Melissa Lie Face.
That's her standing next to the nose challenged Katrina vanden Heuvel in Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Nation Bullpen" from December 2, 2012.
When we first encounter Melissa, the little liar was appearing on Democracy Now!
She was working -- and had been for nearly a year -- for Barack Obama's campaign.
That's the main reason she was in New Hampshire in January of 2008.
And she went on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman --- who knew she was working on Barack's campaign -- the two had already appeared on Jesse Jackson's radio program together.
But the unethical Amy Goodman introduced her as, "Melissa Harris-Lacewell is a professor of politics and African American
studies at Princeton University. She is leading a group of Princeton
students in New Hampshire to volunteer with the presidential campaigns
of their choice. She joins us now from New Hampshire."
That was January 7th.
Amy Goodman's a whore and her work doesn't stand up and some day people will look at her 2007 and 2008 Democratic Party campaign coverage and see how she whored while pretending to be fair and ethical.
Ava and I covered her garbage in real time and I'll just note briefly:
1) Goodman would bring on Barack supporters --whether she identified them as such or not -- and allow them to praise Barack in segments that had nothing to do with the primaries or running for president. It would just 'spring up.'
2) Some of these people were already working for Barack's campaign but would be allowed to pretend they were undecided.
3) No Hillary supporter was allowed to be on a segment by themselves. They would always be paired with a Barack supporter.
4) Hillary attackers -- especially from The Nation magazine -- were brought on for segments devoted to nothing but attacks on Hillary.
5) No such segments existed for Barack. Even when he put homophobes on stage at a campaign event -- gay 'recovery' advocates, etc -- Amy Goodman refused to cover that.
6) When she had on Barack and Hillary supporters, Goodman would ask Hillary supporters about Iraq but not Barack's supporters. Barack wasn't in the Senate in 2002 when the Iraq War authorization vote took place -- a fact Patricia Williamson (The Nation) and Ruth Conniff (The Progessive) frequently 'forgot' -- but he was in the Senate in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and he voted for funding the war over and over. The record's much worse than just those votes but we'll leave it there.
Amy Goodman is a cheap little hustler. This is the woman who chose to publish in Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine despite the misogyny of that magazine. She has never apologized for that (Noam Chomsky did issue an apology) and would still be doing so if the pushback hadn't been so great.
She's a hustler, she's not a journalist.
She knew Melissa was working for Barack's campaign.
She knew that was a needed disclosure.
She chose to not to make it.
January 14, 2008, seven days later, Melissa was back on Democracy Now! and this is how Amy Goodman billed her, "Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African
American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. She is at work on a new book called For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn’t Enough. Melissa Harris-Lacewell is a Barack Obama supporter. She joins us now from Princeton, New Jersey. "
If you've never heard of those books, Amy wasn't lying about that, it's just no one buys Melissa's bad writing and that the title of her 'new book' was changed when it was finally finished and published in 2011. The writing was hideous and Princeton had already wanted out of their association with Melissa because she is Lie Face. With a lot of editing and re-writing and with friends pulling in favors, Yale agreed to publish the book which went on to sell poorly. It's title was now Sister Citizen and it's subtitle was the For Colored Girls . . . rip-off. The whole book was a rip-off, in fact, and we'll get to that.
Third party friends, Socialists and John Edwards supporters were telling Ava and I throughout 2007 that Amy Goodman was deliberately skewing her coverage to endorse Barack. And Ava and I wrongly defended Goodman.
I was wrong, I have no problem saying that.
When Melissa Harris-Lacewell now Perry first appeared on Democracy Now! January 7th, all hell broke loose in terms of people calling us and telling us we had to write about it. That's when they backed up their claims of unethical coverage with proof of Goody and Lie Face's relationship -- which went beyond being guests on Jesse Jackson's radio show together.
And that's why Ava and I wrote "TV: Democracy Sometimes?" and we waited on one detail that was pertinent. This is from that piece:
Obama's mother was one of those White women Harris-Lacewell seems to
have a problem with. Probably one of those second-wave feminists that
Professor Melissa just knows were holding everyone back. See, despite
Harris-Lacewell's repeated use of the term of "Black" to describe Obama,
he is the product of an interracial union and he is bi-racial.
Bill Moyers last year, Harris-Lacewell 'explained' that anyone today
who might have been a slave before the end of slavery in this country
was "Black" in her book. Again, she's an allegedly educated woman
(reading her books will not shore that claim up). One wonders if her
screaming rant against Gloria Steinem wasn't in some way her screaming
rant at Obama's mother, a White woman, for being White?
