RNC boycotts over MSNBC Cheerios Tweet

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MSNBCMore apologies from MSNBC: The network has fired the unnamed employee who sent out a Tweet involving a Cheerios commercial that features a biracial family. The Cheerios ad sequel to its 2013 ad featuring an interracial family had MSNBC tweeting, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.”


In response, RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly announced he was forbidding any Republicans from appearing on the network in response.

The last faux pas for MSNBC had weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry issuing a tearful apology for belittling Mitt Romney’s adopted African-American grandson.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, MSNBC president Phil Griffin called the Tweet “outrageous and unacceptable…We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At MSNBC we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change.”

MSNBC anchor Ari Melber read Griffin’s statement at the end of the network’s 3 p.m. hour.

Priebus sent a letter 1/30 to Griffin saying the network’s attacks on Republicans and Conservatives has become a pattern at MSNBC: “With increasing frequency many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans — especially conservative and Republican Americans — without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.”

In an e-mail blast, RNC communications director Sean Spicer noted that Priebus and Griffin spoke by phone and are considering the situation: “We appreciate Mr. Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the Chairman accepted his apology, [the RNC] will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes. We don’t expect their liberal bias to change, but we will call them out when political commentary devolves into personal and belittling attacks.”

See the Hollywood Reporter story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve all seen the evolution of MSNBC and Fox News over the years to lean toward catering to their constituent Left and Right audiences, respectively. That’s OK, but there has to be some professionalism, journalistic objectivity and human respect in their programming. Each network can preach what it wants, but should always let the other side and differing opinions counter. So far, MSNBC seems to have crossed those lines; Fox News hasn’t. Part of the issue is the younger audience—the Internet generation. They like news spiked with insults, gossip and Twitterable controversy. MSNBC is trying to cater to that audience, but may be trying a bit too hard.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.