RNC Chair Says MSNBC Is On ‘Probation’

The Republican National Committee’s fleeting boycott of MSNBC has been lifted, but the cable news channel has been put on notice.

After RNC chairman Reince Priebus received the apology he demanded for a tweet from MSNBC’s account that mocked conservatives, he paid a visit to the friendly confines of Fox News on Thursday night.

Priebus gave MSNBC president Phil Griffin credit for apologizing, but the RNC chairman still delivered a stern warning to the channel: we’ve got our eyes on you.

“So, look, this was a first step. It was the first time I talked to Mr. Griffin. He reacted pretty quickly, and now we have to stay on top of it,” Priebus told conservative pundit Sean Hannity.

“So, you know what? It’s sort of like being on probation, I guess. But the fact of the matter is we’re here, we’re watching them and it’s our responsibility — and it’s mine in particular, I think —also to stand up for our party. That’s what I did today, and I’ll do it again. I promise you that.”

The tweet from MSNBC made reference to a Cheerios Super Bowl ad that portrays a biracial family.

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” the tweet read.

The tweet was deleted and an apology was sent out from both MSNBC’s Twitter account and MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe, but Priebus wasn’t satisfied.

Priebus circulated a memo on Thursday to announce that he was “banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC” until he received an apology from Griffin.

By late Thursday afternoon, Griffin had done just that. He personally apologized to Priebus and dismissed the person responsible for the tweet, and the roughly four-hour boycott came to an end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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