Rachel Maddow credited Tucker Carlson with giving her a start on his show "Tucker" in 2005.
In an interview, the MSNBC host compared Carlson's hosting style to watching professional baseball.
"There's respecting the game, in terms of people who are doing well and people who are good at it," she said.
Rachel Maddow spoke highly of Tucker Carlson in an interview in the September issue of Vanity Fair, published on Sunday, saying, "Tucker's doing great right now."
It was Maddow's first interview since scaling back her duties as the host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC.
Earlier this year, Maddow announced she'd be going on hiatus for a few months after helming the highly rated show since 2008. She returned in April but negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal to appear only once a week.
While the interview touched on numerous topics, including her evolving career, in a surprising segment, Maddow was asked about the ever-changing landscape of cable news and pointed to Carlson's career trajectory.
"But look at Tucker's career. The first show I worked on was his 11 o'clock show on MSNBC that nobody remembers. But he was always kicking around the business and has always been talented. It just — this turned out to be his moment," she said.
Maddow was a panelist on "Tucker" from 2005 to 2008.
In the interview, Maddow compared Carlson's hosting style to watching professional baseball.
"It doesn't mean you don't appreciate whatever they're doing in terms of, you know, where they put their shortstop in order to give them a better defense. There's a sort of, like, respecting the game, in terms of people who are doing well and people who are good at it," she said.
Maddow has always credited Carlson for being part of her career success and has, in turn, supported his work, despite their differing political beliefs.
In a 2013 Salon story, Maddow said, "Tucker and I agree on just about nothing, but he has always been kind to me, and a fun person to fight with. I wish him all the best."
Vanity Fair asked Maddow about The New York Times interactive piece on Carlson that analyzed his views and rhetoric. Maddow said that "more than the issue of, you know, how dangerous are Tucker's ideas, and how do they interact with the growth of the authoritarian right in the Republican Party, more so than that question, which is obviously what the central thrust of the reporting was about, I was interested in how they deconstructed why it works."
During the interview, Maddow remembered bumping into the Fox News host recently and said, "It was really nice to see him."
Maddow is currently working on a podcast about World War II to be released this fall, according to Vanity Fair.
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