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MSNBC Toure, Kim Kardashian Clone of Social Commentary.

September 29, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Oddly enough, I woke up this morning wondering about the enigma who calls himself “Toure.”  No last name, just “Toure.”  I normally wouldn’t be spending my time writing solely about another person, but out of respect for serious political analysts that white television networks tend to ignore, I had to discuss this issue out loud.

Toure of MSNBC is the man who has every intelligent black person in America wondering why he’s on TV, myself included.   There are no credentials in his background which lead you to believe that he should be defining the direction of national thought on serious political issues (the bio I found says that he dropped out of Emory University in 1992).  He also seems to say things for entertainment, rather than substantive, value and doesn’t seem to take his work all that seriously.

I’ve heard grumblings from political science experts who can’t get two seconds of airtime on national TV, and I feel bad for them.  Usually, their concerns are expressed about men like Roland Martin, whose Masters Degree in Christian communications seems to make him a better fit for the 700 Club  than CNN.  But actually, I usually defend Martin, whose time as a journalist in the political hotbed of Washington DC gives him the background necessary to give opinions worth listening to.  This doesn’t mean that many of our brilliant black political science professors, attorneys, or judges would not be better suited to speak on American politics (after all, their backgrounds in the field are quite extensive), but Roland at least takes his role (and himself) quite seriously.

MSNBC Toure, on the other hand, offers the kind of empty insights that make you wonder what the 23-year old television producer was thinking when she booked him to discuss the intricacies of African American politics. The man who hunts for his next soundbite like a teenage girl trying to find the coolest Coach purse doesn’t seem to know how to make his remarks without saying something that appears to be flat-out stupid.  Some might even consider him to be a simple-minded clown.

Case-in-point:  When Toure and I were on CNN debating Tyler Perry films, I thought we were there to have a productive dialogue about Perry’s work.  I don’t watch most of Perry’s films, and some of it is certainly questionable, but I respect that Tyler is trying to connect to his audience in what he believes to be a helpful way.   I also wanted to show some respect to the millions of people who watch Perry movies, many of them being intelligent, conscientious black people who just happen to think that Madea is funny.

MSNBC Toure didn’t seem to go beyond one syllable thinking on the matter, simply referring to Perry films as “Cinematic malt liquor for the masses.”

In addition to these “brilliant” remarks, , MSNBC Toure was also the man who got into a Twitter argument with Roland Martin and joked about Martin not being able to have any kids, which was a low and unnecessary blow.  I admit that I wonder how Toure is aware of another man’s fertility status, but that is neither here nor there.   In another interesting Toure highlight, there was the moment when he stated that Mitt Romney was trying to “niggerize” President Obama.  Just a day later, Toure whimpered out the kind of apology that would only be uttered by a sad little man begging to keep his job.

I refer to Toure as the Kim Kardashian of social commentary because both MSNBC Toure and Kim Kardashian are the kinds of fascinating cartoon characters who are famous for damn near nothing.  I also admit that it’s difficult to take someone seriously when they don’t even have a last name.  The name “Toure” is the sort of name that would be connected to an entertainment-based, diva-like personality, like “Madonna” or “Prince.”  It’s not the name that would be attached to a man responsible for serious socio-political commentary that shapes the way millions of people think and the way white people perceive an entire black community.

MSNBC Toure started off as an entertainment writer, and perhaps that’s where he belongs.  He should be writing about Soulja Boy’s new girlfriend or MC Hammer’s comeback album, and has little business commenting on the presidential election or matters that should be preserved for analysts who don’t use stage names.  Thought leaders like Dr. Wilmer Leon, Professor Michael Fauntroy, Dr. Bryant Marks and Julianne Malveaux should be defining the direction of black America, not the modestly-educated guy hoping to break into Hollywood.

Forgive me for stating the obvious when it comes to Toure, but networks need to respect black experts who know what the hell they’re talking about, and not just chase after their favorite go-to negro who entertains them the most.  Times and issues are too serious for this kind of buffoonery, and it’s time to call it for what it is.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit


7 Responses to “MSNBC Toure, Kim Kardashian Clone of Social Commentary.”
  1. Wiley says:

    These comments are interesting because I was doing a goggle search for Toure’s bio and continued the search when I found no reference to his education. These comments, however are no more than interesting for me. They are like Jessie Jackson criticizing Obama’s success. I find Toure entertaining and often informative. I have no problem with the fact that he left college for whatever reason and found his path to success. I think he should be encouraged and certainly not dismissed. I don’t know this young man but I look forward to watching him grow. He is on MSNBC beacuase he earned his way there. His critics could learn from him.

  2. Tony Lindsay says:

    I just have one question….WHY does the BLACK guy ALWAYS have to be the “entertainment??”….This just goes to show you that we aren’t taken seriously-even when it’s time to be serious.

  3. Dr. Boyce:

    I do understand your sentiments regard Toure. However, I think you should have also commented on his success as a writer. I am not here to debate whether he should be speaking on politics –because the same could be said about you in regard to the masses. Though I do read all of your work and think that you and Toure (anyone for that matter) have the right to voice their opinions regarding whatever they choose. I believe that he is a talented writer. Yes, I know him personally. And, I do get riled up at times by some of the things that he says… But, there is no way that anyone can say that Toure is not a talented journalist or fiction writer. I think we have better fish to catch than this one.

  4. Khadijah says:

    Personally, I think Kim is far more enlightening to watch. At least she provides entertaining nonessential information about shoes and makeup. Toure’ (funny to type that) provides only nonessential information.

  5. sups says:

    Thank you. I was starting to think it was just me. All I could figure was that he was ‘performing’ an elaborate satire – the inversion of the ‘clown’ with deeply considered and thoughtful opinions on the nature of man, he was the handsome, well dressed, respected man on tv who’s fascinated by shiny objects. It might have helped him to have gone to milton acad the tony prep school, with austan goolsbee.

  6. ant says:

    I cannot add anything to what you’ve already said really. Toure is, to put it bluntly, a waste of space, and his recent article suggesting that we need to elect Obama for a 2nd-term to ‘really’ prove we’re not a racist Nation is sad and insulting. I also think his comments on Tyler Perry can also be seen as racist or at least reveal that Toure lives in a bubble of ‘racial paranoia’ that most of us don’t. I’d bet Niblets would never believe me, but black comedians, like Perry and his productions, have a large white audience. So I guess we’re also ‘drinking the malt liquor’…but it’s better than the Kool-aid..and doesn’t make us pompous, ignorant jack-asses.

  7. Kudablac says:

    Dr. Watkins, could not have said it better…to the point…maybe Toure will take notice, what a fool and token he is…

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