Talk:Melissa Harris-Perry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Biography / Science and Academia (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the science and academia work group.
WikiProject Religion / Unitarian Universalism (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Unitarian Universalism work group.
WikiProject African diaspora  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject African diaspora, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of African diaspora on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject United States  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Women writers  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Women writers, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of women writers on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

This article should be deleted[edit]

I am not convinced that this individual is important enough to have a Wikipedia article. Unless notability is established, this article needs to be deleted. Tkurt (talk) 04:24, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

It was helpful to me. I just saw her on TV and came here to learn more.

Also, "Associate Professor of Politics and African American studies at Princeton University." is a sentence fragment. It should be corrected. (talk) 02:02, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

This is a very helpful article; looking for information online for her, and I found it - in other words, it functioned as a comprehensive, informative encyclopedia. I wanted to learn more about the subject (who also happens to show up on T.V. news a lot) and I knew I could count on Wikipedia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

The article needs not to be deleted but more information added to it. She is a well know political commentator and author and this article does well to give some more information on her --Leroyjabari (talk) 03:58, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

She's got her own show on MSNBC. If you think someone who has their own cable news show doesn't deserve a Wikipedia article, then you're sorely mistaken about what Wikipedia is. sevenbates (talk) 05:54, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Reference link[edit]

ISSUE: Is a Google link to a book (or other link to a website that links to sales of the book) required when citing a book? (talk) 02:29, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
NOTE: "an RFC on the content issue is now in progress. ... the disputed content should be left out until RFC consensus becomes clear." [Administrator] Rd232 talk 12:14, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

The link to for "Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought" is not spam; it is provided so that the material in the article can be conveniently verified by a WP reader. The google link does not meet the definition of WP:LINKSPAM; viz. it is not a link "to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product." Please desist your deletion of this link. --Dr.enh (talk) 06:23, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
"Verified by a WP reader"???? What needs to be verified about the title of the book. Citations do not require links unless there is dispute about the information, in this case the title of the book and authorship. If links were required for citations to books, that means that an editor can't go to a library, find a copy of the book, and cite it. Absurd. Look around Wikipedia. It's loaded with citations to books -- legitimate citations -- that have no links. All that's needed in a citation is the title and other publication information, not a link to a website that promotes sales by its partners. If you want to "verify" that the title of the book is correct and that Harris-Lacewell wrote it, use this this webpage, which does not offer to sell the book. Please desist your irrational demand for a link when a link is not necessary and is, in fact, spam. (talk) 18:33, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
The first two paragraphs of the article can be verified. --Dr.enh (talk) 21:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
"The first two paragraphs of the article can be verified" ... with the book, not to mention various other websites that do not promote sales of the book. A link is not needed. It is not the responsibility of Wikipedia to provide links to sources. Thousands upon thousands of sources throughout Wikipedia are cited without links, and those citations are perfectly legitimate. Wikipedia does, however, have a policy against spam when that spam can be reasonably avoided, and that is the case here. I have tried to assume good faith in this matter, but your insistence that a citation must have a link when, in fact, it does not and when, in fact, that link is to a website that promotes sales of the book leads me to suspect whether you have some vested interest in the sale of this book. I don't believe Dr. Harris-Lacewell would (or needs to) stoop to such tactics, but at this point I wonder if you have some relationship with the publisher or other sales outlet. The fact that you are pushing this so hard when there is no need to do so raises my suspicions even more. Continue to make an irrational demand for a link in the citation and I'll be happy to seek other opinions on this matter. That's not a threat; it's a promise. (talk) 00:07, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:ELYES, "An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work." The About Melissa Harris-Lacewell link does not satisfy this policy. --Dr.enh (talk) 01:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Now I'm even more convinced you may have some personal interest in sales of this book. You are now selectively quoting Wikipedia policy to make your completely unfounded argument. Immediately after what you quote above is the following: "... if none of the "Links normally to be avoided" criteria apply". And links to be avoided include spam sites and web pages that promote the sale of the book. Your argument holds no water. I have tried not to be condescending, but I must repeat myself to be sure it sinks in: Wikipedia does not require links when books are cited. If you continue this, my next step is to post an WP:RFC. (talk) 01:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Again, google is not a spamlink because google does not sell books. Your reply to that statement was that google gets paid by booksellers such as amazon; that has nothing to do with promoting the sales of the book. Also, I recommend that you read Wikipedia:Civility and avoid ill-considered accusations of impropriety. --Dr.enh (talk) 01:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
And again, Google makes millions of dollars from its partners who sell books, which is why they have placed a "Buy" link on the webpage, and which has everything to do with promoting sales of the book. I also recommend that you read Wikipedia:Civility and WP:CON and avoid ill-considered accusations of edit warring in a matter of content dispute. (talk) 01:46, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
As you have not responded to "An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work," nor demonstrated how a link to google that links to a page listing publishers that links to sites where the book can be bought can be considered "promotion" of the book, I am restoring the google link. BTW, the reason I recommened that you read WP:CIVIL is you baseless speculation about my motives. --Dr.enh (talk) 02:16, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
And since I have more than adequately responded to all of your concerns, and you have pushed this matter beyond reason, I now look forward to responses to the RfC. (talk) 02:29, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Obviously, nothing is required to be added to Wikipedia. But Wikipedia:ELYES says that the book "should link to a site hosting a copy of the work." The link is helpful to the reader. --Dr.enh (talk) 14:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't intend to respond endlessly to your irrational rants. I posted the RfC to settle this matter. And until a consensus emerges or until you continue to edit war, I'm not commenting further unless you make new points or other editors' comments are made. (talk) 16:20, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

