.

Rachel, who has written previously for The Post, is the author of “DRIFT: The Unmooring of American Military Power.” The 2012 book was a national best-seller.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” has been nominated by the Television Critics Association for “Outstanding Achievement in News and Information” four times. Rachel received the 2012 John Steinbeck Award from the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose University. Before becoming an MSNBC political analyst in 2008, she was a host on Air America Radio.

Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She lives in New York and Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

Her first column will be published this week.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.