Politico Is Twitter’s Foremost Punchline Today

By Akoto Ofori-Atta

POLITICO NO LINESOn Sunday, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry doubled down on her apology to the Romneys for using their family photo in a segment of her “Look Back In Laughter” episode, which aired at the end of last month.

In his defense of Harris-Perry (catch up on the entire brouhaha here), the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates referred to her as “America’s foremost public intellectual.” Politico’s Dylan Byers seems to disagree:

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s claim that “Melissa Harris-Perry is America’s foremost public intellectual” sort of undermines his intellectual cred, no?

Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 7, 2014

Byers was quickly asked to explain his tweet, and to offer up the names of intellectuals he deems worthy of that distinction. His suggestions were all white men, and one dead white woman:

Bernard Lewis, Noam Chomsky, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Krugman (tho not anymore), E.O. Wilson… Obviously Sontag before she died cc @Mattyglesias

Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 7, 2014

And then there’s this:

@mattyglesias I’m not sure America has a foremost public intellectual under any definition, but it certainly isn’t a weekend MSNBC hostDylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 7, 2014

So Byers is entirely sure that there is such a thing as “America’s foremost intellectiual,” but he’s confident that Harris-Perry doesn’t fit the bill. Why? Well, we could ask why, why, and delve deep into a conversation about racism, sexism and a history of the dismissal of black women and their intellectual contributions. But let Byers tell it, and Coates’ put his credibility (!) on the line by vouching for Harris-Perry because she’s a weekend host at MSNBC.

Read More Politico Steps Into it – The Root.

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