(from RFC) the external link is not really needed the standard book citation with an ISBN is OK. MilborneOne (talk) 12:40, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm also here from the RFC. Per WP:ELNO: "For example, instead of linking to a commercial book site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, which gives readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources." So long as the isbn is there, there's no need to put a direct link. VernoWhitney (talk) 16:38, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Name Change[edit]

As of Sunday, October 4, 2010, she is now Melissa Harris-Perry following her marriage to James Perry. She has changed her Twitter name, and is now publishing articles, making appearances and teaching at Princeton under this new married name. Her website, however, hasn't yet changed. I'm not sure of the best way to handle this here, as changing her name without changing the location of the article doesn't make sense, and moving the article and setting up redirects and all of that are beyond my sphere of knowledge. Anybody willing to make this update? (See and specifically and ) Aecamadi (talk) 01:59, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Moved. Blankfaze (talk) 03:19, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Her married name is Melissa Perry period! Feminism has no place in a marriage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Uhhhh, no. Your rant has place in this encyclopedia. This is not an isolated case; we have an established guide for this issue already: WP:MAIDEN. --Jeremyb (talk) 20:53, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

MSNBC contributor[edit]

This is my first time using the edit feature, so I apologize in advance if it is incorrect.

I think her position as a regular MSNBC contributor should be in her lead-in. She's on at least once a week and has hosted the Rachel Maddow show, and that is likely to be the reason people are googling her and finding this wiki page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 23 October 2011 (UTC)


There was basically no info on her career post-2005, at Princeton. I happened to read a recent NYTimes profile of her that had this info so I copied it here. A couple people have deleted this, possibly because MHP was asked to leave Princeton, but people deserve to know that, so please don't delete it, thanks! Michael2127 (talk) 17:02, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

A mention of her career at Princeton is appropriate. But you are adding additional material (roughly taking up 20% of the "Life and career" section) that is intended solely to portray her in a bad light (e.g., repeatedly inserting the name-calling, "liar", a "fake, and a fraud", by a controversial figure). This is a violation of WP:UNDUE as well as POV-pushing. And this is not the first time you have done this in an article (e.g., Fareed Zakaria). Considering the small number of edits you have made, your POV-pushing is quickly getting you a reputation as a single purpose account. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a soapbox for you to criticize public figures. Furthermore, you have repeatedly restored this material without consensus after it has been removed by three different editors. Please wait for consensus before restoring this material. That's how it works on Wikipedia. Cresix (talk) 19:02, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I added a sentence about her jobs at Princeton and Tulane. That's quite sufficient for an article this length. Cresix (talk) 19:36, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

