In cased you missed the news, Melissa Harris-Perry will be the latest addition to the new, post-Olbermann line-up at @MSNBC.  Her new two hour weekend show starts February 4th at 10am. 

After seeing her tweet this heap of hilarity last night…

I’ve known Melissa since she first came on Twitter. My mother still chuckles that she named a stray kitty “at-shoq.”  So I thought we could had some fun with the news and the naming thing, so I created this Twitter hashtag: 

#NameMHarrisPerrysNewShow

Now given her fan base among my stream and friends, I confess that I sorta knew I could make it take off pretty fast – and it did. 

Some of the suggestions people tweeted are serious, and very good ideas, while many others are just very good fun.

It’s just another example of how useful Twitter can be as a tool. Even if MHP and her team don’t use any of these ideas, you can be sure the ideas will help them think about how people think about her, the potential directions the new show could take, and the many possible brandings that could work for it.

I made a few dozen suggestions too. While many can work, I think the show should just be called “#melissa,” including the #hash symbol. To begin with, her success owes something to social media, and will no doubt exploit her skill with it. But it also makes sense because we’re all going to be saying “I am watching Melissa right now” anyway.  So why not realize that she IS the brand and just run with what comes naturally to the audience?

I could probably  make the #melissa tag trend even before the show starts. If I can make #FF, #MT and #OWS stick, I can do it with #melissa :) I’m just pushy like that. But hey, what do I know about branding? I’m just a silly cat on Twitter.  There are many other good ideas, too. I am sure she and her team will choose wisely. (They probably already have). She’s kinda bright like that.

Speaking for me, I can’t wait for this new show to  start. I’ve had my criticisms of @MSNBC, and still have more than few, but added to the terrific innovation that is “Up, With Chris Hayes,” they are finally using their progressive audience base to rethink the moribund and culturally ruinous TV news model.

It’s about time. If we don’t support more thoughtful programming like this, we have no right to expect more of it. As I often say, and with apology to Winston Churchill:

“We get the media we deserve.”

 

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This video will tell you just about everything you need to know about what Wisconsin is all about.

If the left doesn't rise to this challenge, this nation is a lost cause. Just book a flight to Australia, New Zealand, or some other nation where there is still a shred of decency left in their cultural plasma.

"If you break the public unions in Wisconsin you can break them everywhere." — Rachel Maddow

 

 

Related

BREAKING: Julian Assange Parachutes Into Wisconsin Union Protests

Wisconsin Is a Battleground Against the Billionaire Kochs' Plan to Break Labor's Back

 

This post has updates

I am still too angry to blog this. So for now, just watch Keith's final moments on MSNBC. Then get angry too. We're going to need a lot of that anger in the coming years. This is just the beginning of a long and bloody war for the future of media, journalism, and America.

It is not specifically Keith Olbermann I am concerned about. It is the role that Countdown, and he together played as the only really reliable nightly megaphone the left had in this country, of late. Yes, @maddow has also been very important, but Keith was the center of gravity at @MSNBC, and under him, MSNBC became the only nightly conduit that we had to balance anything happening over on the evil thug's network.  Keith may be planning on taking his gravity to a new venue, perhaps one of his own making. Let's hope so. In the meantime, we still have a country that is sliding into the sea, and as of now, we've lost one of the few bulwarks that we had.

 

Updates

I am listing stories here that seem to shed new light or new theories on this issue. I make no representations or warranties about the truthfulness nor truthiness of anything contained herein. Read and conclude at your own risk.

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Enough is Enough

We have endured this pretense that Fox News is a legitimate news organization for too long. It's not. It's the 24 hour propaganda channel of the Republican party, and Washington should marginalize and stigmatize it until it withers and dies. (More on this in a later post). 

The first step is for all real journalists to watch and read Olbermann's special comment, and use it to launch their own national conversations—as Charles Kaiser has now done in a MUST read essay  — about how this obscene insult to their profession can be knocked off its ghastly pedestal and pushed with market forces into some kind of more responsible new organization—or just driven out of business.  It has completely polluted and distorted most all of our other national conversations, precisely at a time when we need to have them the most.

I am not suggesting censoring Fox. I am suggesting that we kill it with intensive levels of rejection of everything it does and stand for until no decent sponsor will get near it. The @stopbeck movement proves Fox can be hurt. We need to hurt them far more. And fast.

On July 23rd, Keith Olbermann took on Fox News… frontally:

Let me make this utterly clear: What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist — even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.

    What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites… is a manipulation. Not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy. Manipulation of a society, its intentional redirection from reality and progress, to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans…The assassins of the Right have been enabled on the Left.