Melissa was going around speaking for Black America.
And, honestly, if she'd already pulled the crap that she later did to Tavis Smiley, we wouldn't have been so nice.
But Ava and I discussed if we wanted to make it personal.
Do we discuss Melissa Lie Face personally?
Here she was a 'Black' woman insisting that she spoke for Black America, insisting to Black Americans who questioned Barack as Black since he was bi-racial and she was vouching for him as a Black woman but she was concealing that she had a White mother.
Now she can still vouch for him if she wants to and acknowledge her White mother.
She can say, "I consider him to be Black despite his White mother the same way I consider myself to be Black despite my White mother."
Ava and I went back and forth over that and finally decided we'd avoid directly revealing that personal information.
Did we make the right decision?
With what she did to Tavis, I say no.
(Disclosure, I've known Tavis for years and I love him. You can't know Tavis and 'like' him. To know him is to love him, he's an inspiring person.)
We would be forced to deal with Melissa again in March 2008 with "TV: Goodman and Rose 'honoring' bad TV past."
Charlie Rose brought Melissa on his show to be part of a live roundtable.
The other participants were journalists. They were not working for any of the candidates running for a presidential nomination.
Melissa did not identify herself as working for Barack's campaign.
Here's what Ava and I wrote in March of 2008:
It's not journalism, it's not ethical, it's not academic. And where there is trash, there is Charlie Rose
smearing his face in it. Which is how Melissa-Harris Lacewell showed up
on his show last Tuesday. It was primary night in Rhode Island, Ohio,
Vermont and Texas. The results from Texas would not be known while the
show was broadcasting (live for a change) and the topic was the
primaries. "Joining me tonight in New York," Rose would offer in that
ding-dong voice he's so proud of, "Mark Halperin, editor at large of Time magazine, Errol Louis, columnist of The New York Daily News.
And Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor of politics and African-American
studies at Princeton University. From Cleveland Connie Schultz, a
columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer and in Washington David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times."
See the problem? Harris-Lacewell is not a journalist. Nor was it ever
revealed on air that she was an Obama supporter and campaigner. There
was no one present from the Clinton campaign and Rose never thought
audiences had a right to know that Harris-Lacewell was working with the
Had they been informed of that, there
might have been a huge gasp around the country as viewers grasped that
someone with the Obama campaign was threatening a Black-Out. She did
just that, after snapping at Schultz, declaring Barack Obama had to be
given the nomination and if he wasn't "you don't need these core
constituents to vote for Republicans. You simply need them to not vote,
to not show up, to not come out." As that point she was referring to
African-American and "environmentalist green folks." The latter claim is
hilarious because Bambi is backed by the nuclear and coal industry and
Harris-Lacewell quickly dropped that issue stating, "There is a
longstanding capture of the African-American vote within the Democratic
Party." Note the choice of "capture" -- who's disempowering voters with
their word choice. She continued babbling on and moved over to
"Congresswoman Stephanie Jones" whose, Harris-Lacewell stated, "many
constituents are calling for her to follow their lead once she gets to
the convention". Stephanie Tubbs Jones is her name and, as usual,
'professor' Harris-Lacewell doesn't know her facts. Harris-Lacewell's
referring to an astro-turf campaign that's been very successful in
making members of Congress feel threatened but that may be changing due
to the fact that we spoke with one member of Congress early last week to
explain this 'spontaneous' 'uprising' was not, in fact, spontaneous and
that, if he checked, he'd grasp that he'd been astro-turfed by people
outside his voting area. He did just that. And by the end of the week,
was stating (and we have permission to note this) that he's not
announcing he's changing his support for Obama as a super delegate but
that he will not be supporting Obama as a super delegate. He will also
be speaking with other members of Congress who made announcements under
pressure to advise them to check into whether they truly heard from
constituents or were just the targets of astro-turf. We were informed of
the astro-turf efforts by a student of a 'professor' who feels used and
no longer supports Barack Obama and provided us with some background on
how the 'movement' was built.
referencing African-American voters not voting if Bambi isn't given the
nomination and we're not in the mood for her garbage so let's move on to
the moment where she revealed on television how these 'spontaneous'
pressure efforts work.
informed, have "even called on poeple like Tavis Smiley who generally
who has great support among African-Americans a huge critique of his
critique of Tavis Smiley's critique of Barack Obama." That is how she
worded it (and we're taking that from the transcript faxed to us by a
PBS friend who states it's also available for $9.95 at something called
"VoxantShop.com"). Yes, she sounded like an idiot but she was lost for a
reason, she was lost inside her own echo chamber. The windmills of her
mind were creaking.