It's also important to note how she left Princeton, under such controversial circumstances. If the words Cornel West used to describe her offend you, I will remove those specific words. But stop trying to white-wash her career history by deleting the up-to-date info. Michael2127 (talk) 20:08, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

A mention of her Princeton and Tulane jobs is quite sufficient for an article this size. This issue is not whether the comments offend me, the issue is Wikipedia policies: WP:UNDUE and WP:POV. Read them. And apparently you don't believe that you can be blocked for edit warring, especially when your edits have been challenged by three editors and there is a current consensus discussion. Cresix (talk) 20:33, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

First of all, MHP herself said "leaving Princeton was the best thing to happen to her in a decade", so it's certainly not WP:UNDUE! And I included her perspective, I have no Point of View. Ok, there may have been 3 challenges to my contribution, but I changed it in response to those. And other people made changes to it too. And then it stayed there for a month. Until you came and obsessively tinkered with it like you apparently do for just about every biography of a living person on Wikipedia. Please stop. Michael2127 (talk) 00:59, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

"Ok, there may have been 3 challenges to my contribution, but I changed it in response to those.": No, you edit warred by reverting the three editors repeatedly. Yes, you clearly have an agenda of presenting MHP in a bad light by repeatedly restoring the "liar, fake, fraud" quote from a controversial figure. This is a very short article, and you're trying to increase the "Life and career" section by about 20% with mudslinging. One sentence about Princeton and Tulane is very sufficient for such a short article. You have a total of about 10 or 15 edits in article space, and the vast majority of those involve repeatedly restoring information that attempts to portraying two subjects in a bad light. But your most egregious policy violation is repeatedly reverting without waiting for consensus, and if you continue that I assure you that you will be blocked. So far you're the only editor who is trying to force your edit into the article. That's definitely not consensus. Cresix (talk) 01:25, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the current state of the article elides the period entirely. A mention of the apparently acrimonious departure is appropriate; giving Cornel West, who has a history of such venom, the only word in this is unbalanced. Mangoe (talk) 13:41, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
It's quite sufficient for such a short article to mention that she previously taught at Princeton and leave it at that. People leave jobs all the time, especially when better opportunities are available, as was the case here. About the only indication that it was "acrimonious" is the over-the-top comments by West and, as you said, he's known for such conflicts. It's quite balanced unless someone wants to expand the article by about 200%. Cresix (talk) 00:57, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Image restored.[edit]

On 9 April, contributor appeared to misunderstand WP policy when they deleted the image of this TV personality with this edit, giving the rationale: "Go read NFCC #1".

The contributor seems to have some awareness of WP policy- they were referring to WP:NFCC (Non free content criteria). Criteria 1 requires that no free use image be available, and that the image is necessary for the article. The requirement of a likeness of the person for a biography article does not appear to be in dispute- this has been standard practice for all articles on celebrities since WP began. On every article, we have progressively replaced all fair use images with free images when a photographer has been good enough to release one under a WP- acceptable free license. Up until that time, we have used publicity photos. A scan of the history of articles on celebrities will demonstrate this practice to anyone doubting this fact.

The question appears to be on whether a free image is available. I performed a scan of available images in the usual places (eg flikr, commons, google image search filtering for usage rights) and as of this date, there appear to be no free images available yet for this person. For this reason, I have restored the publicity photo/ logo for this person. Certainly it should be replaced as soon as someone takes a shot and releases it on flikr or commons as CC3.0 or comparable. Until then, anyone doubting that it is conformant to WP general practice to claim fair use for this publicity photos would benefit from considering Wikipedia:Publicity photos. Usage for this article is on grounds acceptable to a large number of WP editors. On the other hand, this is not WP policy, and many feel as Jimbo does that WP should be free of ANY fair use images unless there is some very special reason. Consider the discussion here: Wikipedia talk:Publicity photos, especially the section: This_page_is_dangerous.

