Maddow has not only been openly lesbian since the get go, but she regularly appears in very casual attire. She is a poster child for the butch/dork set (that would be me). To make her more palatable to a general audience (and to not confuse the children and the old folks) they've femmed her up as much as they can on her own show. Either way, she rocks.
As Diana Cage said on her Sirius radio show, "You can put lipstick on a butch, but she's still a butch".
Here she is on last night's Tonight Show explaining the upcoming president election (to which Jay Leno responds, "I didn't understand that."