MSNBC Host’s Romney Apology: Rough Run of Remorse

Photograph by Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Melissa Harris-Perry

In its cleanest form, Cable TV means never having to say you’re sorry.

Yet in the political world, one cable news outlet has been breeding apologies lately.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry apologized today for making fun of Mitt Romney’s black grandson, one adopted by his son Ben and wife Andelyne.

On her Sunday program, Harris-Perry and her panel made light of a Romney family portrait tweeted as a greeting for the holidays including its newest member seated on the knee of the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for president.

“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same. And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” panelist Pia Glenn said on the MSNBC program.

“My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West,” Harris-Perry said on the show. “Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”

The Romney family’s e-Christmas card was among the features in a “2013: The year in political ridiculousness” segment on the cable news show.

The incident follows fairly closely on Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after tasteless comments he made on air about Sarah Palin, the Republicans’ 2008 nominee for vice president.

On Nov. 15, Bashir criticized Palin for remarks comparing U.S. indebtedness to China to slavery. Bashir cited the diaries of a plantation overseer who punished slaves by having someone defecate in their mouth or urinate on their face. He suggested the same treatment for the former Alaska governor.

“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” Bashir wrote in an email at his departure.. “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.”

That, in turn, followed the network’s suspension of actor Alec Baldwin for ill-chosen words on the street, rather than on air.  His new weekly show was suspended for two weeks last month after he was videotaped using an ant-gay slur against a photographer.

Palin, for her part, was quick to join the Harris-Perry conversation.


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