Harris-Lacewell not only didn't
disclose that she was part of the Obama campaign, she also didn't
disclose, while promoting this criticism of Tavis Smiley, that she was a
part of that. On February 15th, Harris-Lacewell posted "Who Died and
Made Tavis King?" at her own website and it was picked up by many other
websites though we don't find anyone who ran it in full. A pity because
near the end of slamming Smiley, she shares she won't be watching his
State of Black Union coverage, "I will be phoning Texas voters to remind
them to head out to the polls on March 4." Poor Melissa, her campaign
work is never done.
Alleged disinterested party (if you
catch her broadcast media appearances) Melissa opened her post with,
"Does Tavis realize that Obama is trying to win an election?" She
referred to Smiley's actions as "throwing a temper tantrum" and, though
we'd agree she's an expert on how to do that, we think she's actually
projecting on Smiley. She explains that Obama was too busy ("he was
announcing his bid for US presidency") to attend 2007's State of Black
Union conference and that he is this year as well (he's "busy trying to
win Texas . . . Obama wins Texas; Hillary goes home.") It is a
ridiculous post in which Melissa Harris-Lacewell makes clear that Obama
is more important than any movement or than the African-American
community with declarations such as, "But Tavis and company think Obama
should spend precious hours chatting with them about their agenda."
agenda"? She calls Smiley a "Queen-Maker." We just call Melissa a LIAR.
She attacks "the old guard Civil Rights leaders" who "are genuinely
unwilling to cede power, believing that they have an authenticy claim
based on their proximity to Martin Luther King, Jr." and it only gets
worse from there. It's one long rant. She wonders if Smiley "is just
jealous" and states there's no reason for Obama to take time out from
his busy campaign (Lousianna -- the location for the 2008 State of Black
Union -- is a Texas border-state) and that they should be happy to have
his wife attend (Michelle Obama didn't attend). If you're remembering
Harris-Lacewell's non-feminist smears of Hillary as First Lady, she
wants to be sure you do by adding: "If Hillary can claim Bill's
presidency as her experience, I am pretty sure Michell can talk to Tavis
on the campaign's behalf."
Has there ever been a more
demented soul? On the right plenty and that's the thing,
Harris-Lacewell, by most accounts, isn't even a lefty. She's a centrist
(and a brat) and, considering where his real support comes from, that's
really not a surprise, now is it?
See, that's how the
'movement' works. On February 15th, Melissa Harris-Lacewell launches an
attack on Tavis Smiley and, by March, she's appearing on The Charlie Rose Show
and referencing attacks on Smiley without ever noting her own part in
those attacks. It's an echo chamber and we're told she's been one of the
most effective devisors of the echo chamber the Obama campaign uses.
For those wondering about 'justice,' there was justice.
Melissa isn't with Princeton anymore. They do believe in ethics. That's why Lie Face left. Presented with transcripts of the above three media appearances as well as Melissa's insulting remarks about Princeton students secured Lie Face's departure from Princeton.
She used her latest husband's political connections to get her present job. And she's having problems at that institution as well.
When Melissa set herself up as the voice of Black America, she needed to disclose.
Melissa hates, hates what Ava and I've written in 2008 and since about her lack of ethics. Of course, she does. I don't blame her. They are her own actions and she should take accountability but she did lose an Ivy League job as a result of her lack of ethics so we do get the occasional hate mail from Lie Face and that's fine.
We exposed her, she's angry.
Her White mother.
Isaiah's planning a piece on that -- several comics -- in the new year. He wondered if it was still pertinent?
I said I thought so.
But that was before Sunday or Melissa's apology today.
On her bad TV show, Melissa and her guests decided to go after Mitt Romney.
Romeny is a Republican, he ran on the GOP's presidential ticket in 2012. One of his children (I think he just has sons but I don't know) adopted a child. That child is now part of the Romney family. Not an accessory, not a possession, a family member.
And I'm being told on the phone (by an AP friend who called angry over what I wrote in yesterday's snapshot) that the baby's parents are Ben and Andelynne Romney.
