MSNBC Fires Staffer Who Tweeted That Conservatives Wouldn’t Like Cheerios Ad With Biracial Family

January 31, 2014  |  

When Cheerios brought back the interracial family that caused a previous uproar for its Super Bowl ad, many people held their breath, waiting for the racially offensive comments. An MSNBC staffer suggested who those commenters might be and got fired over it.

On Wednesday, someone tweeted on the @MSNBC feed, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.” The tweet also included a link to the ad in an article. (The tweet has since been deleted but can be found here.) In fact, after the ad was revealed, a hashtag started,  #MyRightWingBiracialFamily. MSNBC went on Twitter and apologized.

However that wasn’t enough for the RNC. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus went full tilt in defense of his party and his demands for an apology. “You know what, it’s sort of like being on probation I guess, but the fact of the matter is we’re here, we’re watching them and it’s our responsibility and it’s mine in particular also to stand up for our party,” he said on Fox News. He even called for conservatives to refuse appearances on the network.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin called the tweet “outrageous and offensive” in a statement. He went on to say, “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.”

The RNC, which has a reputation for not being inclusive, seems to be taking anything in the media that would further that belief very seriously. If only they could do the same with the politicians who are members of their party. Just yesterday, Buzzfeed published a story, anonymously quoting a “Southern Republican” Congressman, who said Republican opposition to immigration reform is based on racial issues.

“Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial. If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race,” the Congressman told the site.

The story goes on to quote South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham (R), a proponent of a pathway to citizenship, who also acknowledges the discriminatory attitudes surrounding the immigration issue, though he doesn’t place those feelings solely at the feet of Republicans. (The article has some interesting insight into the Republican party’s perspective on immigration, if you’re interested.)

But back to the MSNBC issue, a staffer is gone, Griffin has issued an apology, and Priebus has accepted it. Politico outlines some of the other MSNBC notable names that conservatives have taken issue with recently, including Melissa Harris-Perry and Ronan Farrow, who will have a new show on the network next month.

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