MSNBC president apologizes to RNC, fires employee responsible for tweet
In the wake of the Republican National Committee’s call for an effective boycott of MSNBC over an offensive tweet, network president Phil Griffin issued an apology Thursday.
“The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” Griffin wrote in a statement read on air by The Cycle host Ari Melber, according to Mediate. “We immediately acknowledged it was offensive and wrong, apologized and deleted it.”
“We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet,” he continued. “I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At MSNBC, we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues, and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change. Signed, Phil Griffin.”
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer announced shortly thereafter that Priebus accepts the apology.
“We appreciate Mr. Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the Chairman accepted his apology. We will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes,” Spicer said in a statement. “We don’t expect their liberal bias to change, but we will call them out when political commentary devolves into personal and belittling attacks.”
Thursday morning, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote a letter to Griffin demanding an apology for a tweet dispatched Wednesday night on the official MSNBC Twitter account.
“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family…” the tweet read with a link to the ad, before it was later deleted.
The RNC chairman further banned all RNC staff and called on elected Republican officials, strategists and pundits not to appear on MSNBC until the network apologized and took “corrective action.”
“This is part of a pattern of behavior that has gotten markedly worse, and until Phil Griffin personally apologizes and takes corrective action, we cannot be part of this network’s toxic programming,” Griffin said. “I am confident that he will want to ‘lean forward’ and prove to the American people that he does not condone this behavior. I look forward to his apology and corrective action.”