Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder shot down an MSNBC host’s bizarre request to quack like a duck on Sunday.
Holder conducted an interview with Melissa Harris-Perry on topics ranging from the Voting Rights Act to Ferguson, Missouri to the noises made by water birds.
“You know, we call you the duck,” Harris-Perry told Holder. “In nerdland,” she began, referring to her show’s fans.
“The duck?” a puzzled Holder asked.
“We call you the duck. In nerdland we say you have sort of a placid and even way of presenting, but you are just working for justice underneath,” explained Harris-Perry, mimicking the paddling motion of a duck as she shook her head feverishly.
“Would you quack for us?” Harris-Perry asked sincerely.
“Well, I’m not sure I’m going to do that, but, uh, I like the analogy,” Holder answered.
“You do like the analogy? Good!” Harris-Perry responded.
“Yeah, because I like to think, that, you know I was born and raised in New York City in the ’50s and ’60s, and for an African-American guy the thing was to be cool, you know,” said Holder.
“But you’re absolutely right. Those little duck feet are moving just as fast as they can behind the scenes. I may have been been cool in congressional hearings on the outside, but I was pissed off a lot of the time too, you know?”
With her request to have the nation’s top law enforcement official make animal sounds, Harris-Perry helped settle a long-running debate.
Last year, The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates sparked a contentious internet debate when he claimed that Harris-Perry was America’s foremost public intellectual. Many commentators — most notably, Politico’s Dylan Byers — disputed that claim. (RELATED: MSNBC Host Wears Tampon Earrings To Protest Texas Abortion Bill)