Melissa Harris-Perry Adds Diversity to Cable Television News

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Melissa Harris PerryAn African-American female college professor is the newest political and current events television show host at MSNBC, representing a change in the landscape of cable television news shows, which is dominated by white male hosts and mostly watched by the same demographic.

“The Melissa Harris-Perry Show,” made its debut on MSNBC Feb. 4, 2012. The show airs Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon, Eastern Standard Time. Harris-Perry’s first show included discussions on the Republican Party and why the country needs candidates and politicians in the party who are competent and strong, along with commentary on the young girls who tweeted in defense and support of R&B singer Chris Brown during the recent Grammy’s broadcast. 


Other topics on the debut show were Whitney Houston’s sudden death, same-sex marriage and birth control. A diverse group of guests, which included Dorian Warren, professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, discussed the show’s topics. 


Phil Griffin, who is president at MSNBC, praises Harris-Perry. Griffin says he was impressed with Harris-Perry, who had been serving regularly as a guest, contributor and substitute host at MSBNC since 2006. Griffin says giving Harris-Perry a show fits MSNBC’s goal of becoming “an interesting, vibrant, provocative, thoughtful and colorful channel”.

Harris-Perry, 38, is a political science professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. In addition to teaching political science, Harris-Perry is the founding director of Tulane’s Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She has previously taught at the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Read more at The Washington Post.