All Articles Tagged "msnbc"

Melissa Harris-Perry Talks Surrogacy And The Politics Behind Raising Black Children

April 8th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Melissa Harris-Perry

From EurWeb

On February 14 my husband, James, and I welcomed our little girl, Anna James (AJ), 
to our family. I had lost my uterus to fibroids five years earlier, so we turned to surrogacy as a way to have our own biological child. We were already raising Parker, our spirited 12-year-old daughter from my previous marriage, and with AJ’s arrival I became a 40-year-old mom of a new-born and a tween.

The idea of balancing
 two children with a 12-year age gap between them, a still-young marriage and two full-time jobs (my self-titled MSNBC show in New York City and a Tulane University professorship in New Orleans) had me panicked that first night in the hospital.

But my anxiety transformed into deep sadness 
the next day, when, after 30 hours of deliberation, a Florida jury returned a verdict in the case of the death of Jordan Davis. The jurors found 47-year-old Michael Dunn guilty on three counts
 of attempted second-degree murder for shooting into an SUV full of African-American teenagers. During a dispute with the teens about loud hip-hop music at a gas station, Dunn fired ten bullets into their vehicle, killing 17-year-old Davis, who was sitting in the backseat. On the charge of first-degree murder, which was tied directly to Davis’s death, the jury was hung. Finding Dunn guilty on the attempted murder counts means that it’s likely he will spend decades in prison, but like many others who followed this case closely, I had lingering angst that Davis’s killing would not be legally recognized as murder.

I met Davis’s mother, Lucia McBath, when she appeared on my show last August. She joined me on the same day I hosted Sybrina Fulton, the mother of murdered teen Trayvon Martin, and Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers. I was struck by the reality that the father of Evers-Williams’s children was ripped from them by an assassin 50 years earlier, the killer of Fulton’s son was set free by another Florida jury the month before our taping and McBath was still waiting to learn if her slain son would receive justice. These women had all experienced unspeakable suffering, but were still compelled to bear witness to their tragedies.

Read more about Melissa Harris Perry’s motherhood journey at 

#EpicFail: Tweets That Made The World Go “What Were You Thinking?”

January 31st, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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It can take just one tweet to unravel years of friendship or to turn a celebrity that never knew you were alive to a ball of rage. Then there are those tweets to beat all other tweets: the ones where employees and potential employees spoil all of the chances they ever had for respect, a promotion or a job, and make you go, “What in the world were they thinking?” Here are nine tweets of epic fail proportions that will make you cringe.


MSNBC Fires Staffer Who Tweeted That Conservatives Wouldn’t Like Cheerios Ad With Biracial Family

January 31st, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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super bowl cheeriosWhen Cheerios brought back the interracial family that caused a previous uproar for its Super Bowl ad, many people held their breath, waiting for the racially offensive comments. An MSNBC staffer suggested who those commenters might be and got fired over it.

On Wednesday, someone tweeted on the @MSNBC feed, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.” The tweet also included a link to the ad in an article. (The tweet has since been deleted but can be found here.) In fact, after the ad was revealed, a hashtag started,  #MyRightWingBiracialFamily. MSNBC went on Twitter and apologized.

However that wasn’t enough for the RNC. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus went full tilt in defense of his party and his demands for an apology. “You know what, it’s sort of like being on probation I guess, but the fact of the matter is we’re here, we’re watching them and it’s our responsibility and it’s mine in particular also to stand up for our party,” he said on Fox News. He even called for conservatives to refuse appearances on the network.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin called the tweet “outrageous and offensive” in a statement. He went on to say, “We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At msnbc we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change.”

The RNC, which has a reputation for not being inclusive, seems to be taking anything in the media that would further that belief very seriously. If only they could do the same with the politicians who are members of their party. Just yesterday, Buzzfeed published a story, anonymously quoting a “Southern Republican” Congressman, who said Republican opposition to immigration reform is based on racial issues.

“Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial. If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race,” the Congressman told the site.

The story goes on to quote South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham (R), a proponent of a pathway to citizenship, who also acknowledges the discriminatory attitudes surrounding the immigration issue, though he doesn’t place those feelings solely at the feet of Republicans. (The article has some interesting insight into the Republican party’s perspective on immigration, if you’re interested.)

But back to the MSNBC issue, a staffer is gone, Griffin has issued an apology, and Priebus has accepted it. Politico outlines some of the other MSNBC notable names that conservatives have taken issue with recently, including Melissa Harris-Perry and Ronan Farrow, who will have a new show on the network next month.

Joy Reid Getting Her Own MSNBC Show In The 2pm Time Slot

January 27th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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via @TheReidReport

via @TheReidReport

MSNBC has announced a brand new daytime lineup that includes a 2pm show for Joy Reid, who has been a contributor for the network since 2011. Reid has also served as the managing editor of TheGrio.

