The Rachel Maddow Show has become a hit among cable news viewers, with more than double the number of people tuning in. Maddow herself recently revealed her secret to successfully covering Donald Trump: treat him like a silent movie.
“We developed sort of an informal, internal mantra… which is that we basically cover them as if they are a silent movie,” Maddow explained. “I stopped covering the Twitter feed and we started covering only what they do rather than what they say.”
Without a doubt, she’s doing something right. The Wrap reports that in February, Maddow had the “largest total viewer audience ever in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot.” But her success isn’t limited to just one month. She has also “beaten CNN’s regularly scheduled programming for 45 straight months,” and “gained 99 percent in total viewers compared to February 2016.” During the same time period, CNN gained only 70 percent and Fox News increased by a measly 31 percent.
“It is an unusual thing that the White House and its chief spokespeople have been called out saying stuff that’s not true over and over and over again,” she said. “It’s the petty stuff but it’s also important stuff that they’ve not told the truth about.”
Maddow explains that lies have consequences. Once you prove yourself as untrustworthy, you words no longer have any real meaning. “We no longer go to that person for factual information,” Maddow said. Once she realized that these people could no longer be trusted, she came up with a new game plan for covering the Trump administration.
“I really feel like it was helpful to me, in terms of trying to come up with what to talk about every day, and serving up information for our audience that is substantive and not manipulated by people at the White House,” Maddow said. “It was helpful for us to just stop paying attention to what they were saying.”
Maddow said that Kellyanne Conway might be “a nice person,” but as her fellow MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski recently pointed out, she’s just “not credible anymore.” Maddow added that conversations with her (and most of Trump’s other surrogates) are “essentially just talking to a pro-Trump political operative” rather than actually speaking to a White House representative.
It seems that Maddow has done what the majority of the media is still struggling to do. She has figured out how to cover Trump and the secret is simple: focus only on what they do, not what they say because it’s probably a lie anyway.
Featured image via video screen capture