MSNBC president apologizes to RNC over Cheerios commercial tweet, fires employee who sent tweet

By Daniel S Levine,

MSNBC may have thought that deleting its original tweet about the Cheerios Super Bowl commercial and apologizing for it would be enough, but it was not by a long shot. Republican National Committee Reince Priebus called for his party to boycott the left-leaning network and now MSNBC President Phil Griffin has issued a personal apology to Priebus. Griffin also fired the staffer who sent the controversial tweet.

The controversy started when MSNBC tweeted “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new#Cheerios ad w/ biracial family” with a link to MSNBC.com’s story on the commercial.

Almost instantly, the Twitter page was under fire and the tweet was deleted and two tweets apologizing were sent out. However, Priebus issued a letter early Thursday, calling for his staffers and elected Republicans to not appear on MSNBC.

To make sure that the situation doesn’t snowball into anything bigger, Griffin issued a longer statement, apologizing directly to Priebus, notes The Huffington Post. He confirmed that the employee who sent the tweet has been fired.

“I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended,” Griffin wrote. “At MSNBC we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change.”

So, now the boycott is over, after just a few hours.

“We appreciate Mr. Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the Chairman accepted his apology," RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said in a memo, obtained by Politico. "We will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes."

Spicer later told the site that the ban on speaking to MSNBC has been lifted.

image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons



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