WASHINGTON Jan 30 Republican National Committee
Chairman Reince Priebus said on Thursday he accepted an apology
from the president of MSNBC over a tweet from the network that
said "the rightwing" might disapprove of a Cheerios television
ad featuring a biracial family.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin issued a statement saying the
staffer responsible for the Wednesday night tweet had been
"The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,"
Griffin said. "We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive
and wrong, apologized, and deleted it ... I personally apologize
to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended."
Priebus had banned RNC staffers from appearing on MSNBC,
urged other Republicans to follow suit and demanded an apology
because of the Twitter posting.
The cable news network's tweet said: "Maybe the rightwing
will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new
#Cheerios ad w/ biracial family." The tweet was sent 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.
An RNC statement said Priebus and Griffin spoke by phone on
Thursday and that the party would continue to monitor the
network, which is seen as having a liberal bent.
"We don't expect their liberal bias to change but we will
call them out when political commentary devolves into personal
and belittling attacks," the statement said.
In a letter to Griffin, Priebus had 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."
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
Actress Pia Glenn sang that "one of these things is not like
the others," while comedian Dean Obeidallah joked that the photo
"really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party." Romney
later accepted Harris-Perry's apology.
In December, correspondent Martin Bashir apologized and
resigned from MSNBC because of graphic on-air comments he made
about former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
In November, actor Alec Baldwin was suspended from his MSNBC
show after he used a homophobic term in a confrontation with a
photographer on a New York street. Baldwin's show was later
MSNBC is owned by Comcast Corp.