I like scanning the Huffington Post everyday. I’ve liked seeing you on various cable news shows as a talking head. I’ve even liked you when I met you at different industry events.
I did not, however, like you as the guest host on the Rachel Maddow show Monday night. You were wooden, robotic and sounded like you were straining your voice. Are you hoarse today? You broke the cardinal rule of news anchoring – never let them see you sweat the teleprompter. You were better when you were interviewing your guests – Bill Maher, Cory Booker and Eric Schmidt – but still not all that good. I think you made Bill a little uncomfortable.
I don’t think it’s all your fault. The idea that you can just trade in one anchor for another and keep the spirit of the show is ludicrous. Rachel Maddow is a sensation because of her energy and mischief, but also because her writers know exactly how to write for her personality. They shouldn’t have applied the same writing style to you. The jokes fell flat and were barely intelligible.
One tip for next time (if there should be a next time): don’t try to accommodate for running out of time by speaking faster. It doesn’t work. All it did was stress me out. I didn’t hear a word of what you were saying, but I was internally betting on whether or not you would be able to spit it all out during the last two minutes of the show. Next time, just drop a sentence or two – okay?