In addition, News Nation with Tamron Hall will be moving to 11am.

Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

Added to the lineup is the much-discussed new show anchored by Ronan Farrow (at right), son to Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (or Frank Sinatra. Jury’s still out.)

“Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I’m excited for what they will bring to the early afternoon,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin.

“Tamron has established herself as one of the best news anchors in the business. It strengthens us to have her hosting during our morning news block,” he added.

Politico has the full line up, which will go into effect February 24:

9 AM – The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd
10 AM – Jansing and Co.
11 AM – NewsNation with Tamron Hall
NOON – Andrea Mitchell Reports
1 PM – Ronan Farrow hosts*
2PM – Joy Reid hosts *
3P – The Cycle
4P – NOW with Alex Wagner

Joy Reid’s move to the anchor desk had been predicted over at Mediaite. Now that it’s official, congrats to her!

New Report Shows That News Media Does A Dismal Job Of Reporting On Racism

January 24th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Print and television media is good at talking about individual acts of racism like racial slurs and personal injustices, but on average, both forms of media have failed to include perspective and insight on broader discussions of racism, this according to new research.

The report, entitled “Moving the Race Conversation Forward,” was put together by Race Forward, a racial justice research and media organization, which also produces the news site, ColorLines. According to the introduction of the report, researchers analyzed 1,200 articles from national and local newspapers from across the country, as well as transcripts from the three major cable television news station from the period of January through August 2013 to find out how race is discussed in the media. The results shows that while national newspapers “demonstrated higher rates of systemically aware content (as defined by Race Forward as institutionalized and structural racism)” than other media sources, all 14 media outlets surveyed did a dismal job in framing a productive discussion, which took into account the pervasive nature of racism. In fact, the report states that only one third (32.7%) of the race/racism content from any media outlet made mention of systemic racism, and that most of the racism-focused reporting was based upon individual-level racism.

You can download and read the report for yourself or you can watch this five minute video, produced by Jay Smooth. But because I’m generous, I’ve read the report and have taken the liberty to highlight some of the report’s other interesting findings for you:

The New York Times, which had 246 articles related to racism (38.6 percent of which mentioned systematic racism), had a slightly higher than average percentage of systemically aware articles, including nine out of 10 stop-and-frisk stories. So did The Washington Post, which featured 243 articles on racism, almost 43 percent of which had systemically aware content, including more than two-thirds of the paper’s George Zimmerman coverage.

Local newspapers, which scored high on systematic awareness include: the Los Angeles Times, which averaged more than 10 articles on racism per month; the Tampa Bay Times, with one-quarter of its content on racism being focused on politics; and the Philadelphia Inquirer, with almost one-third of its content on the topic focused on sports, in particular, Phildelphia Eagles player Riley Cooper’s use of the n-word. With that said, none of the local papers surveyed managed to score above 35 percent in the systemic awareness category.

Out of the top three major cable news stations, it’s not surprising that MSNBC managed to score the highest in its systemically aware content. What is surprising, however, is that the “Lean Forward” station had the lowest number of race/racism-focused content (26 reports produced during the survey period) out of all 14 media outlets surveyed. CNN came in a distant second, scoring high on racism-focused content, however, the majority of which only focused on individual incidents like Paula Deen’s n-word revelation and George Zimmerman stories. Of course, the least systemically aware cable news station was Fox News, with almost one in three segments being dismissals of racism.

Of the categories, which featured the most systemically aware content on racism, economics scored the highest followed closely by criminal justice, education and politics. The least aware categories included entertainment, arts and culture, and ironically, race relations and identity.

The mainstream media really sucks when it comes to focusing on race-related topics concerning Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). Of the 1,187 instances of news and television media coverage on race that were reviewed, only 2.36 percent covered AANHPI stories.

The report also says mainstream media discussions of race and racism rarely feature coverage of racial justice advocacy or even solutions. According to the report, articles and Op-eds, which feature protest, organizing, policies and reforms addressing systematic racism never constitute more than 3.3 % of any individual news outlet’s coverage of race and racism. The highest incidences were found in the Washington Post (8 out of 244) and the Tampa Bay Times (2 out of 61).

Likewise, the failure on the part of the media to engage fruitfully in discussions of systematic racism helps to encourage what the report calls the Seven Harmful Racial Discourse Practices, including my favorites: reinforcing the misconception that racism is simply a personal problem (individualized racism); making false equivalence through incomparable acts; diverting from race-talk altogether (especially in favor of other so-called universal injustices); and silencing through coded language (because as Richard Sherman has shown us, a “thug” is often used as an “acceptable way” to call someone, usually black, something a bit more colorful).

