January 5, 2014

As we discussed here last week, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry already apologized for what has been the right's latest hypocritical excuse to have their heads explode and demand that she be taken off the air.

That hasn't seemed to matter to the lot of them, who are still going after and calling her apology things such as "crocodile tears" and insisting that the only reason she apologized at all is because she's afraid of being fired.

I don't buy that for one minute and think if the network was going to take her off the air for the comments made by a couple of her guests, they'd have already done it.

I agree for the most part with Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA that the apology was unnecessary:

Melissa Harris-Perry delivered a heartfelt and tearful, but unnecessary apology to Mitt Romney today that demonstrated the hypocrisy of the media’s treatment of the left. [...]

Harris-Perry said,

Last Sunday, we invited a panel of comedians for a year in review program. It’s what we call our look back in laughter. But in one of the segments, we looked at a number of photos that caught our attention over the course of the year. In that segment, I asked my guests to provide kind of off the cuff ideas for captions of the photos that we were seeing. Among the images we aired was one of the Romney family that showed Governor Mitt Romney’s grandchildren, including his adopted grandson, who’s African-American.

Now given my own family history, I identify with that picture and I intended to say positive and celebratory things about it, but whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive. And showing the photo in that context, that segment, was poor judgment.

So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family. Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, and especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off-limits, and for that I am sorry.

Also, allow me to apologize to other families formed through transracial adoption, because I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule. On this program we are dedicated to advocating for a wide diversity of families. It is one of our core principles, and I am reminded that when we are doing so, it must always be with the utmost respect.

We’re generally appreciative of everyone who offered serious criticisms of last Sunday’s program, and I am reminded that our fiercest critics can sometimes be our best teachers.

Harris-Perry took responsibility for the segment, even though she never said what the right accused her of saying. Her apology was heartfelt, intelligent, and insightful. It was typical of what viewers see on her program every weekend. What it wasn’t was necessary. [...]

The problem is that there is a basic hypocrisy in the media that allows the right to not be held accountable bad behavior. Not only is the right allowed to get away with worse things than the MHP segment on a daily basis, but no one on the left is ever cut the same slack.

Harris-Perry turned her apology into a teaching moment. She demonstrated once again why she is one of the best on cable news. However, the apology was unnecessary. The left should resolve to only apologize when the right is held to the same standard of accountability for their behavior. The only way that the media will ever treat them fairly is if it is demanded.

Sadly, that's likely to happen about the time hell freezes over. Mittens is scheduled to appear on Fox News Sunday and will be asked about the latest drummed up faux controversy by the right. Heaven forbid Fox was going to let an opportunity go by for him to attack Harris-Perry without putting him on the air.

I've got my issues with Perry's show as I do with about everything on cable "news" these days when it comes to anything from their choice of guests and whether those who are allowed on and lie are challenged properly, to why someone who they already know if just going to spew lies is allowed on in the first place, to the choice of topics and whether they're actually keeping the public informed on issues that matter to their everyday lives.

Love her or hate her and whether anyone feels she's too deferential to the Obama administration or not, there is one reason the right wing hates her show, and that is because she does one of the better jobs out there of bringing to the forefront the issues of income disparity, racism, sexism and the plight of the working class in America... or in other words, she does a very good job of bringing to the forefront the issues that matter to the 99 percent as opposed to the 1 percent.

If she's ever forced off of the air, it's not going to be because of segments like the one making jokes about the Romney family and their adopted grandchild. It will be because the owners or producers at MSNBC aren't too happy with her bringing the economic issues to the forefront.

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