Republicans Boycott MSNBC Over Cheerios Tweet

9:36 AM PST 01/30/2014 by Marisa Guthrie
AP Images
Reince Priebus, Phil Griffin

"Using biracial families to launch petty and ridiculous political attacks is low, even by MSNBC's standards," said RNC chairman Reince Priebus of an MSNBC tweet about a new cereal ad featuring a biracial family.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has ordered his staff not to appear on MSNBC after the network sent out a tweet Wednesday night predicting that "the right-wing will hate" a new Cheerios ad that features a biracial family.

The full tweet, sent at 8:06 p.m. from the MSNBC Twitter account reads: "Maybe the right-wing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family."

Priebus sent a letter Thursday morning to MSNBC president Phil Griffin denouncing what he characterized as "demeaning attacks" that "have become a pattern" at MSNBC.

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"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," wrote the RNC chairman.

The ad, set to air in during Sunday's Super Bowl, features a white mother, African-American father and their daughter, "Gracie." Cereal-maker General Mills first introduced the family in an ad that premiered last May, sparking an ugly racist backlash that prompted the company to disable the comments on the spot's YouTube site.

A couple hours after the original Tweet, the same MSNBC account tweeted an apology: "Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of msnbc."

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In a separate letter sent to RNC elected officials, Priebus, who has appeared on Morning Joe and The Rundown, asks other Republicans to join him in the boycott. "Until [Griffin] 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," he wrote.

"We can have our political disagreements with MSNBC," the letter continued. "But using biracial families to launch petty and ridiculous political attacks is low, even by MSNBC's standards. It only coarsens our political discourse."

Priebus had previously threatened to bar NBC News from hosting any of the Republican 2016 presidential primary debates over NBC Entertainment's decision to develop a Hillary Clinton miniseries (now dead). 

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