Priebus Calls for GOP Boycott of MSNBC Over Cheerios Tweet

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 01:36 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus is calling for a boycott of MSNBC unless its president apologizes for a Twitter message the network posted slamming Republicans over Cheerios' new advertisement featuring a biracial family.

"Unless you personally and professionally apologize for this behavior, I have banned [Republican National Committee] staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC," Priebus wrote in a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin Thursday.

The video shows a biracial family discussing the heart benefits of Cheerios.

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Story continues below video.



The MSNBC tweet, which read "Maybe the rightwing will hate it but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family," drew outcry shortly after it was posted on MSNBC's account late Wednesday.

Shortly after it was posted, the network backtracked, tweeting an apology and saying the live tweet had been removed.

In the first tweet, MSNBC says it regrets the tweet:



One minute later, the network apologizes:



And MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe also chimed in, tweeting:



But the tweets over the Cheerios ads come just weeks after MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry had to apologize to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for mocking his adopted black grandson.

In addition, host Martin Bashir was forced to resign after calling former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a "world-class idiot" and suggesting she receive the same "disgusting" treatment given to slaves as described in a slaveholder's diary.

Also, the network fired Alec Baldwin in November after he made a gay slur against a photographer on the street.

Priebus said Thursday that the network's statements and its stars are showing a "pattern of behavior."

"Sadly, such petty and demeaning attacks have become a pattern of behavior at your network," Priebus wrote. "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."

Priebus said he enjoys appearing on "decent shows" such as "Morning Joe" and "Daily Rundown," but said MSNBC is "poisoned" because of its recent behavior.

Cheerios' newest 30-second ad, which is set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, is a follow up to a spot for the cereal company last May, featuring Grace "Gracie" Colbert as the young daughter of an interracial couple. In the newest ad, little Gracie uses her dad's announcement that she is getting a baby brother to lobby for a new puppy.

The first advertisement received so many racist comments after it was posted on YouTube that General Mills, which makes Cheerios, pulled down the comment section for the video.

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