I don't really care. I don't mean that in an insulting way but there's no reason for me to write about the child. Neither parent is running for any office and people are entitled to their private lives.
In my offline life, I've always been very private and walled off the press whenever possible. (I'm referring to journalists doing pieces on me -- I walled that press off.) I did not use my children as accessories for press coverage, for example.
I am not accusing the Romney family of that, to be clear.
I am noting that I do draw a strong line for myself on personal and public and always have.
People get mad when Ava and I out someone as gay or their political leanings.
Is it pertinent to the discussion?
If so how is it pertinent?
We debate it.
And sometimes it is pertinent and sometimes it is not.
Melissa's mother is now beyond pertinent.
On her TV show, she elected to mock a Black child being raised by a White family.
Now there was never a reason to mock Kieran.
He is a child, he's an infant.
But children don't need to be mocked by adults.
Ava and I cover TV at Third. Early on, in 2005, when we started we offered praise of child actors on a TV show.
A friend who is a former child actress asked us not to do that again.
She explained that while it was praise, if we covered children, we would most likely offer negative criticism. Did we realize how that could screw up a child?
If we were silent about the child but had a history of praising children, our silence would also send a message.
She talked about how her parent followed all of her acting reviews and how they would be thrown in her face. She talked about the damage that did.
That's all it took. Ava and I have never again commented on child actors -- not even to praise them -- in our pieces and we extend that all the time to those who have recently turned 18.
So if we won't even critique a child positively at Third, explain to me how Melissa thinks it's honorable to mock a child?
Why would any adult do that?
Who knows but people seemed to think that Trig Palin was an honorable target for mockery as well.
Trig Palin is a child, I'm sure he's a beautiful child to be around and fills people around him with joy. Just because he is a child, he should have been off-limits. The fact that he's a special needs child should have only made him more off-limits to attacks.
That didn't happen.
And while 2008 candidate Barack was happy to whine about his own family being off limits, he never once called out the attacks on Trig or MSNBC's attack on Chelsea (who is an adult but I also felt that tasteless attack was out of bounds).
Because it was 'acceptable' and 'funny' to attack Trig (it was not funny and those attacks still make me cry but, let's be really honest right now, those attacks happened because he is a special needs child) -- because it was 'acceptable' and 'funny' we now get Kieren being attacked.
Melissa's guests spent Monday defending their b.s.
I'm not going to name them. They should be ashamed and hopefully they will be.
One, an actress -- Excuse me, an 'actress.' When you're well over thirty and your career is bit parts and a music video from 2001, when your bit parts consist of unnamed 'characters' (walk ons) and you're only acclaim is as a dancer, you're not really an actress. And at your age, you really aren't a dancer anymore because the body's not forgiving of the passage of time.
So right there, that adult who bills herself as an 'actress'? She's got a lot of nerve mocking anyone.
She's a failure who has a career of bit parts.
At her age, if she wants to be an actress, she's going to have to go after character roles and she doesn't really have the chops for that either.
Hard truths like that are for adults.
If she were 17 and I saw no talent at all, I wouldn't comment. If I knew her personally, I'd offer encouragement in terms of studying her craft and learning it.
This failure lives on her ex-husband's money. Which is hilarious.
And she wants to mock anyone?
I can understand why she's so bitter and hateful. Failure can do that to a person.
But that's no excuse to trash a child.
The failure has insisted she didn't know what photos were coming up and she was just speaking off the top of her head and talking out her ass.
I'm sorry, why on MSNBC are hosts and guests trying to be entertainers?
Oh, that's right, they're not a news network.
And you can't have it both ways.
And they're destroying the NBC news brand with their b.s. (of which this is only the latest example).
Melissa Tweeted an 'apology' today.
She owes an on air apology.
It's said that Melissa did not engage in the 'hilarity' herself.
I'm sorry, she did engage.
I've watched the brief clip. It's brief in part because because she's so uncomfortable.
And her laughter probably comes from being uncomfortable with the segment.
She should be.
But she's the host and she did know what photos were going to be used.
She worked out a bad joke (she wants to see the Romneys and the Kanye Wests as in-laws -- it's a lame joke but she's a lame person) before the segment.
She should have spent less time preparing her lines and more time acting as a host.
That picture never should have been used for anything other than to note the Romney family is a large family or that Mitt has a new grandson.
