Okay, I can understand that MSNBC President Phil Griffin would feel terribly embarrassed by a dopey Cinco De Mayo studio stunt in which a pale yanqui dressed in a sombrero staggered across the set while taking swigs of tequila (video after the jump). However what is really bizarre about Griffin's contrition is that it also takes the form of declaring that he now gets nervous while walking by Mexican restaurants and becomes upset at the mere sight of a sombrero. I kid you not. And if you doubt me, Griffin is quoted about his new obsessions in the Huffington Post.
To see why Griffin is so contrite complete with strange side effects, read Mark Finkelstein's description of the Cinco De Mayo boomerang in Newsbusters:
¡Ay caramba! Imagine the cries of offensive ethnic stereotyping or worse if Fox News had observed Cinco de Mayo by having one of its yanqui persons of pallor stagger across the set in a sombrero while chugging from a bottle of tequila?
But it happened on MSNBC, so the PC police probably won't make a peep. At today's transition from Way Too Early to Morning Joe, there pranced producer Louis Burgdorf with his Halloween-store sombrero and pint bottle. WTE host Thomas Roberts encouraged Burgdorf "to drink the whole thing and eat the worm," meaning either it was mezcal not tequila or Roberts just doesn't know his south-of-the-border booze...
So now in an act of contrition, Griffin has vowed to increase the diversity at MSNBC. Of course, what he means by diversity has nothing to do with political diversity since MSNBC can continue to be expected to "lean forward" in the reliably liberal direction despite bottom dwelling ratings. In the meantime Griffin has declared that he is afraid, very afraid of Mexican restaurants and sombreros:
To show his contrition, Griffin said the segment had embarrassed him so badly that just seeing a sombrero raises the ugly memory.
“When I walk by a Mexican restaurant, I get nervous,” Griffin said. “When I see a sombrero, I get upset.”
Don't look in my direction, Phil, because you will break out in a cold sweat watching me eat a hot burrito.