Melissa Harris-Perry: “Phil Griffin can fire me any time he wants after I have Beyoncé."


Via LA Times

Today's L.A. Times piece on the wonderful Melissa Harris-Perry, her insane schedule, and her very sane show on the Tee Vee Machine, is worth a read.

IMHO, Melissa H-P has a charisma that combines her professorial side with bursts of kick-ass playfulness, spirit, and a whole lot of heart. She is credible, knowledgeable, and forthright, and even somehow nurturing.

Here are a few excerpts, but please read the rest here:

...[A] columnist for The Nation magazine, and, as of February, host of an eponymous weekend talk show on MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry ... teaches two classes [at Tulane University], conducts office hours, then takes a conference call with her team of MSNBC producers while en route to a “Women and Politics” reading group. By noon the next day, she’s on a plane to New York, where she spends the ensuing 36 hours frantically prepping the her show, which airs live on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 9 a.m. Pacific time. Perry and [daughter] Parker fly out on Friday evenings and, once Harris-Perry’s show wraps on Sunday, the whole family returns to New Orleans to start the process all over again.

I'm exhausted just reading that.

A primary goal for “Nerdland,” as Harris-Perry self-deprecatingly calls her show, is to expand the very idea of what is considered “political,” meaning she covers pop-culture trends almost as closely as the presidential horse race. [...]

“[Melissa and her producers] are beating their own path through the news in a way that is super-ambitious, totally unafraid, nuanced, aggressive,” says fellow academic-turned-broadcaster Rachel Maddow. “Melissa has a quiet confidence about her that allows her to do stuff that nobody else could do. She really raises the bar.

That she does, with elegance and wit.

“I feel a lot of pressure but it’s not about representation. My pressure is just more kind of the standard perfectionism... Phil Griffin can fire me any time he wants after I have Beyoncé... I just need a TV show long enough for that.”

Hopefully longer. Nerdland rocks.

  • pinknlynn

    You know nothing about the president and his policies.  Obama also supports the ACA, school loan reform, lilly ledbetter and the repeal of DODT!!!  Much more attention to the middle class than any republican president/presidential candidate.  Obama critics ignore his accomplishments and look at what they DIDN"T get and won't get from any republican.

  • We have two choices, realistically. I'm not thrilled with some of the president's policies, either. But we have two choices. Any vote for an alternative is handing the election to the GOP.

  • mitchellfreedman

    That's really sad that it is unthinkable.  It ought to be crystal clear, especially in April. To throw up our hands and say it's inevitable is to give Obama a clear field to his Grand Bargain that will undo the rest of the New Deal and Great Society.  More than ever, we need RFK's "why not?" vision and not the Obama "just accept what is and make another turn to the right."

  • peterjohn936

    I like her show. It isn't perfect but I like to hear intelligent people having an intelligent discussion. I saw a recent show on which was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. I was surprised that women weren't allow to run because it was believed that they were not capable. I am glad that we have advanced pass ideas like that. 

  • So will many of us. The alternative is unthinkable.

  • mitchellfreedman

    Are we forgetting this professor is the one who labeled as racist white folks who were upset at Obama for selling out the poor and middle class?   She is a personification of what Daniel Boorstin called celebrity culture.  She is cute, and therefore telegenic.  But really, she is quite shallow, and her comment about wanting a particularly vacuous pop star on her show is emblematic of that shallowness.  There is nothing to celebrate here.  Just more of what Eric Alterman has identified as the cultural liberal triumphant in corporate media while the economic issues lag in both corporate media and Democratic Party leadership.  Support Obama, the man who supports Bernanke, Gates, Patraeus, more wars, more assaults on civil liberties and a grand bargain to do away with the universality of Social Security and Medicare programs.  And Melissa Perry will be right there cheering Obama on...

  • I don't know how long the Perry family can stick to that insane schedule. Plus their carbon footprint is huge. I don't get why MSNBC doesn't just rent broadcast space from a studio in New Orleans?

    I suppose you'd lose the intimacy of in studio guests.

    Good luck to Melissa Harris Perry, much success.