Melissa Harris-Perry Hammers Ex-MSNBC Colleague Who ‘Fired Black Folk’

Even though it’s been more than a year since Melissa Harris-Perry was fired by MSNBC, the liberal television host still apparently holds a grudge against the channel since she responded angrily when told that the National Association of Black Journalists intends to honor Yvette Miley.

“You MUST be kidding, right?” Harris-Perry wrote in a hostile email after learning of the plan to praise Miley, who serves as the senior vice president of talent and diversity at the channel. “Where is the part where she systematically fired, dismissed and gaslit black folk in national media while hiding behind the white boys at MSNBC?”

In an article written by Mediaite's Jon Levine, the reporter stated: “Melissa Harris-Perry still hates MSNBC” with a “rage … so raw” that she blasted the NABJ in “a fiery email and demanded she be removed from its mailing list.”

The announcement from the organization claimed: “Miley was early in identifying the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the impact on the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the unrest in Ferguson[, Mo.].”

As NewsBusters previously reported, “in an act of protest or perhaps a temper tantrum, John Koblin at the New York Times reported that MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry said she was refusing to go on her show after several weekends of having her show pre-empted for campaign coverage. She said in an email she felt ‘worthless’ in the eyes of NBC News executives.”

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

“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote. “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andrew] Lack, [MSNBC President Phil] Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.

An NBC News spokesman then stated: “In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including M.H.P. This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing.”

Harris-Perry responded by noting: “I have been shut out from coverage. I have a Ph.D. 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.”

“While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better,” she added. “I know who I am. ... I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful and autonomous work."

Two months after the anchor’s tirade, MSNBC replaced her with another liberal black woman, Joy Reid.

In a statement about the staff shake-up, Griffin laughably proclaimed:

MSNBC viewers crave not only the facts, but also in-depth discussion and analysis from a range of perspectives.

There is no one better equipped than Joy to lead this new project and create a place for the kind of unique discussion our audience has come to expect.

As if that wasn’t enough trouble for the channel that regularly achieves very low ratings, an article on the Page Six website by Carlos Greer and Ian Mohr indicated that “expiring contracts could bring big changes to MSNBC.”

The reporters stated:

As speculation swirls over whether MSNBC’s [The Last Word host] Lawrence O’Donnell will return after his contract ends June 4, sources say that the network’s president, Phil Griffin, has even less time on his contract, which has not been renewed either.

A source told Page Six that “Phil’s contract is up in two weeks.”

O’Donnell addressed his situation by tweeting on Wednesday: “Contract expires June 4. I’ll let you know where you can watch me June 5 if it’s not MSNBC. I’m sorry this situation has become public.”

“Last week, O’Donnell crowed on Twitter about his ratings as the No. 2 show on cable behind colleague Rachel Maddow,” Greer and Mohr noted, even though the liberal host was seriously mistaken since his program achieved this accomplishment only on MSNBC, not the entire cable landscape.

“Multiple sources told us that” a senior executive “wants to replace O’Donnell with disgraced NBC anchor Brian Williams,” the reporters noted. “It’s the worst-kept secret at MSNBC.”

However, “an NBC insider insisted that Griffin will be at MSNBC for ‘years to come,’ and that ‘negotiations with O’Donnell are ongoing with the goal of renewal.’”

Apparently, there are no discussions about bringing Melissa Harris-Perry back to the liberal cable channel since that would do little or nothing to boost the channel’s ratings.

Randy Hall
Randy Hall