The report also offers recommendations for ways that news media outlets could report better on racism (that’s if they are interested), including the following: expanding understanding of racism beyond personal prejudices; focusing on impact rather than attitudes; using a racial lens even in conversations about other injustices (including class, gender and sexuality); and cultivating discourse led by people of color. However, even if you are not part of the production side of the media, as consumers of its content, it is important that we too look through these reports on racism with the same systemically-aware eye.

Ann Coulter Labels Melissa Harris-Perry The “Token” African-American

January 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From EurWeb 

Days after publicly apologizing for comments made about Mitt Romney’s adopted grandson Kieran, Melissa Harris-Perry is on the receiving end of daggers thrown by Ann Coulter, who referred to the MSNBC talk show host as the network’s “token” African-American.

Coulter and Sean Hannity had their say on Harris-Perry and her apology earlier this week on Fox News.

“It’s particularly good having Melissa Harris-Perry of all people making fun of a black child in the Romney family as a token,” Coulter told Hannity. “What does she think she is at MSNBC?”

Harris-Perry has been at the center of recent criticism after for joking about Kieran being the only black person in a photo of the Romney family. She later apologized for her comments on-air, tearing up, and in a statement online.

Hannity followed Coulter’s lead with his own criticism of Harris-Perry.

Read more about Coulter’s comments at 

Joy-Ann Reid Is Top Pick For Martin Bashir’s MSNBC Time Slot

December 9th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Source: Getty

Source: Getty

Martin Bashir’s exit from MSNBC may have been unceremonious, but his successor will probably have a smoother transition. And it seems like the one to fill his seat will be Joy-Ann Reid, at least according to two recent Internet polls.

Reid, who serves as managing editor of, is already in the MSNBC family, regularly appearing on the network as a contributor, which is why she appears to be the frontrunner to take over Bashir’s 4 p.m. time slot, leading Ronan Farrow by almost 10 points in a online poll.

“A similar result can also be found on TVNewser, where Reid currently commands a slim lead against former RNC chairman Michael Steele. Although he’s in the running on Mediaite, Farrow is far behind with a fifth place standing on TVNewser,” reports Black America Web.

Reid has worked in both traditional and new media and has 15 years experience working in television and radio news, which gives her an edge compared to other potential MSNBC hosts. There are also encouraging signs from the network, plus she has good track record of guest-hosting shows and highy sought after reporting experience and internet-savvy commentary.

Before Reid, or anyone else can take over, though, MSNBC and network president Phil Griffin must first deal with the aftermath of Bashir’s departure from the network. Bashir turned in his resignation nearly three weeks after writing in a commentary that someone should defecate in former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s mouth in response to her remarks about the Federal debt to slavery. The former “Nightline” anchor later apologized for his remarks.

“On one hand, there’s the appearance of MSNBC yielding to those who dislike Bashir. On the other hand is the race card, which has not gone unnoticed by people who feel the that a man of color [Bashir] was forced out of his job by a mob of angry white people, so to speak. The latter hand has set social media outlets ablaze with widespread calls from MSNBC viewers to boycott the network until Bashir is rehired,” reports Black America Web.

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Over ‘Abominable’ Sarah Palin Slavery Comment

December 4th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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,  PNP/

Update 2: Sarah Palin was on Fox & Friends this morning (of course) praising the “media standard” that deemed Martin Bashir’s comments unacceptable, but says she’s used to being the target of “attacks.” And because this is Fox & Friends, they had to be a little extra with the blame for this.

“One of the things about his attack is it was scripted. The people at NBC had a chance to review it and said – they obviously, or apparently, all agreed,” said host Steve Doocey. All of that last sentence is an assumption.

If you really want to hear more, click through to Mediaite.

Update: Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC over his comments in response to Sarah Palin’s comparison between US debt to China and slavery. After apologizing, Bashir writes in an email, he took Thanksgiving to think about his reaction even further.

“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments,” Bashir wrote in an email, now posted on Mediaite.

In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said: “Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Bashir was always known for over-the-top statements, but in this case, it looks like he went too far. I do wonder whether this is somehow related to a recent incident involving Alec Baldwin. In that case, Baldwin, new to MSNBC with his show Up Late with Alec Baldwin, was forced out (the official word is that it was a “mutual” parting of the ways) after seemingly using a gay slur when addressing an aggressive photographer who was trying to snap a pic of his family. He later apologized for any offense caused, but still angered GLAAD and other critics. He was given a two-week suspension and ultimately, his show was yanked. At that time, Baldwin actually called out Bashir. “Martin Bashir’s on the air, and he made his comment on the air! I dispute half the comment I made…” he told Gothamist in an interview.

Do you think Bashir needed to go?

