On Wednesday night, some of our favorite media stars gathered at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library for Harlem United’s “Boulevard Bash,” its ’80s-themed 30th-anniversary gala hosted by Page Six TV’s Bevy Smith and featuring a performance by hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh. This year, the nationally recognized organization, which provides community-focused health care, housing and human services to New Yorkers and beyond, honored former White House AIDS Advocate Douglas Brooks with a Community Impact Award, and bestowed its Community Champion Award upon Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien.
According to a statement, O’Brien was awarded “in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to empower our youth, and address social justice by bringing to the forefront narratives that affect underserved communities.” On hand to present the award to her friend was fellow award-winning journalist and former Today show anchor Tamron Hall, which, given the current turmoil at the show, got us thinking ...
What would morning television look like with an hour of Hall and O’Brien?
With Megyn Kelly’s departure from NBC likely to be announced any second now (we hope), we can’t think of any better way for the network to apologize for hiring and promoting a known bigot than gifting us with an hour of insightful and intellectually honest black girl magic each morning.
Granted, we know this is an extremely farfetched proposition. After all, Hall rightfully and angrily declined to renew her contract with NBC and MSNBC when they ill-advisedly replaced the hour she shared with Al Roker with the already-problematic Kelly. O’Brien is also an NBC and MSNBC alum, having been a writer, reporter, producer and anchor for their networks between 1991 to ’99.
And yes, we know both already have gigs; O’Brien with the nationally syndicated weekly show Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien and Hall reportedly with a show in development with ABC. Not to mention the fact that given NBC and MSNBC’s track record with women of color (aside from Tamron, see: Ann Curry and Melissa Harris-Perry), they really don’t deserve black girl magic—and we doubt Hall would consider a return, anyway. Instead, NBC will suffer from yet another very expensive, very insulting, very embarrassing mistake (*cough* Matt Lauer) with Kelly—and deservedly so.
But let us just indulge in this fantasy for a moment, because the fact is, we do deserve this type of mea culpa from the network. Aside from demonstrating that they’ve learned from their mistake, installing talents of the type, caliber and integrity of Hall and O’Brien in Kelly’s female viewer-dominated time slot would be a welcome relief for those of us less inclined toward the unrelenting chirpiness of, say, Kathie Lee and Hoda (no shade, but seriously).
Yeah, we know it’s just a dream ... but it would also be “must-see TV.”