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.