The image is important to the article beyond identification because it gives an visual representation of the person's personality that cannot be conveyed in words.

If anyone feels differently, let's discuss it prior to another removal giving the same mistaken rationale. J JMesserly (talk) 23:08, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I personally don't have a problem with keeping the image in the article, but to be precise, the anon makes a reasonable point if you read NFCC closely. On WP:NFCC, #1 states: "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created" (italics added). For a living person, it is almost always possible that a free image could be created. It may not be readily available, but someone could go to the trouble to go to a public place where the subject is and take a photo. For that reason, many bio articles of living people don't have images that are not free. Cresix (talk) 23:27, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Ooops edits overlapped, and I was revising my entry, maybe take a look at my revision. Anyway, I see your point. There has been a war on Fair use for a long time, and Jimbo has a reasonable position though I have been with the other editors that see no harm in some fair use as long as we transition them out as soon as possible. This "an image could be taken" measure is new on me- I guess it always blew past me. Oh well. J JMesserly (talk) 00:03, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Cresix correctly interprets my reference to NFCC1. This isn't even a debatable question: for nearly all living people, FU images are never acceptable for identification purposes, because it is possible to create an image of the person. This rationale is routinely applied at IFD and not really up for argument. See also NFC#UUI. (talk) 05:44, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

This is a publicity piece[edit]

From beginning to end, this page reads as if it was written by MSNBC and then edited by Ms. Harris. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Not sure why you'd claim that. The article gives much more detail than anything MSNBC would come up with as a publicity profile, is well sourced, and would be of interest to anyone who'd want to find out about more than just her on-air career.--Vistawhite (talk) 23:39, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I think this user makes the legitimate claims that, for example, the Mitt Romney scandal Mellisa found herself in should be included because right now this page doesn't adequately display MHP's public image as a political commentator and the divisiveness associated with it.Thesqueegeeman (talk) 00:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The Romney scandal is included though.LM2000 (talk) 00:11, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes but it may be better to include it separatelyThesqueegeeman (talk) 00:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC) from the bio section as it does not fit with MHP's general career achievements. They were large news stories.

Not worthy of an article[edit]

And it looks like this moonbat wrote the thing herself.§ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:09, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Maybe you can make a more reasonable argument for why you feel it's not worthy of an article?--Vistawhite (talk) 04:34, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Don't know if this is the way to comment, but a statement near the bottom has no substantiation. "She is also a self-admitted communist and strongly anti-American." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Added some brief info to intro paragraph; question the length of the controversy section[edit]

I just added some brief information to the introductory paragraph from Harris-Perry's bio pages at and There is a little bit more I want to add to the life and career section, with a citation, but I'll have to get to that later this evening. I'd also like to question the relative length given in the "Public Controversies" section to a single very recent and apparently very minor controversy; it seems out of proportion to this very brief biography. Seems to me a single sentence should suffice. LBourne (talk) 21:07, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. I've removed that section header per the advice at WP:CSECTION. Inclusion of such a minor incident at all is WP:UNDUE and violates BLP. Gobōnobō + c 15:49, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
The above contributor said the section is too long not that it needs to be removed entirely. Hosts don't make apologies except in extremely rare instances which makes this relevant to her page, nothing undue here. Considering an MSNBC host only discusses controversial issues makes this a non BLP issue as well, by this standard all other political commentators pages have BLP issues as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xjuicer (talkcontribs) 01:55, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I have to side with the CSECTION Proportionality argument here. The Mitt Romney criticism section is about a third of the total content and is off in its own section. It's way overboard. And the rarity or commonality of apologies on MSNBC (or anywhere else) don't ipso facto trump BLP standards. -- Veggies (talk) 01:54, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
The section can be trimmed section down if needed. BLP complaints are irrelevant they are just quotes and no different from other political commentator pages, applying separate standards for her page isn't acceptable. Page needs to be removed from protection due to ownership problems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xjuicer (talkcontribs) 08:26, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
It may need a bit of trimming, but it's better off now without a separate section header (WP:CSECTION). However, I was surprised to see how little was written about her "collective parenting" statements, which garnered quite a lot of negative attention before this most recent controversy.LM2000 (talk) 08:33, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
And there's the trim. Proportions are important, so if it is going to be included we need this abridged version... or something similar to it.LM2000 (talk) 08:51, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Why was the controversy section removed? Since the last comment, there have been two new major controversies surrounding her: (talk) 12:46, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Controversy sections are discouraged on Wikipedia because they attract excess and "may be a troll magnet". This article is a perfect example; if some editors had their way with this article a controversy section would comprise most of the article. This article has notable criticisms included, just not in a separate section. By the way, your YouTube link is does not demonstrate "quite a lot of negative attention" and is a primary source. Sources should be secondary. Using it as the only source also would violate WP:WEIGHT. Sundayclose (talk) 15:00, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 January 2014[edit]

