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Monday, February 15, 2010

WaPo's Piece on Rachel Maddow and Her Coverage of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Check it out here.

It was a dramatic moment for Lt. Dan Choi -- revealing his sexual orientation on national television -- but he couldn't resist paying tribute to the host.

"I love your show, Rachel," Choi said. And then, last March, he told Rachel Maddow why he was there: "By saying three words to you today -- 'I am gay' -- those three words are a violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. . . . Basically, they want us to lie about our identity."

Seconds later the satellite feed went down, and the glitch forced the Army lieutenant to come back to the MSNBC program the following night. But it was the start of a sustained effort that reached a milestone this month when the nation's top military officer said he wanted to abolish the hotly debated policy of "don't ask, don't tell" -- at a hearing attended by Maddow.

As one of the few openly gay television anchors, Maddow has kept the spotlight trained on the contentious issue of whether service members known to be homosexual should face discharge proceedings, as Choi did after that interview. But she doesn't view herself as mounting a crusade.

"I was an activist before I went into the media," Maddow says. "It is useful for me to tell my opinion on some things I cover. But I'm not trying to get people to march in the streets or call their congressmen. I don't believe that's my role."

Read the whole thing.