What do you get when you ask for a bowl of Cheerios on Super Bowl Sunday? That depends on who’s doing the serving. If it’s MSNBC, you’re likely to get a toxic helping of race-baiting along with your cereal.
On Sunday, Cheerios ran its first-ever Super Bowl spot. The ad featured the same mixed-race family from one of the company’s earlier TV commercials. The fictional family is composed of a white mother, black father, and their adorable mixed-race daughter. Unfortunately, the first ad elicited some pretty despicable on-line racist commentary. Thankfully, the overwhelming reaction to the ad was positive. And the crazies were quickly put in their places.
After Cheerios released the ad’s sequel on YouTube last week, MSNBC tweeted the following: “Maybe the right wing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.” The assumption, of course, is that racism is endemic in conservative circles and that Republicans are sickened by biracial families.
Conservatives were, rightly, offended by the stereotype, but none more so than those who are themselves bi-racial. Faster than you can eat a bowl of cereal, they lit up the Internet with photos of their own racially mixed families accompanied by the hashtag #MyRight- WingBiRacialFamily. Take THAT, MSNBC! The network quickly removed the offensive tweet.
But the head of the Republican National Committee nevertheless urged GOP lawmakers to boycott the network. MSNBC President Phil Griffin responded by formally apologizing for the “outrageous and unacceptable” tweet and announcing that the person responsible for it had been fired — prompting conservative commentator John Daly to wonder why MSNBC would fire an anonymous tweeter (probably some naïve 20-something intern) for making a statement that presumes racism in conservatives while continuing to employ “people like Chris Matthews who routinely do that very same thing in front of the MSNBC cameras?”
Daly has a point. Matthews has a long history of trying to smear Republicans by calling them racist. He has referred to Republicans as “the Grand Wizard crowd,” a not-so-veiled reference to the Ku Klux Klan, and routinely accuses any Republican who disagrees with President Obama of being racially motivated.
Matthews, however, is not MSNBC’s only TV personality to make race-baiting a central part of his shtick. Below are just a few recent examples of the race-hatred peddled by the network’s on-air personalities:
• Talk show host Melissa Harris-Perry recently led a discussion in which panelists ridiculed and laughed at Mitt Romney for having an adopted black grandchild;
• Contributing analyst Toure — so self-important that he goes by only one name — accused Romney of participating in the “niggerization” of Obama;
• Daytime anchor Thomas Roberts famously claimed that Republicans want to go back to a time when “slavery was cool;”
• Reporter Lawrence O’Donnell accused Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of using a “racial double-entendre” when McConnell complained that Obama spends too much time golfing;
• Host Ed Schultz compared Tea Party activists to Nazi brownshirts and said that the Republican Party stands for racism; and accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of referring to Obama in racial terms when he described the national debt as a “big black cloud” hanging over the heads of the American people.
And let’s not forget that since 2011 the network has employed and legitimated the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the nation’s most virulent and notorious race-agitators.
Inapologizing on Twitter for the MSNBC Cheerios tweet, the network tweeted this statement: “Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of MSNBC.” Except that, unfortunately, it does.