Tucker Carlson Gave Rachel Maddow Her First Break. Now They’ll Battle Head to Head.


Some of you may not realize it, but Tucker Carlson has actually been around the cable news block. Carlson, who was recently given his own Fox News show a couple of months ago and then bumped up to 9 PM ET with the departure of Megyn Kelly, previously hosted programs on both CNN and MSNBC.

Well, during his stint at MSNBC, it was Carlson who gave one of cable news’ biggest names her first real break. Yep, Carlson introduced the news world to Rachel Maddow, current host of MSNBC’s top-rated program The Rachel Maddow Show.

In June 2005, a relatively unknown Maddow became a panelist on Tucker, Carlson’s MSNBC program that ran from 2005 to 2008. Maddow had hosted a morning program on Air America, Unfiltered, and had recently started hosting her self-titled radio program when she was tapped to be on Carlson’s show. She would eventually join MSNBC as a political analyst in 2008 and the rest is history.

As for Carlson, he stuck with MSNBC for a bit longer after the cancellation of his show before joining Fox News as a contributor in 2009. Before his primetime show, he was the weekend co-host of Fox & Friends.

Maddow and Carlson will now be facing off head-to-head at the 9 PM hour. While Maddow is the most-watched program on MSNBC and regularly beats her CNN competition, she was no match for Megyn Kelly. The Kelly File was the second-highest rated program in cable news (next to The O’Reilly Factor). Also, Carlson’s ratings in the 7 PM ET slot were an improvement on Greta’s. So it would appear he’s going to start off with a clear advantage right off the bat.

Check out some of the best battles between Tucker and Maddow back in the day — here, here and here.

Watch the clip above of Maddow and Carlson going at it back in 2006, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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