After MSNBC's Twitter posted a Tweet implying that conservatives hated biracial people, the Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus took swift, self-righteous action. Priebus sent out a memo Thursday stating that unless MSNBC President Phil Griffin took "internal corrective action" and personally apologized, he would be "banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC." The MSNBC Tweet, which has now since been deleted, read:
Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family. http://t.co/SpB4rQDoAR.
Priebus's memo was more than a response to the Tweet — it was a response to "just the latest in a pattern of poor statements by MSNBC and its hosts":
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.
You can read the memo here. Interestingly enough, MSNBC already apologized via Twitter yesterday.
But apparently, a Twitter apology wasn't enough for Priebus. Below are a few Twitter reactions to Priebus's decision:
Priebus also said he sent a letter to Griffin, dated Jan. 30, 2014. Here's an excerpt:
Sadly, such petty and demeaning attacks [in reference to the Tweet] have become a pattern at your network. With increasing frequency many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans — especially conservative and Republican Americans — without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.
After this, Priebus followed up by announcing the RNC boycott of MSNBC. So far Thursday, Lauren Skowronski, Vice President for Media Relations at MSNBC, has not commented on the matter.
I feel the need to raise a few points here:
MSNBC Isn't The Only Guilty One
Two weeks ago, a regular Fox News contributor claimed that trans people didn't exist. Erick Erickson thanked a supporter over Twitter who called Wendy Davis an "abortion Barbie." Last year, Bill O'Reilly said the extraordinarily arrogant phrase, "Asian people aren't liberal by nature" — also on Fox News. We could go on about every single way Fox News has distorted the truth — and we did — but the fact remains that it's very bold of the RNC to point the finger at MSNBC when Fox News, the conservative mouthpiece, has also had its fair share of huge stumbles.
MSNBC Already Apologized. Why Does The RNC Need Another Apology?
The Tweet was inappropriate, that is for sure — it's not fair to paint all right-wingers as racist, and also imply that only conservatives can be racist. But it was deleted and an apology was quickly issued. Additionally, the MSNBC executive editor, Richard Wolffe, also spoke out on Twitter:
Why exactly does Priebus want an apology now? And what sort of "internal corrective action" is he looking for? Again, we're not disputing that that Tweet was inappropriate and shouldn't have been sent out in the first place. But to conduct a full-out Boycott of MSNBC?
Whatever happens next, we're awaiting to see if this back-and-forth between the GOP and MSNBC will escalate, or whether the GOP will take the high road and back down.