    — Keith Olbermann, from his Special Comment on Sherrod debacle (below fold )

The Reaction

While long overdue, Olbermann calling out the Fox culprit, unambiguously, seems to be finally bringing forth a reaction from the mainstream journalism community that Fox should have provoked a decade ago.  But if this Google News search is any indication, it's still not getting nearly enough reaction. It's only Monday, but I sure hope there will be more on the level of the remarkable piece by Charle's Kaiser (posted next).

I am going to keep track of what DOES appear here. If you see more, please tweet them to @shoq with the hashtag: #killFox

The Shame of the Fourth Estate — by Charles Kaiser [Essential Reading]

It has become fashionable to dismiss Keith Olbermann as an over-the-top ranter or as the MSNBC host put it himself, “a mirror image of that which I assail.”  But there was nothing over-the-top about his special comment about Shirley Sherrod.  Every word he spoke was true. 

Enough right-wing propagandaby E.J. Dionne

The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story." And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year's election.

Video: Olbermann's Special Comment

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Mediabistro reports "MSNBC Could Keep David Shuster Off the Air Indefinitely."

MSNBC bad boy David Shuster may be on his third strike.

Shuster won't be on the air today for his 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. shows, according to MSNBC insiders. Whether he returns before his contract expires in December is up for debate.

Shuster's last appearance was at 10 a.m. Friday. MSNBC boss Phil Griffin pulled him from his 3 p.m. gig after learning, via The New York Observer, that the anchor had recently shot a pilot for CNN without having informed his bosses.

Griffin, vacationing in Florida, ripped Shuster a new one over the phone, network sources say. A repeat performance is expected today in the office.

It's not the first steel cage match between Shuster and Griffin, but it may be the last.
 

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A New Facebook Site

Punish David Shuster with his own show!

We agree that David Shuster must be punished for being one of the most dogged and honorable journalists working in cable news. After taking away his Tweeting privileges, the only way to make sure he learns his lesson is GIVE HIM HIS OWN DAMNED SHOW.

I think this is a fine idea. I was just thinking of something like it, with a twist. Thinking about it.

Show Support For Lefty TV — JOIN UP

UPDATE1 (4/4/2010):  I have it from a pretty reliable source that David Shuster has NOT been fired (as of this writing, anyway).  And his bio has NOT been removed, as some had claimed. His "blog" may have been removed, but that could have been due to some unrelated issue.  His MSNBC bio page is still there.


 

With a few notable exceptions, I've always been a fan of David Shuster.  I like his boyish enthusiasm as he tears into the leg of any guest he knows is full of shit.  After some exchanges with him over the past few months, I can't say I'd be very surprised if he was in fact on the way out at MSNBC, but I've yet to see any hard evidence that this actually happened. 

It's mostly a lot of supposition based on this New York Observer story.

Inside the CNN Stockroom: Network Recently Shot Pilot Staring MSNBC's Shuster and NPR's Martin

Recently, according to CNN sources, the network's in-house team shot a pilot for a news show featuring David Shuster of MSNBC and Michel Martin of NPR as co-anchors.

The NY Times Brian Stelter gets on board, and adds..

“If true, this is unacceptable and David will be punished appropriately,” an MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, said Friday afternoon"

Then Mediaite steps up to fan the gossip wires

And in the short term – he’s not anchoring at 3pmET. Shuster has already been trouble with MSNBC for his inappropriate tweeting, and hasn’t used Twitter for months. … An NBC insider tells Mediaite, “Shuster has never been a major player at MSNBC.”

Bringing up the rear, the ever faithful Wingnut Daily, Newsbusters, couldn't pass up a chance to bust General Soros for trying to buy another foot soldier for his Communist News Network (owned by one of the largest media conglomerates on the planet).

Shuster's Twitter account has been silent since January 27, when NewsBusters and other center-right blogs documented his blatant conflict of interest in covering O'Keefe's arrest. Ironically, his last Tweet cites a post from the far-left group Media Matters. Need we say more?

An uncertain period of time after the Observer story dropped, Shuster's website at MSNBC up and vanished.  Hmmm….

So there we have it. On the surface, a lot of hearsay and supposition based on an anonymous "CNN source" that reported a "pilot" that may or may not have happened; that Shuster missed his shows; that there had been prior friction between Shuster and MSNBC; and that a web page disappeared. 

But that's all we know. It's certainly a compelling sequence, but hardly conclusive. It's mostly interesting to me because it illustrates how our new blogger-centric world can play a story in incremental steps, from many bloggers, each with their own world (and industry) view.  

Perhaps David is toast, or perhaps his dog got hit by a car and someone edited his page and broke it. Nobody has made any statements on the record—or supplied any evidence—that says anything to the contrary.

My gut says it's probably true. But mostly because I'd like it to be true. Especially that part about NPR's Michel Martin going to CNN. 

In my view, she's one of the best broadcast journalists working today. If CNN wants me as a viewer again, she'd bring me over in any time slot.

Good luck, Shuster, wherever you are, and wherever you go (or not).