MSNBC has tried to position itself as the liberal alternative to Foxnews, and indeed, both networks are no strangers to controversy. However, last week, MSNBC (once again) took things to far and was forced to apologize for its attacks on Republicans. This time, however, the screw-up occurred in Social Media.
Last year, Cherrios featured a biracial family in one of their commercials:
The commercial enraged many racists, who took to Social Media to make their standard absurd and offensive comments. Interestingly enough, one of the results of the commercial was the prominent featuring of a Cheerios cereal box in a Bill DeBlasio ad. DeBlassio, the new Mayor of New York, is a white man with an African-American wife and biracial children.
The commercial was so successful that Cherrios is back with another. The ad made its appearance during the Super Bowl last night but was available online before then.
Naturally, the ad was available ahead of time, and many news agencies did stories on the ad. MSNBC, however, took the promotion of the story too far with this tweet:
So, MSNBC essentially called the entire right wing of American politics racist. Good job guys, really, well done. Nothing says “we’re a responsible media organization” like an accusation that a huge chunk of the American public is racist.
The reaction from Republicans was swift, with Reince Preibus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, ordering a boycott of MSNBC for anyone affiliated with the Republican party. In a letter to Phil Griffin, head of MSNBC, Preibus wrote:
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.
Until you personally and publicly apologize for this behavior, I have banned all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC. I have asked Republican surrogates and officials to follow our lead.
However, here’s an instance where MSNBC at least gets credit for its response. The tweet was deleted and an apology was issued:
The tweet last night was 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.
Twitter naturally lit up with attacks on MSNBC, launching the #MyRightWingBiracialFamily hashtag:
Of course, this is not MSNBC’s first controversy involving absurd statements directed at Republicans. Less then two months ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir was forced to resign after suggesting that Sarah Palin be treated like a slave and have someone defecate in her mouth. Shortly after that, host Melissa Harris-Perry foud herself in hot water after mocking the Romney family fo their adoption of an African-American child. Bashir ultimately resigned his post; Harris-Perry was able to continue, due in no small part to a very classy apology acceptance from Mitt Romney.