And This Is How You Shut Someone Down On-Air Without Being An Angry Black Woman

May 11, 2012  |  

In a random internet search I came across a clip about MSNBC host Tamron Hall having an altercation with one of her guests, Tim Carney, and I got a little nervous. Some headlines said she had an on-air tantrum, she shut the conservative commentator down, she talked him off the show, etc., and I clenched at what might have happened. You know we only have to look at somebody a certain way to get that angry black woman labeled slapped on us quickly and I just knew it was coming this time, but not with Tamron.

I’ll admit I had to watch the clip a couple of times to figure out exactly what was going on—more so what set the reporter off so quickly, but it was actually right at the beginning of the discussion. Tim accused her of pulling a “typical media trick” when she questioned him, not about Mitt Romney’s past—particularly some bullying incidents in question—but about how he thought the presidential hopeful’s camp was handling the accusations, and as you can guess from the title of the article, we never got that answer. As soon as the words, “You hype up a story and justify the second-day coverage of the story,” slipped from Tim’s lips, Tamron was done. Immediately, she politely, yet sternly reminded Tim:

“You don’t have to answer a single question I ask you, and you didn’t have to accept the invitation to come on,” she told him.

“Your actions are irritating me right now. You are not going to come on and insult me, you are not going to come on and insult the network, when you knew what we were going to be talking about. Done.”

And just like that, Tim’s mic was cut and his time on News Nation was no more. I will say I got a little antsy when Tamron said his actions were irritating her because I thought, well, that’s not exactly an appropriate reason to kick someone off of your show. However, being insulted as a journalist is, and that’s what Tamron said she was taking a stand for—and amazingly, the public agrees. I just knew when I scrolled down to the comments section of the first article I read the racists Internet thugs would be going in but they weren’t there. Instead, there were comments like, “what a classic lady,” “you go, girl” (you know folks can’t wait to use that phrase), and even statements of people being proud of her and that she’d garnered another viewer.

This isn’t just an isolated incident a few people noticed either, the clip has gone viral and was even trending on Twitter. What’s amazing is Viewers were standing up for her against this white man, calling her a “bada**” and even a “hero.” You know it’s not every day we hear that word associated with a black woman.

Now I know some of this can be chalked up to most of the nation’s frustrations with the right wing but I think Tamron deserves some credit too. Neck rolling, eye rolling, attitudes, all of those things are expected of black women when things get hot. If they can accuse Michelle Obama of being an angry black woman when I don’t think we’ve so much as seen her frown since she entered the White House, how much quicker would they be to say the same in a situation like this? But not today. Tamron proved she can play white people’s game—Fox stays kicking people off the air—and keep her dignity and professional integrity too and I’m just proud to be in a world she’s living in and that didn’t go the prejudice route when they saw her stand her ground. This is how most black women handle conflict and there were a whole lot of people who needed to see this to know that.

Check out the clip of the altercation below. How do you think Tamron handled herself?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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