When anyone can be described as left of MSNBC, they are heading into fringe territory. Or as Bill Press thinks of it, home sweet home.
In yet another futile attempt to remain relevant, Press on his radio show lashed out at MSNBC for apologizing for a Twitter post last week claiming that conservatives might "hate" a new Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial family. (Audio after the jump).
Not only should MSNBC president Phil Griffin have refused to apologize, Press vented, the tweet was fully justified (audio) --
PRESS: I just think the whole thing is outrageous. I hate this apology, I think it was unnecessary and just, just played right into their hands. And, I mean, they won't (laughs), they're not going to let conservatives watch MSNBC, fine! You're not even going to notice that. How many conservatives, seriously, are watching Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow, you know, or Al Sharpton every night?
JEREMY HOLDEN OF MEDIA MATTERS: Yeah, yeah, I don't know, but, uh, I'm just ...
PRESS: It's silly.
HOLDEN: I want to see how this probation looks and when it ends. (Alluding to RNC chair Reince Priebus's response to Cheerios ad tweet). And what, you know, is there going to be a soft landing from the probation? This is kind of silly at this point.
PRESS: It is and, you know, first of all, good for Cheerios for bringing that spot back and not bowing into the pressure and as far as this tweet goes, again, "maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everybody else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family," that's the truth. That is the truth! The right winger, the racist right winger will hate it. Everybody else will like it. It's a beautiful spot.
"A beautiful spot"? Please. Make the family in the ad all of the race and this commercial is quickly forgotten. The entire point of the first spot that aired last year, and the follow-up that ran during the Super Bowl, was to generate buzz. For that, the ad campaign has been a brilliant success. Otherwise, it's trite and cliched.
Take the same family and show them praying before breakfast -- that would be edgy, with the added benefit of driving liberals around the bend.
It wasn't just the Cheerios ads that comes across as manufactured -- so does MSNBC's response to that repugnant tweet. Press gets it right on one thing but in the wrong way. It was outrageous for MSNBC to fire the person responsible for the tweet, assuming the whole thing isn't a ruse. The tweet neatly encapsulates the dominant strain in MSNBC's worldview -- that conservatives are inherently racist. This was just the latest in an endless stream of examples, as MRC's Rich Noyes pointed out yesterday.
Griffin's apology is a sizable crack in that shaky armor, which is the actual reason why Press was angered by it. Next thing you know, MSNBC will see conservatives as actual human beings and not boogeymen deserving of perpetual demonization.