Read time: 4 minutes

MSNBC Continues To Try To Destroy What's Left Of Their Liberal Audience, Runs Melissa Harris-Perry Off The Air

MSNBC won't give air time to one of their weekend hosts, political science professor Melissa Harris-Perry, but has plenty of time for the fired Ted Cruz spokesperson, Rick Tyler.

The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur summed this up quite nicely on Twitter:

They got rid of Keith Olberman, Cenk Uygur, Martin Bashir and Ed Schultz. It looks like Melissa Harris-Perry is the latest victim of the network's move to become just another version of Fox: Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Off Her MSNBC Show After Pre-emptions:

In an unusually public flare-up, one of MSNBC’s television personalities clashed with the network on Friday in a dispute about airtime and editorial freedom and said she was refusing to host the show that bears her name this weekend.

The host, Melissa Harris-Perry, wrote in an email to co-workers this week that her show had effectively been taken away from her and that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives, who are restructuring MSNBC.

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

In a phone interview, Ms. Harris-Perry confirmed she would not appear on the show this weekend. She said she had received no word about whether her show, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays, had been canceled, but said she was frustrated that her time slot had faced pre-emptions for coverage of the presidential election. She said she had not appeared on the network at all “for weeks” and that she was mostly sidelined during recent election coverage in South Carolina and New Hampshire. (She was asked to return this weekend.)

In her email, Ms. Harris-Perry wrote that she was not sure if the NBC News chairman, Andrew Lack, or Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president, were involved in the way her show was handled recently, but she directed blame toward both.


↓ Story continues below ↓

“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 Lack, Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

Ms. Harris-Perry is black, and Mr. Lack and Mr. Griffin are white. In the phone interview on Friday, Ms. Harris-Perry clarified her remarks and said she did not think race played a role in her recent absence from the air.

“I don’t know if there is a personal racial component,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person.”

An NBC News spokesman said in a statement, “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.”

But they've got time for this nonsense:

And CNN is reporting that she's not likely to come back either: Melissa Harris-Perry 'highly unlikely' to return to MSNBC:

Harris-Perry won the Beyoncé battle but lost the war, which had been raging for months. She has not hosted since that day. On Friday, she spoke out publicly, saying she had been "silenced" by MSNBC and placed in a form of cable news purgatory.

"I love our show. I want it back," she said in a letter.

Now she is on strike, refusing to host until she can return to the "substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work" she used to do on MSNBC.

Her MSNBC contract expires in October. Two sources agreed it is "highly unlikely" she will ever be back on the show.

This fight — fundamentally about editorial control — comes at a time when MSNBC and its rivals are trying to squeeze higher ratings out of the chaotic primary season.

At the same time, MSNBC has been undergoing a radical brand transplant, replacing left-leaning opinion shows with more middle-of-the-road newscasts. Progressives feel like the liberal MSNBC they loved is fading away.

That would be the understatement of the year. The Scarborough-a-zation of MSNBC continues on unabated.

UPDATE: MHP posted this on Twitter this morning.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.