MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry yelled at one of her guests on the air Saturday, striking a nerve among viewers, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
Harris-Perry was hosting a panel that included financial expert Monica Mehta during a discussion of the book "Why Americans Hate Welfare," by Princeton professor Martin Gilens. Gilens argues that a 20-year-old media campaign to link African-Americans to welfare has created a widespread distaste for public assistance, the story notes.
The host lost her temper when Mehta said class mobility is "enabled by taking risks" by well-off business people.
Harris-Perry yelled, "What is riskier than being poor in America? Seriously?"
She added, "I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I’m sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky."
Harris-Perry later apologized for "losing my temper" but her interview has gone viral, with fans focusing on her phrase, "I’m sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky," the article notes. Fans have generally been supportive of the host.
Among those commenting, “Vanity Fair editor and author Kurt Eichenwald tweeted that Harris-Perry’s yelling was ‘a passion that comes from speaking the truth,’” the Times reports.
Film critic Roger Ebert expressed a similar sentiment, posting that Harris-Perry "explodes with truth."
Here’s a clip of the increasingly contentious panel discussion, with the sparks really flying starting around the eight-minute mark: