WASHINGTON Jan 30 Republican National Committee
Chairman Reince Priebus urged Republicans on Thursday not to
appear on MSNBC shows because of a tweet from the network that
said "the rightwing" might disapprove of a Cheerios television
ad featuring a biracial family.
Priebus sent a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin
demanding an apology.
The cable news network's tweet on Wednesday said, "Maybe the
rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the
adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family" to promote an
MSNBC story on the breakfast cereal commercial, which will be
broadcast during Sunday's Super Bowl.
The ad stars Grace Colbert, 6, as the daughter of a
fictional biracial couple. Last year, she was in a similar
Cheerios commercial, which triggered racist comments when it was
posted on YouTube, Google Inc's video-sharing site.
MSNBC executive editor Richard Wolffe went on Twitter to
denounce his network's original tweet as "dumb, offensive," and
said it had been taken down. "That's not who we are at msnbc,"
In his letter to Griffin, Priebus said the Cheerios tweet
showed that MSNBC "is poisoned by this pattern of behavior."
"Sadly, such petty and demeaning attacks have become a
pattern at your network," Priebus said. "With increasing
frequency many of your hosts have personally denigrated
Americans - especially conservative and Republican Americans -
without even attempting further meaningful political dialogue."
Until he gets an apology, Priebus said RNC staffers were
banned from appearing on MSNBC, seen by critics as favoring the
left, and he urged other Republicans to stay away as well.
"Phil Griffin is the head of MSNBC and the buck stops with
him," said an email from RNC headquarters. "There have been too
many of these incidents on too many of his shows to allow
subordinates to continue issuing one-off apologies. It's time
for Mr. Griffin to take responsibility for his network's toxic
programming and take corrective action."
Earlier this month, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry
apologized on the air for a segment that joked about the adopted
black grandson of Mitt Romney, the Republicans' unsuccessful
2012 presidential candidate.
The segment featured a photo of Romney and his wife with
their grandchildren and members of a panel were asked to suggest
captions. Romney later accepted her apology.
Actress Pia Glenn sang that "one of these things is not like
the others," and comedian Dean Obeidallah joked that the photo
"really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party."
MSNBC is owned by Comcast Corp.