Video: Things Get Heated During Political Discussion on MSNBC, With Host Yelling at Guest — Triggering Emotions Among Viewers

Sep 5, 2012  •  Post A Comment

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:


  1. This Mehta chick had no chance in this panel of morons.

  2. “I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner.” Really? No seriously, really? Does MSNBC pay that poorly, that you have to STAY in a neighborhood where people are shot on your street corner? Because I’d move.

  3. Why haven’t they demanded that all celebrities and athletes pay a flat 50% rate of tax. They are all overpaid and are responsible for creating very few jobs. But they have multiple homes and cars and all of the things that they are accusing businessmen of having. Of course they aren’t going to say that about their peers.

  4. Why only 50%? Why not 90%? It makes about as much sense, to kill the incentive to take risks that create jobs.

  5. Wow, it’s already 4 against 1 in political view and Harris-Perry feels the need to go off on someone who dare question the prevailing thought of the rest of the group. Way to support your guest. Very unprofessional

  6. Because singling out people in two professions to pay a higher rate of tax would be patently unconstitutional, maybe?
    The law can say that everyone who earns X can be taxed at Y rate, but it can’t single out certain professions. Besides, a determination that athletes and “celebrities” (and I don’t even know how you’d actually classify that) are “overpaid” would contravene conservative market principles.

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