Melissa Harris-Perry: I will not be used as a tool

Melissa Harris-Perry: I will not be used as a tool

Melissa Harris-Perry: I will not be used as a tool

If she knows nothing else, Melissa Harris-Perry really knows how to burn bridges, except she would probably call it speaking truth to power.


Melissa Harris-Perry is refusing to do her show at MSNBC, the home sweet home of the questionably talented partisan pundit. It seems that the lily-white bosses that lurk upstairs unseen by the lowly network masses have been awfully mean to MHP and she is just not going to stand for it anymore. A private resignation email is too good for them, so she made it public!

No one on the third floor has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month. It is profoundly hurtful to realize that I work for people who find my considerable expertise and editorial judgment valueless to the coverage they are creating.

What happened was that her weekend show on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to noon has been the subject of an unsatisfactorily explained preemption for . . . election coverage. This is simply unthinkable, and likely sinister, in a season where election coverage only takes up all but 1% of news on every news channel everywhere. MHP’s own words are illustrative and persuasive:

Here is the reality: our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand, and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.

And even worse, when she did get to air her show they told her what to talk about! Those malicious backstabbers – as if they are masters of the plantation, I mean station!

Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.

While MHP would never dream that the perfectly awful degradation that she has felt at the hands of those Aryan jefes had anything to do with race, she probably thought it was wise to cover all her employment grievance bases:

I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin, or MSNBC.

I beg to differ on only one point. Those tampons earrings don’t have any effect unless you bobble your head a little bit. But otherwise she’s is perfectly self-righteous.


She buried this little gem too, just in case it has escaped the male gaze that MSNBC has been lightening up the content:

Social media has noted the dramatic change in editorial tone and racial composition of MSNBC’s on-air coverage.

But MHP is a tough cookie, and after she gets through crying buckets of tears,

I have wept more tears than I can count

she will hold her head high and eventually realize no one else wants her either. For now she will bear the pain as she sits in her little dank professor’s office and contemplates how she is going to get back in front of that camera:

I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.

Like Donald Trump, she is not too proud to recognize that ego is a motivating factor.

Undoubtedly, television nurtures the egos of those of us who find ourselves in front of bright lights and big cameras. I am sure ego is informing my own pain in this moment

And by baring her true self, and showing her deep compassion, she apologized to those who mean so much to her – those who may have to find a new job because she is exercising her right to be a special snowflake. But a hissy fit paired with a mea culpa if done for the right reasons is perfectly laudable. It’s ok because she cares.

I am deeply sorry for the ways that this decision makes life harder for all of you. You mean more to me than you can imagine.

MHP deserves a break. She needs a good navel gaze. She has to take time to recover from this indescribable horror to which she has been subjected.

And the utter insulting absurdity of the past few weeks exceeds anything I can countenance.

Recover and rediscover. Perhaps she can seek out some commune-loving Bernie fans and join their fantastical bastion of illiberal psychosis where students attend college in perpetuity, no one ever speaks a word in a questionable tone, the cafeteria counter boasts organic fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, there are no lines at the alternative health clinic, and nobody has to be a “hard worker” (because that would mean they were a slave).

Let’s come together on behalf of MPH. Let’s use this opportunity to recognize the worth in each other and share with the world our true selves. We are all Melissa Harris Perry now. Let’s say it together:  I will not be used as a tool.







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