Updates by Tonya Garcia


MSNBC political commentator Martin Bashir is apologizing for his commentary about the oft-politically incorrect Sarah Palin after she compared the United States’ indebtedness to China to America’s enslavement of blacks, The Wrap reports.

“Our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing from China. When that money comes due and – this isn’t racist, so try it, try it anyway, this isn’t racist – but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due. Right? We are going to be beholden to a foreign master,” Palin said during a speech on November 9.

Bashir was so jolted by Palin’s comments, he reserved a segment on his self-titled show to bash the former Alaskan governor for her off-the-wall analogy. He called Palin “America’s resident dunce” who attempted to “sound intelligent about the national debt.” Ouch! But Bashir doesn’t stop there, in fact, he was just getting started.

“Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s not surprising that she chose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone that knows anything about its barbaric history,” Bashir began. The British journalist then offers a primary source that describes the torturous days of slavery — the diary of Thomas Thistlewood, a plantation overseer who kept notes for over 39 years.

“In 1756, he records that a slave named Darby was ‘[caught] eating kanes. Had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s**t in his mouth… ‘This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose’, invented by Thistlewood, that spoke only of his savagery and inhumanity,” he revealed.

“When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery,” Bashir added, “she just doesn’t prove her rank ignorance, she confirms that if anyone truly qualifies for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.”

Bigger ouch!

A few days later, Bashir apologized for his caustic insults and offered a two-minute speech of sincere regret for his comments on Palin:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an ‘unreserved apology’ to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers and anyone who may have heard what I said,” he said. “Upon reflection, I so wish that I had been more thoughtful, considerate, and compassionate, but I was not…I deeply regret what I said.”

However, few seemed fazed by Bashir’s biting words towards Palin.

“Bashir’s mistake was thinking Palin ‘needed’ someone to s**t in her mouth. She’s fully capable of producing fecal material with her mouth and needs no assistance,” a reader noted under The Wrap’s article.

Your thoughts? You can watch the apology and the offensive criticism after the jump.

It Looks Like Alec Baldwin Is Getting His Own MSNBC Program

August 9th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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 Alberto Reyes/

Alberto Reyes/

Yes we’re talking about the same Alec Baldwin who has had multiple meltdowns with paparazzi who’ve tried to snap his picture, with a reporter who accused his wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral, with his daughter in a voice mail, and with American Airlines over Words with Friends.

All that aside, he’s also an outspoken liberal, an Emmy award-winning actor, funny as all get out, and engaging in front of the camera. These are things that the network needs as it battles back from a second quarter ratings low.

According to Mediaite, Baldwin would get a 10pm spot on Fridays, replacing the prison documentary Lockup. The site’s sources say the deal is about final but the network isn’t quite ready to announce it. MSNBC hasn’t commented on the news yet.

Here’s a snippet of Baldwin sitting in Lawrence O’Donnell’s spot, to give you a taste. And after the jump, we have Baldwin on SNL at the Weekend Update desk. Hilarious.

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Mom Of The Late Hadiya Pendleton Says She Fears For 11-Year-Old Son’s Life Post-Zimmerman Verdict

July 31st, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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It was just this past January that 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, a high school sophomore who performed at President Obama’s inaugural parade this year as part of her school’s drill team, was gunned down at a park. After school was let out early at King College Prep for finals, Pendleton and a few of her friends went to a nearby park to hang out, and since it was raining, they all sought shelter under a canopy/gazebo. Soon after, a young man ran toward the group and fired a gun at them (a few of the young men at the park were gang members), accidentally shooting Pendleton and injuring a few other students in the process. Since such a tragedy, Pendleton’s story made national news, with Michelle Obama attending her funeral in Chicago, and her story being used in the fight to have stricter gun legislation. On top of that, Pendleton’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton has fought tirelessly to see gun laws changed so that other families won’t have to go through what she has had to. She spoke recently to MSNBC during an anti-gun violence summit in Chicago last Friday about another family who has dealt with a major tragedy due to gun violence, Trayvon Martin’s family, and why their loss (and the lack of justice from it) has made her worry about her own son, her last remaining child, especially in Chicago:

“I have a son that I am raising in this environment, under these circumstances. So now I have a youth that is not at risk because I’m raising him with certain value systems, but he is at risk of being viewed a certain kind of way.

I have to do things and be boisterous to protect him before he gets to where he’s going to go independently, walking down a street on his own with certain privileges and being misidentified as someone else. Right now he’s 11. The Martins have already suffered and that’s an awareness for the rest of us.”

She also talked about all the work she’s doing to stop illegal guns from hitting the streets and to reduce gun violence, saying “This is my life right now. I’m tired. But I’m stepping up to the cause and I won’t stop until these gun laws are changed.”

Check out her interview where she talks about her worries below:

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