"Rachel Maddow’s contention that conflict, not calm reflection, attracts audiences drew little disagreement from a Harvard panel she spoke to Sunday…
"…She said the nuts and bolts journalism of truth telling and reporting facts in context doesn’t work commercially. What does, she said, are comments that can be portrayed as a "clash" or a "smackdown." She said that her ratings spike when she trashes conservative journalists.
"She called this nothing new. "Exclamation points sell" and always have."
— Bill Kirtz, Poynter.org