Priebus Urges GOPs to Stay Off MSNBC Until Network President Apologies for Tweet
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus sent a memo to "all Republican Elected Officials, Strategists, Surrogates, and Pundits" this morning asking them to stay off MSNBC until the network apologies for the following tweet last night:
While we understand MSNBC will go to great lengths to discredit Republicans and conservatives, this kind of attack on the millions of Americans who identify with the political right is offensive and unacceptable. Unfortunately, this tweet is just the latest in a pattern of poor statements by MSNBC and its hosts.
This morning I left a message with MSNBC President Phil Griffin to express my displeasure. I have sent him a letter demanding that he personally, as president of the network, take responsibility and apologize for the disgusting tweet. Until he takes internal corrective action and personally apologizes—not just to the RNC but to all right-of-center Americans—I’m banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC.
As an elected official, strategist, or surrogate, I’m asking for you to agree to the same.
We can have our political disagreements with MSNBC, but using biracial families to launch petty and ridiculous political attacks is low, even by MSNBC’s standards. It only coarsens our political discourse.
MSNBC hosts—including Alec Baldwin, Martin Bashir, Melissa Harris-Perry, Alex Wagner, and Ronan Farrow just to name a few—have had a troubling streak in the last several weeks of making comments that belittle and demean Americans without furthering any thoughtful dialogue. Perhaps it's time for the executives at MSNBC to consider whether their network is upholding a meaningful journalistic mission.
This is more than just a tweet or an offhand comment. This is part of a pattern of behavior that has gotten markedly worse, and until Phil Griffin personally apologizes and takes corrective action, we cannot be part of this network's toxic programming.
I am confident that he will want to "lean forward" and prove to the American people that he does not condone this behavior. I look forward to his apology and corrective action.
The tweet sparked the response hashtag #MyRightWingBiracialFamily, in which users sent photos to the network.
MSNBC followed up with the tweets:
Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of msnbc.
— msnbc (@msnbc) January 30, 2014
We are deleting the earlier offensive tweet. It does not reflect msnbc's position and we apologize.
— msnbc (@msnbc) January 30, 2014
UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): MSNBC president Phil Griffin apologized to Priebus in a phone call and also issued a statement calling the offending tweet "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,” Griffin said. “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 said the apology was accepted and the boycott lifted.
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