Use of the name "Romeny" is incorrect; it should be spelled "Romney". (talk) 16:41, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

The section containing the incorrect spelling has been removed. LittleMountain5 03:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 January 2014[edit]

Existing Text: Her father was the first dean of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia.[1] Her mother, Diana Gray, who is white, taught at a community college and was working on her doctorate when they met.

Problem: Incorrectly written due to vague pronouns, and also bizarrely leaves out her father's name.

Possible Fix: Her father, William M. Harris Sr., was the first dean of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia.[1] Her mother, Diana Gray, who is white, taught at a community college and was working on her doctorate when they met.

Inkor (talk) 17:38, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done: This page is no longer protected. Subject to consensus, you should be able to edit it yourself. LittleMountain5 05:44, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Disruptive edits[edit]

DragonSlayerCzar (talk · contribs) has repeatedly created a "Criticism" section and expanded that section into approximately HALF of the article. Such sections are discouraged on Wikipedia because they attract excess additions. Prior to DragonSlayerCzar's edits, criticism already existed in the article (legitimately) and were incorporated into the "Career" section. Despite repeated requests to discuss on this talk page and to succinctly state the criticisms so they do not comprise half of a very short article, DragonSlayerCzar has unilaterally and repeatedly took it upon himself to push his POV into the article. Note that this is the only article he has edited in the past seven months. I would appreciate any help in dealing with this problem editor. Thank you. (talk) 14:37, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

While a criticism section may not be appropriate, a public image or similar section may be necessary to display the controversies MHP has gotten herself in; most notably the Mitt Romney's kid scandal that she's probably best known for outside of her audience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thesqueegeeman (talkcontribs) 00:09, 7 February 2016 (Thesqueegeeman (talk) 00:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Separate section for controversies spurred as a political commentator[edit]

It doesn't matter what the section is called, perhaps criticism is not the right title, but it seems like many editors here are trying to move the news events in MHP's career bio like the Romney's kid scandal, into its own section as it doesn't fit well with the career bio.Thesqueegeeman (talk) 00:15, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

A separate section would be inappropriate; this is a very short article. Any criticisms, praises, or public image issues within the bounds of WP:WEIGHT and WP:RECENT can easily be accommodated in other sections of the article, as they are now. This information is directly related to her career as someone who provides political commentary. Separate sections on Criticisms, Praises, or Public image are not appropriate for such a short article. Any such section likely would attract excess in violation of WP:WEIGHT and WP:RECENT. If anyone thinks additional "public image" issues are necessary for the article, add them to existing sections or discuss here. Sundayclose (talk) 00:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
There aren't enough notable controversies for such a section, your section even included some praise. I know she has made some controversial statements that garnered little attention, such as calling Star Wars racist. This is WP:NOTNEWS and should not be included. A "Controversy" section would encourage a WP:COATRACK where any such minor controversy could be included. The major controversies are already given WP:DUE weight, such as collective parenting and the Romney incident.LM2000 (talk) 00:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)