When anyone calls a person racist, it is a pretty big accusation, but when MSNBC called the entire Republican Party and the right-wing racist in a single defaming tweet, it was absurd. Talk about grasping at straws, this is just the most recent episode where the less than impartial news organization got it absolutely, unequivocally, wrong.
At this point, many already know about the adorable family that airs in some Cheerios commercials. Most recently, the company decided to make an advertisement for the Super Bowl that has the same cast of lovable stars. What is noteworthy to some about the family is that it is in fact an interracial family.
Now, in this day and age, many would simply not even notice that it was a biracial family because there is simply nothing abnormal about interracial relationships. However, MSNBC did not fail to pick up on it, and rather than saying anything positive, the network bent over backwards highlighting how the right-wing would not like it, implying that the right-wing, and Republicans by consequence, must be racist.
Clearly, there are some issues with the explicit and implied assertions. Suggesting that an entire group is racist by consequence is a huge fallacy, regardless of any connection between conservative ideology and elements of racism. It is simply wrong to say that any group must be held entirely accountable to and ideologically connected to the idiocy of a few of its members.
On top of that, why is it even worth noting that it is an interracial couple? After all, it is a normal thing, which makes it odd that MSNBC even mentioned it in the first place. If society is to do away with racism, as well as other forms of discrimination, it is absurd to keep treating totally normal and perfectly good things as though they are anomalies to be pointed out.
At any rate, MSNBC acknowledged the blunder, took down the tweet, and quickly apologized for the defaming remarks. Seizing the political moment, the Republican Party turned into offense mode and is currently boycotting the network entirely. It would make sense for this sort of ordeal to be over with an apology, but the issue is that it is not an isolated incident. It is a trend.
MSNBC gets it wrong with inflammatory or racist statements all the time. Most recently, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris Perry and guest commentators on her show openly mocked Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson. As if bringing it up were not bad enough, Perry and her team decided that the boy should be insulted alongside with Republicans and conservatism in general, simply for smiling in a happy family photo.
Once again, Perry apologized repeatedly, and MSNBC made a point of saying that such conduct is in no way acceptable. However, one might wonder if this is a trend with the network. Saying inflammatory things may just be a business strategy. Though the network is assuring its viewers and critics that they are in no way the type of news outlet that condones such degrading remarks, tough talk needs to translate into change.
MSNBC’s apology is a good first step. When an entity as large as the network gets it so absolutely wrong, it is at least good to see that they are promptly apologetic. However, the pattern of defaming the Republican Party and the right-wing in general at all costs is something that requires legitimate change. Of course this is not to say that it should give up the values it reflects, and those values quite evidently contradict those of Republicans. The issue is that what has happened recently has not been legitimate criticism and it is simply not becoming of any news organization. If MSNBC is as serious as they say, incidents like the ones they have struggled with recently should stop being a problem for the future. Whether that will happen is yet to be seen.
Opinion By Brett Byers-Lane