Echo Chamber of Secrets: 30 Media Muggles and their Harry Potter Counterparts
Rachel Maddow: Harry Potter
Why shouldn’t a woman be Harry? We can’t think of many people who embody the spirit of Gryffindor better than Rachel Maddow (though she’s certainly brainy enough to be a Ravenclaw). Bravery, leadership and gumption – she regularly shows all three. For many progressives seeking an intelligent, nuanced on-air voice, she is The One; you know she’d stab a basilisk fang into a Horcrux without a blink. (So be warned, Pat Buchanan.) Also, she can pull off that hairstyle better than anyone.
Martha Stewart: Mrs. Weasley
Why aren’t you de-gnoming the lawn? Look, I knitted you a sweater! With a flick of her wand, Molly Weasley keeps life at the Burrow briskly humming, keeping kids, husband, house-elves and assorted drop-in visitors in line and well looked after. Do you think that’s easy? Well, she makes it look that way, but actually food is one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration.
Brian Stelter: Neville Longbottom
For the true Harry Potter fan, Neville Longbottom is always a favorite. The nervous, klutzy Gryffindor who seemed more like a Hufflepuff emerged a hero of the first book, putting Gryffindor House over the top against Slytherin, and from then on there was no stopping him. Similarly, Brian Stelter entered this big, scary media world as a teenager, starting the blog that would become TVNewser at just 19. He graduated to a job at the New York Times – where he is kicking more ass than Dumbledore’s Army in the Department of Mysteries. By the end of the series, it was Neville’s leadership that kept the flame of hope alive at Hogwarts – just as at the NYT Stelter provides hope to the old guard that the kids these days can still understand how to really do the job right (while topping them on Twitter). Fifty points for Gryffindor, BriStelt!
Cindy Leive: Tonks
She: Kicks ass with wands, brooms, and fabulous hair colors. She: Kicks ass with circulation, newsstand and fabulous cover lines. She: Is a member of the Order of the Phoenix, fighting for the wizarding world to defeat the onward march of Voldemort. She: Is the former President of ASME, fighting for the magazine world to defeat the onward march of the Internet. They: Have great hair, powerful friends, and should not be underestimated.
Jim Bell: Hagrid
This one’s based purely on brawn: Jim Bell is huge. You can also see his giant heritage reflected in The Today Show, the juggernaut of which he is the EP. Nothing small about either of these guys. p.s. If you see Jim Bell with a frilly pink umbrella, watch out.
Gretchen Carlson: Lavender Brown
We could see her calling someone “Won-Won.” Couldn’t you?
Bill Kristol: Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge was the perfect tool of the dark, secretive forces swirling around her, because she was just officious, ambitious and stupid enough to parrot the propaganda coming down from on high and enforce it with unapologetic conviction. Bill Kristol was wrong on pretty much everything he ever wrote about the Iraq war. Umbridge made Harry write “I shall not tell lies” as it burned forever into his hand. Maybe Bill Kristol coulda used a bit of that.
David Carr: Lupin
Remus Lupin might have led a different sort of life, cursed as he was with an affliction that would sometimes turn him into a monster. But love and friends and family can be as powerful as any shield charm, and so he faced down that inner demon and proved himself a lifelong friend and mentor and partner. Why did we pair him with David Carr? Eh, no reason.
Roger Ailes: Horace Slughorn
Horace Slughorn is a man with a long history at Hogwarts – he knows how things are done and he knows secrets from the past. He once enabled Voldemort and spurred him on to greater powers. Roger Ailes works for Rupert Murdoch. Sounds about right.
Dan Abrams: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
No explanation needed.
Who did we miss? Nominate your own casting choices in the comments – we’ll be doing a follow-up post including people like Rick Stengel, Robin Meade, Katie Couric, Jake Tapper, Bill Keller, Hendrik Hertzberg, Dahlia Lithwick, Megyn Kelly – plus characters we left out like Lee Jordan, Moaning Myrtle, Peter Pettigrew, Dobby, Kreacher, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Rowena Ravenclaw, the Bloody Baron and Nearly Headless Nick. Also Grawp. Suggestions welcome!
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