NRL News

Melissa Harris-Perry’s “imaginings”: how about celebrating abortion on national television?

by | Sep 5, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

My apologies for not getting to this earlier. I had not seen (but then again I have never seen) Melissa Harris-Perry regale panelists on her show with her “imaginings” about what superstar singer Beyonce could [should?] have said at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards program.

Here’s the two-fold setting. In addition to performing for nearly 20 minutes, snaring lots of awards, Beyonce also was the recipient of the MTV Video Vanguard award, which (I’m guessing) is a kind of lifetime achievement award.

And then there is “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show,” which appears (where else?) on MSNBC. NRL News Today has posted several stories on Harris-Perry who obviously believes her miniscule audience finds her yawning ego entertaining. Equally obvious she is in the camp that subscribes to the theory that the way to get ahead is make as many outrageous/tasteless statements as possible. Okay, having said that….

Thanks to Newsbusters and Katie Yoder for posting at In a nutshell Harris-Perry was free-associating on what Beyonce should have said. According to Yoder

The pop star’s routine on August 24 championed feminism with a screen behind her flashing the word “feminist” as an overhead voice defined, “The person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

But Harris-Perry wanted more.

Indeed she did. Harris-Perry prefaced her remarks with this:

“Part of how I finally came around to thinking of myself as feminist, I wasn’t born thinking that, is when I started thinking of feminism as a question. Right? So feminism is the question, ‘What truths are missing here?’ That what a feminist does is to ask about whatever we are looking at, ‘What voices are left out? Who isn’t at the table?’”

So what “truths” weren’t “at the table” at the MTV Video Music Awards program?

“So I have been having these imaginings where, instead of behind her [Beyonce] are these enormous letters that say ‘feminist,’ that she’d come out and it had said, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot. Or it had said ‘birth control’–I mean – ‘abortion’ behind Beyonce. Then she would never sell any more records. I do wonder if it could have been more political, beyond the F[eminist] word.”

Let’s see what we can make of Harris-Perry’s “imaginings.”

To begin with “imaginings” don’t have to be examples of linear reasoning—or any reasoning—PLUS you get to throw in anything you want to (in this case an allusion to the tragic death of Michael Brown) to turbojet whatever idiocy she’s concocted.

That she wanted the superstar diva to be “more political”–celebrate/advocate for abortion–is of a piece with how Harris-Perry sees the world. After all, this is the same woman whose earlier “imaginings” included describing the unborn as a “thing” that “might turn into a human,” and the abortion debate as whether you “should or should not dispose of things in your uterus.”  The latter comment came on an Easter Sunday.

She also has a penchant for choosing panelists who utter incredibly ugly, heartless, and wholly inaccurate remarks. For example, in 2012, Nancy Giles, a contributor to “CBS News Sunday Morning Show,” appeared on Harris-Perry’s show the Saturday after the elections. Here’s what she said (thanks again to Newsbusters):

“Host Harris-Perry was discussing with her guests the results of Tuesday’s election by demographic group. When she got her chance to comment, Giles said, ‘It’s been weird to watch white people report on this. You know when you just showed that graph of the decline in the numbers , I thought, Maybe that’s why they’re trying to eliminate all these abortions and stuff. They’re trying to build up the race.’”

Another time, the appalling behavior of her guests was so over the top Harris-Perry actually had to apology. I’m guessing that will be a unique experience for someone who thrives on pushing the envelope.

In the end, I suppose, should we have been surprised? Of course not.

But just because Harris-Perry continues to mindlessly follow her script—that abortion is wonderful, unborn children are “things” or uterine content, and pro-lifers are closet racists—doesn’t make her (and her guests’) behavior any the more palatable.

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Categories: Media Bias