Whenever a cracked bell is sounded, listeners can tell that it’s not ringing ‘true’ – the sound is not what it ought to be.
Melissa Harris Perry apologized for the senseless mockery a picture of the Romney family – which included a picture of the Romney’s adopted black grandchild – garnered by a panel of ‘comedians’ on her television show. Many people, including Noel Shepherd over at NewsBusters, found her apology ‘heartfelt’ (probably because it included tears). Yet, when I read just the first two paragraphs of the transcript of her on-air ‘apology’, I hear a cracked bell chiming.
You can read the whole thing over at NewsBusters; here’s the important part:
Last Sunday, we invited a panel of comedians for a year in review program. It's what we call our look back in laughter. But in one of the segments, we looked at a number of photos that caught our attention over the course of the year. In that segment, I asked my guests to provide kind of off the cuff ideas for captions of the photos that we were seeing. Among the images we aired was one of the Romney family that showed Governor Mitt Romney's grandchildren, including his adopted grandson, who's African-American.In the first paragraph, Ms Perry admits she was in charge of the panel discussion – she calls them ‘my guests’. This means that, at any time, she could have put a stop to the mockery of the Romney family picture.
Now given my own family history, I identify with that picture and I intended to say positive and celebratory things about it, but whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive. And showing the photo in that context, that segment, was poor judgment. (emphases added)
But she did not; in fact, she joined in with it.
Second paragraph, she tells us what her intentions were. The question is, why didn’t she follow through on those intentions? I’m sorry, it’s not ‘poor judgment’; it’s either that she never truly intended to ‘say positive and celebratory things’, or she simply fell to peer pressure and, in fear of losing her status as a liberal-progressive talkinghead, she went along to get along.
Recap: she could have controlled the discussion, and she did not; she could have said ‘positive and celebratory things’, and she did not.
Her apology just isn’t ringing true to me.
But, as some say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (or, as I say, you will know them by their fruits). Let us see how Ms Perry comports herself from this point on in her ‘news’ career. Will she begin and continue to stand up for things, even if those things run counter to the liberal-progressive line? Or will she give in, go along to get along, and follow up each ‘poor judgment’ call she makes with a teary-eyed, ‘heartfelt’ apology?
Will she stand firm, or will she remain among the ‘cracked bells’ of MSNBC?