She never should risk a child being the butt of a joke.
She risked it and it happened.
And she needs to apologize.
She was uncomfortable.
Because it could have been one of her family pictures. A family reunion on her mother's side, for example?
And the failed actress guest could have been singing, "One of these things is not like the other . . ." about her.
And Melissa's not a thing. She has many failures but she's a person. Not a thing.
And so that song is disgusting to begin with in being applied to a baby.
Melissa has a White mother she basically hides from the public.
In early 2008, Ava and I drew a line.
I think we were wrong to do so based on all that's happened since.
But in January 2008, when we could have outed Melissa's White mother, we didn't.
Even as she babbled on about how the 'intersection of race and gender' is ignored, she herself ignored that she's a living example of the intersection of race and gender.
Now she's allowing her show to mock a Black child, an infant, because the child is raised by a loving family that's White?
It's really time Melissa Harris Lie Face Whatever got honest about her own life and discussed it publicly.
If she'd done so already, her guests might have shown a little more maturity.
If people knew special needs children, I don't think Trig would have been mocked so but fear turned to hatred among many and led to the mocking of the child.
Fear was on display in the mocking of Kieren Romney.
If Melissa's own personal story was known, it's very unlikely any guest on her show would have made mocking comments.
She's an adult, she's the host of a show. She's responsible.
She needs to issue a full apology, not a Tweet, and she needs to talk about her own experience as a child of a Black father and a White mother.
She will insist she has and point to a few rare examples of this after -- incidents which took place only after Ava and I wrote repeatedly about her being bi-racial and only after Marcia, Betty, Stan and others amplified it noting that her tawdry life was like the subplot to Imitation of Life in reverse (a Black woman passes herself off as White and denies her own mother publicly).
She really needs to get honest. I've wasted for hours on this entry.
Going back in and taking this and that out.
Ava and I ensured Melissa didn't get tenure at Princeton. We did that with a series of presentations we made. And we noted in that in 2008. I'm noting right now that I'm sitting on much more. And I have no problem doing presentations to NBC News where I have many, many friends. They're already pissed at what MSNBC prime time is doing. A factual presentation, backed up with strong documentation, would send Melissa packing.
I'm not interested in going there. But I can.
And the more she acts in harmful ways, the more likely I will go there. Or the more likely I'll be writing here, look at the time and realize I can't wait anymore, I've got to post something and so I end up posting details -- factual details -- about Melissa's work or 'work' and she deals with the fall out.
Maybe we even talk about that last book published over two years ago that no one's ever talked about -- not in terms of how it was assembled or its lack of proper attribution?
The media needs to stop shying away from her White mother when her show is mocking the fact that a White family (the Romneys) are raising a Black child.
Peter Grier's "Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes for Romney grandchild jokes: Sincere?" (Christian Science Monitor) is largely an attempt to write a balanced piece. But the issue is a Black child was mocked because he has White family members. Melissa having a White mother is pertinent to the discussion.
I don't have four hours to waste online. I've still got to work on a year-in-review (which will go early January 1st). Some of you were very nice in e-mails yesterday saying you hoped I got some sleep or was having fun. (I hope that was sincere -- maybe I missed the sarcasm?) No. A make up artist was in the hospital. An actress friend called me early Monday morning (I hadn't been to sleep yet, Third published Monday morning with the last piece going up around four in the morning). She wanted to know if I'd heard the news? I hadn't. The woman's very nice and handled many of my TV appearances. She always made me look great. I know her family does not live in California. Though I hadn't seen the make up artist in a number of years, she was always there for me. (The real 'couch' in the entertainment business isn't a doctors office, it's the make up chair.) So I showered and dressed and went to Los Angeles. I was there until her son arrived because she didn't need to be alone.
I have to write the year-in-review. I don't even have notes on scraps of paper. This is going to be live microphone time. That's not what I wanted. I've done that once before and I didn't like the results. (Which one? It's the year-in-review that is strong but opens poorly, very poorly. I'm not referring to 'style' or 'finesse.' I'm saying the opening is boring as hell.)
Melissa's actions actually feed in to the only thread I have for the year-in-review. And I don't want to go into all of this in that piece. So this entry right here is to cover it and, if needed, to do a sentence or two on this and provide a link to this larger piece.
We have pieces going up today. Martha and Shirley want me to read their piece and Ruth wants some help with editing.
I need to get away from the computer. Iraq will be covered today.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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