- The Washington Times - Monday, February 29, 2016

CNN host Brian Stelter said former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry “deserves better” after she was dropped from the network Sunday following several weeks of pre-emptions for coverage of the presidential election.

MSNBC said it is parting ways with Ms. Harris-Perry after she boycotted her own program, which she was scheduled to return to Saturday and Sunday during her regular two-hour slot from 10 a.m. to noon.

“Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she explained to her staff in an email that was posted on her Twitter page on Friday.

MSNBC “would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant,” including more political news. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head,” said Ms. Harris-Perry, who is black.

On his show “Reliable Sources,” Mr. Stelter called Ms. Harris-Perry’s statement “scorching,” Raw Story reported.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in cable news,” he said.

“I’m a direct time slot competitor of hers so I have an interest in this,” Mr. Stelter noted. “And I know Harris-Perry is a polarizing figure. Some people are very happy she has been sidelined, but I think she deserved better than this.”

Harris-Perry’s talk show was unique,” he continued. “Love it or hate it, she booked people who otherwise weren’t seen or heard on TV. In some ways, she symbolized the Obama era of MSNBC. But that era is ending.”

Mr. Stelter said that by “marginalizing” Ms. Harris-Perry, MSNBC is “taking a risk.” He noted that the former host has seen at outpouring of support, including the hashtag #MSNBCSoWhite.

“What disturbed me, as a longtime TV news observer, was how it seemed like MSNBC was trying to ‘disappear’ her. @MHarrisPerry deserves better,” he added on Twitter.


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