Memo To The Media: What The RNC Didn't Boycott


The media has extensively reported on the Republican National Committee's decision to boycott MSNBC following an offensive tweet for which the network subsequently apologized. But they've spent far less attention on the fact that the RNC denounced MSNBC while on Fox News -- a network that has frequently aired offensive and derogatory comments.

Fox Hosts RNC Chairman To Denounce MSNBC Over Tweet

MSNBC Posts Tweet Suggesting Right-Wing Is Offended By Interracial Families. On January 29, the MSNBC Twitter account posted a tweet saying that the "rightwing [sic] will hate" a Cheerios ad with a biracial family:

msnbc tweet

[Mediate, 1/29/14]

MSNBC Deletes "Offensive Tweet." That night, the MSNBC Twitter account announced it was deleting the tweet:

msnbc apology

[, 1/29/14]

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Calls For Conservatives To Boycott MSNBC. On January 30, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus, in a letter to MSNBC president Phil Griffin, vowed that he and other RNC officials would boycott the network until Griffin apologized:

Sadly, such petty and demeaning attacks have become a pattern at your network. With increasing frequency many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans - especially conservatives and Republican Americans - without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.


Until you personally and publicly apologize for this behavior, I have banned all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC. I have asked Republican surrogates and officials to follow our lead. [, 1/30/14]

MSNBC Apologizes And Fires Staffer Responsible For Tweet. That same day MSNBC president Phil Griffin apologized to Priebus for the tweet and dismissed the staffer responsible. In a statement, Griffin said:

The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. [Politico1/30/14]

On Fox, RNC Chairman Says MSNBC Is "On Probation." On the January 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Priebus delivered a stern warning to MSNBC even after receiving his apology, saying that he will "stay on top of it. So you know what? It's sort of like being on probation I guess." [Fox News, Hannity1/30/14]

Here Are Five Of The Most Offensive Recent Comments On Fox

Fox Figures Agreed: Rise In Female Breadwinners Is A Sign Of Society's Downfall. On the May 29 edition of his Fox Business show, Lou Dobbs described a Pew Research study that found a record number of women are now the economic breadwinners of their families as full of "concerning and troubling statistics." Dobbs said the study was suggestive of "society dissolv[ing] around us," and Fox contributors Erick Erickson and Juan Williams agreed: 

WILLIAMS: What we're seeing with four out of 10 families, now the woman is the primary breadwinner. You're seeing the disintegration of marriage, you're seeing men who were hard hit by the economic recession in ways that women weren't. But you're seeing, I think, systemically, larger than the political stories that we follow every day, something going terribly wrong in American society, and it's hurting our children, and it's going to have impact for generations to come.


ERICKSON: When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and female in society, and the other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it's not antithesis, or it's not competing, it's a complimentary role. We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it's tearing us apart. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs5/29/13]

Fox's Bill O'Reilly: "The Culture" Is Partially To Blame For African-American Poverty. On the January 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly blamed African-American poverty on "the culture" of having children out of wedlock in the African-American community. He went on:

O'REILLY: In many black precincts, there is chaos in the streets, in the schools, in the homes. From the very beginning of his presidency, I have suggested that Barack Obama take on the cultural aspect of poverty for all races. So far he has not. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor1/30/14]

Fox's Ralph Peters: Women In Combat Will Inevitably "Get People Killed." On the January 23 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox contributor Ralph Peters attacked a proposed policy change that would rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women in the military, saying: 

RALPH PETERS: You've also got the idea of women in combat, which is going to inevitably lower physical standards and get people killed. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 1/23/14]

Fox's Ben Carson Defends Calling Obamacare "The Worst Thing That Has Happened In This Nation Since Slavery." On the October 27 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ, Fox contributor Ben Carson defended statements he made earlier that month at the Value Voters' Summit, when he claimed that Obamacare "is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery" and that, "It is slavery, in a way." When asked about his remarks, Carson said that his comparison was only being attacked because it was "real close to the truth." [Fox News, America's News HQ10/27/14]

Fox Regular Bill Cunningham To Tamara Holder: "Know Your Role And Shut Your Mouth." On the June 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity, frequent Fox guest and conservative radio host Bill Cunningham shouted down Fox contributor Tamara Holder during a debate, saying, "You shut up. Know your role and shut your mouth" and asking if she was "going to cry":

CUNNINGHAM: Whose finger's in my face right now?

HOLDER: Mine, because I'm telling you to shut up. 

CUNNINGHAM: Wait a minute. You shut up. Know your role and shut your mouth.

HOLDER: My role as a woman?



HOLDER: What is your obsession with stooges? Aren't stooges like little elves?

CUNNINGHAM: I'm sitting next to you. I'm sitting next to you. And you're a liberal stooge and an excuse-monger for the Obama administration.

HOLDER: Never mind. I -

CUNNINGHAM: What are you going to cry?

HOLDER: No! I'm not going to cry.

CUNNINGHAM: You're not going to cry? [Fox News, Hannity, 6/20/13]

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