Last night, the official Twitter feed of MSNBC used a Cheerios Super Bowl commercial to make a crack about non-lefties being uncomfortable with race-mixing:
After an eruption of outrage on Twitter, including a volley of colorful family snapshots under the hashtag #MyRightWingBiracialFamily, MSNBC online chief Richard Wolffewithdrew the Tweet:
The Cheerios tweet from @msnbc was dumb, offensive and we’ve taken it down. That’s not who we are at msnbc.
The “that’s not who we are” claim generated a flurry of LOLs, and not just from conservatives. New York magazine put the issue succinctly in a headline: “MSNBC Is Very Sorry for Suggesting Conservatives Are Racist (Again).”
But making broad and essentially pejorative generalizations about giant swaths of non-Democrats is hardly the exclusive domain of the racist-chasers at MSNBC and Salon.com. Journalistic outlets at the highest levels have been making non-jokey versions of the same accusation throughout the Obama presidency, ever since the twin ascension in 2009 of the Tea Party and opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
For an example, check out this passage in New Yorker Editor David Remnick’s extraordinarily long and often insightful recent profile of the president.
In the electoral realm, ironically, the country may be more racially divided than it has been in a generation. Obama lost among white voters in 2012 by a margin greater than any victor in American history. The popular opposition to the Administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country. Obama’s drop in the polls in 2013 was especially grave among white voters.
Italics mine, to underscore what one of the nation’s most decorated journalists felt zero need to substantiate in a 16,000-word article. Do older white voters really feel more “threatened” and “disdained” by a “globalized economy” and “increasingly diverse country” than other age and ethnic/pigmentation cohorts? I’m sure there’s plenty of interesting poll data out there, but Remnick (a 55-year-old white guy, FWIW) doesn’t need to cite any: He knows it’s true, his readers know it’s true, and the only real question is how much you can respectably pin opposition to this twice-elected black president on racism.
This isn’t just bad journalism, it’s bad tolerance. Attributing a single set of personality traits to scores of millions of people whose only commonality is age and race is the opposite of judging people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. It’s also a cheap way to wave off the substance of anti-Obama criticism—why bother figuring out why a majority of Americans haveconsistently disliked the flawed Affordable Care Act when you can just roll your eyes and assert that the real reason is white anxiety and worse? There is nothing tolerant about assuming that those who have different ideas than you about the size and scope of government are motivated largely by base ethnic tribalism.
MSNBC, on whose shows I have happily participated* (see update below), engages daily in the othering business, of making conservatism itself (and sometimes libertarianism, and other non-Progressive ideological strains) a disreputable condition, explicable in terms of pathology. That this is done in the name of tolerance and sensitivity to punitive stereotypes is one of the ironies of our age.
Does PMSNBC do anything at all for which it does not need to apologize?
Imaginary racism before the fact.
Reminded me of the incredulous surprise from some libs who were fed for free while trapped in snow in Atlanta.
Chick-Fil-A fired up their grills and cooked up everything, then sent runners out to the motorists stuck on Highway 280 until they ran out of food.
The food was free, no money even accepted.
At evening it was chicken sandwiches, in morning it was biscuit meals.
The business also opened its doors so people could sleep inside.
Home Depot also sent out runners with bottled water.
Both groups’ burlier men helped push cars to the sides of the highway.
Still people say those Chick-Fil-A sandwiches taste so good because of the hate.
@Nanny G: #2
And nobody refused the meals because they came from Ckick-Fil-A.
It seems that even Leftists become tolerant when they get hungry enough.
Or when the food is free.
Says something about Leftists, but I’ll remain polite and silent.
Good heavens. Somebody named Hunter at the Daily Kos isn’t even sorry. He’s yanking the chain even harder. This escalation could result in massive Twitter retaliation. Everyone should duck and cover.
I think the president of MSNBC apologized.
I know he fired the guy who wrote the tweet.
Now, how hard is it to set policies about tweeting on the company line when what you should do is tweet on your own line?
And, if you tweet on your own line, how accountable will your company be for your personal opinions?
All this might become new policies for media outlets as a result of this.
I read the ‘Hunters’ rant…he sounds totally confused about reality. It was on the link Greg so kindly provided….What I ‘heard’ was one big nonsensical rant from the big parrot Hunter…. then when I read (some of) the comments I heard mini rants from the lefty parrot peanut gallery…
A lot of venom and hate on that link… and not a one cohesive sentence that included a fact….just hate and venom….tolerance?? – tolerance!! as they so self righteously spew …umm not so much…
Why was that ‘tweet’ tweeted in the first place…? What exactly was the purpose of doing it? Seems to me it was done out of spite, out of desperation, out of hatred for anyone who is a Conservative…and to keep stirring the lefty / liberal pot of venom against “certain people”…. hmmm kind of reminds me of something the left loathes…profiling… and false profiling at that…
Who was the tweeter that got fired?? Without a name how would we ever know the tweeter ‘actually’ DID get fired???
I figure there are tons of people who do not bother to watch msbnc or whatever they are called…so, actually boycotting it wouldn’t do much damage….I hear they pretty much screw themselves out of an audience anyway…lol