MSNBC apologizes for Cheerios tweet hitting 'right wing'
January 30th, 2014
12:36 PM ET
8 months ago

MSNBC apologizes for Cheerios tweet hitting 'right wing'

Updated 4:39 p.m. ET, 1/30/2014

(CNN) –  MSNBC President Phil Griffin apologized Thursday for what he called an "offensive" network tweet, which suggested that conservatives may “hate” a Cheerios Super Bowl ad featuring a racially mixed family.

Griffin said the person responsible for the tweet was fired.

"The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” Griffin said in a written statement. “We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”

The original tweet, which was posted Wednesday night, said: "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.” The tweet included a link to an article about the commercial.

msnbc ad

Screen grab courtesy of the RNC

Griffin’s apology came after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Thursday morning he was banning his staff and RNC surrogates from appearing on MSNBC until the network's president personally apologized.

“I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended,” Griffin said.

RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said Priebus accepted the apology.

“We appreciate Mr. Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the Chairman accepted his apology,” Spicer said. “We will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes.”

The main MSNBC Twitter account also posted an apology Wednesday and said in another tweet, “We deeply regret it.”

"We can have our political disagreements with MSNBC," Priebus said in an email blast earlier Thursday. "But using biracial families to launch petty and ridiculous political attacks is low, even by MSNBC's standards. It only coarsens our political discourse. This is more than just a tweet or an offhand comment. This is part of a pattern of behavior that has gotten markedly worse."

The Cheerios commercial features the same biracial family that appeared in an ad for the cereal brand last year. The ad sparked controversy after highlighting a family with a white mother and a black father.Priebus also noted a string of other controversies MSNBC has faced for criticizing Republicans.

In his complaint to MSNBC, Priebus referenced Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, who were both let go from the network after they made offensive comments about homosexuals and Sarah Palin, respectively.

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of a weekend show, also apologized this month after a panel on her program made jokes involving Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild.

CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter contributed to this report.


Filed under: MSNBC • RNC
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. CryBabies

    Seahawks by 7+. Manning is a great guy and well represents the NFL but.....he cannot scramble. Hawks defense will overwhelm. LOB ( Legion of BOOM)

    January 30, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    I'd venture to say that there's a lot of moderates and even some liberals watching Fox. There's no other way to explain the numbers they bring in. They have hard news at 6:00 whereas from 5 PM on MSNBC has nothing but opinion, and all from the left (Matthews, Sharpton, Hayes, Schultz, and Maddow). At least Fox has dissenting viewpoints from the likes of Alan Colmes, James Carville, Kirsten Powers, Juan Williams... etc, etc. The results speak for themselves. I've watched both, and there's no comparison.
    --------------------------
    Just because Fox might call it news, that doesn't mean it's actually news. Granted MSNBC is focused almost exclusively on politics during those hours. But Fox' political "news" is actually opinions being passed off as news.

    BTW, MSNBC has plenty of conservative guests. Micheal Steele has almost become a daily regular. They regularly interview Republicans from the same balcony as Rep. Grimms incident. Sharpton, Maddow, Schulz, and Hayes publicly extend invitations to any conservative who wants to say their piece. Don't blame MSNBC if they extend invitations but no one shows up in the studio.

    January 30, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. The REAL Truth...

    The fake outrage exhibited by the RNC leadership while doing precisely the same thru their AM Radio talking heads and their network TV propaganda machine is laughable.

    January 30, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    #1 right wing hates commercial – makes racists comments
    #2 msnbc says right wing will hate commercial again
    #3 right wing hates commercial again – makes racist comments
    sooooooooooooo if #3 comes to pass, msnbc was telling the truth. It is not that complicated folks

    January 30, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. DustyOnes

    The FCC needs to pull their license.

    January 30, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. duane - st.pete FL

    msnbc...notice a pattern??? the left is full of hate....

    January 30, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Nexus

    MSNBC doesn't like conservatives. Who knew...

    January 30, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. morrie

    MSNBC has the class to apologize when it feels it has made a mistake which is more than you can say for the rest of them. Personally I think the tweet was right on seeing as all the hate and vitriol they spewed when this commercial first aired. Only the RWNJ behave in such a manner. Look at all the hateful tweets the RWNJ posted after the SOTU

    January 30, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. The REAL Truth...

    Donna – Why would the NUMBER ONE news network emulate the failed business aproach of the NUMBER 968th news network? Just more proff that liberals and lefties don't understand business and especially numbers.
    -----------------------
    The number one news network is #1 because they have captured the majority of sports broadcasting.. in between events they throw out that "fair and balanced" filtered "news" to the masses at EVERY public venue into which that network is piped... and if you ever REALLY watch those so-called "news" programs, the spin is as blatant as MSNBC's.

    January 30, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    O'drama ya Mama
    You would think that Fox would do the same. Oh wait aren't they already "fair and balanced"?
    -

    Why would the NUMBER ONE news network emulate the failed business aproach of the NUMBER 968th news network? Just more proff that liberals and lefties don't understand business and especially numbers.
    ******************************************
    Too bad the Right confuses marketing and propaganda with news. The reason why MSNBC has never been a huge ratings success is because the Left does not need an affirmation network. The Right, by contrast, desperately seeks affirmation, to be take seriously, so they flock to FOX like flies on, well, you get the idea. Frankly, the non-conservatives who watch FOX watch it to understand where the alternate universe is living on that particular day. FOX's " dissenting" viewpoints are drowned out by a swarm of conservative hosts who bludgeon people with their opinions with at least as much abandon as MSNBC.

    January 30, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Tim in L.A.

    Like Whoopi Goldberg said, you'll always get in trouble when you tell the truth.

    January 30, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Nick

    What is it with all the bigots and hypocrites at MSNBC? Any political philosophy that assumes that if you are not with them you must be a racist is in and of itself bigoted. Time to close the shop on MSNBC.

    January 30, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    @Nick – What is it with all the bigots and hypocrites at MSNBC?
    ------------------------
    Many ask "What is it with all the bigots and hypocrites at Fox?"... but since their audience is all brainwashed, there's no-one watching that questions the output.

    January 30, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. HEYDUDE

    Yea. Honestly, MSNBC is worse than Fox. Thats pretty bad.

    January 30, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. AlbaMN

    The Right wing will hate it. You just aren't allowed to say so I guess.

    January 30, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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