We'll get to today's edition of "MHP" -- but first, there's a reason our music of the morning is Terence Blanchard's 1990 tune, "Sing Soweto." It celebrates the anti-apartheid struggle and Nelson Mandela's (at the time) newfound freedom, and it seemed a fitting choice, given the good news about the 93-year-old former South African president, admitted to the hospital yesterday for surgery:
President Jacob Zuma told the country not to panic after the 93-year-old anti-apartheid leader was hospitalized with chronic abdominal pain on Saturday, saying he should be discharged on Sunday or Monday.In the latest health update, Defense Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Mandela had had "investigative laparoscopy" -- where a tiny camera is inserted into the abdomen -- and denied reports that he had undergone surgery for a hernia…"It wasn't the surgery that has been out there in the media at all," Sisulu told a media briefing in Cape Town. "He's fine. He's as fine as can be at his age -- and handsome."
After that positive update yesterday on Madiba's health (and looks), just minutes ago both Reuters and the Associated Press reported that he has been discharged from the hospital.
Let's take a look at who will be joining Melissa today:
- Anita Hill, Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies at Brandeis University. Famous for accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings over 20 years ago, Professor Hill has been vocal of late on the issues of food justice and housing -- most recently offering criticism of the Obama administration's recently announced housing plan.
- Harry Smith, veteran journalist and correspondent for NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams."
- Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and msnbc political analyst.
- Maria Teresa Kumar, executive director of Voto Latino and msnbc contributor.
- Robin Fryday, director and producer of the short documentary "The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement," which may win an Oscar tonight. Its subject, James Armstrong, will be represented on today's show by his grandson Darren.