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MSNBC panel makes fun of Romney photo with black grandchild

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An MSNBC panel on Sunday poked fun at a photo of Mitt Romney, his wife and their nearly two-dozen grandchildren, zeroing in on the Romneys’ recently adopted African-American grandchild, Kieran.

During the segment, which appeared on the show “Melissa Harris-Perry,” the panelists made jokes about the infant sticking out.

Asked to come up with captions for the photo as part of a game they were playing, one of panelists, actress Pia Glenn, started singing lines from the song popularized by Sesame Street: “One of These Things Is Not Like The Others.”

Another panelist, comedian Dean Obeidallah, said the picture “really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party.” (Obeidallah, appears frequently on CNN and writes a regular opinion column for CNN.com.)

In September, Romney announced on Twitter that Kieran James Romney had been adopted. His son Ben and daughter-in-law Andelynne are the parents.

The MSNBC host, Melissa Harris-Perry, described the baby as “gorgeous,” before predicting Kieran would one day marry North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

“Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?” Harris-Perry said, drawing laughs.

CNN reached out to Romney for a comment.

After Republican blogs and commentators were quick to point out the comments made by the panel, the criticism started pouring in.

Stuart Stevens, a political consultant and senior adviser to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, tweeted “MSNBC has become a club where the smug go to exchange hateful opinions and reassure each other it’s acceptable.”

Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown, a friend of the Romneys, urged MSNBC to apologize for this “wildly inappropriate incident. Viewers and the Romney family deserve better.”

“Check out these adult progressives on MSNBC mocking a black child for being adopted by a white family,” tweeted conservative commentator and radio host Dana Loesch.

Responding to a critic on Twitter, Glenn–the panelist who sang the song–said she “didn’t personally call THE BABY names or mock/attack the baby.”

In another tweet, she said: “Yes, I sang the song. There are many children in the pic & only 1 black child. I don’t see that as mocking or attacking the baby.”

33 comments

  • Daniel Rehmeyer

    How is this behavior accepted? If the “joke” had been a white child adopted by the Obama’s, the media, Uncle Al Sharpton, and $$ Jackson would have been on every media outlet screaming for the head of whomever would have been insensitive enough to utter such blatant racism. Where are the responsible journalism on this?

    • Cripes A Mighty

      You are right, this behavior was unacceptable and an apology was appropriate.

      That being said, I think Alan Combs said it right when he said something to the effect of she was trying to show the lack of diversity and inclusion of blacks in the Republican Party. There is truth to that by any measurement, but the way she did it was all wrong. Leave the kids out of it.

      Having said that, the Republicans have as much to be guilty over with comments made the Faux News hosts, guests, and political pundits. The only difference is that Faux News does it everyday and people are used to their propaganda machine and lies, while MSNBC is trying to figure out how to fight in the public domain.

  • Tootsie Everhardt

    Just another example of black racism, low class members of the media, entertainment society and low class democratic party members. No excuse for such behavior but another example of what the media, journalist and those in entertainment ( or at least what is called entertainment)have become. Sad.

  • Dan

    This is part of why our country is so messed up. The media which is the arm or the democratic ( CNN, MSNBC,ABC,NBC) They get a free pass. But let anyone that does not walk locked stepped with these people and they try to destroy them.

  • Sandra

    Just another example of Low Class Media Coverage and because they are black they get by with it! No Excuse no Excuse! Where is Opraha and OBUMMER on this One?

  • dewey

    All this from the same people who support Phil Robertson….lol….most of you have been racist for so long your moral compass no longer responds

  • thomas

    And if anyone in the Romney family had refused the adopt a black child, MSDNC would have been screaming “racism” about that like they do all the other examples of phony racism that they propagate and fabricate on their little-watched, hate-filled network. But then again, we now know why MSNBC is the least-watched network on cable news, is experiencing its lowest ratings in its 20-year history, and why the channel will soon join Current TV, Keith Olbermann, and Air America in the trash heap of failed left-wing programming.

  • Chucky1992

    I just consider the source. I think that the adoption of a child is something to be celebrated. What really rubs me the wrong way is that some of them are completely unapologetic about it.

  • Sunshine

    Among a sea of smiling faces, didn’t anyone have the common sense to notice the red, screaming baby? But, like they say, “Common sense isn’t always common.”

      • Sunshine

        Shirley, you missed the point. The child’s game the panel was taking part in was to the theme of “Which one of these things is not like the other?”. Wouldn’t you consider a crying baby a notable difference along side smiling, happy faces? Rather rude of you to make such a condescending remark that was so inaccurate, but thanks for providing more proof that the adage mentioned in my previous comment still rings true. :)

  • Jennifer

    This is just wrong. No matter what political party you are affiliated with and no matter how much you may disagree with the other side, that doesn’t give anyone the right to act in such an immature manner. And these are the same people who sit in judgement of our politicians and their actions. MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their employees to act in such a way. And for the record, this goes beyond free speech. I am a democrat and this is appalling to me. Whether I agree with Mr. Romney on his views or not, I will not now nor will I ever condone such disrespect. First of all there is nothing wrong with a family adopting a child of another race and honestly it should be praised not made fun of. That child will have a wonderful life because he will have parents who love him regardless of the color of his skin. It is not a person’s skin color that defines them but the manner in which they carry themselves and the attitude they chose to have that defines who they are. I don’t define my friends as being black, white, mexican, etc., I define them as those that I love and care for. I define them by their name not their skin color. It’s time that people of every race, white, black, mexican, chinese, etc, stood up and said in one loud voice, “Enough is enough.” It’s time we as a country grew up and act like adults instead of a bunch of uneducated, disrespectful children. Ignorance like this disappoints me, especially when it is coming from people that are in the public eye and can influence our young people and the way they act.

  • Kill The Poor

    Well the media is still doing it’s job to maximum effect. If it’s not the politicians provoking people’s fears, it’s the media. After all the media is controlled my washington. The left has MSNBC and the right has Fox News. All the other fall in line with whoever is convienent at a given time. MSNBC has all the righties pissed off. This will cool down then Fox News will do something and all the lefties will be pissed. AGAIN all media does the same sensationalism (Tony parker’s “reverse Nazi saute”) to get everyone into a fit. Both for themselves and the people they work for. The sheep on this site might could see this if you could get past your liberal tourettes.

  • Carol

    Making jokes about their own race being raised by white family….Hmmmm!!! That’s maybe called racist….The child will be very well cared for i’m sure. I wish them all the best.

  • Jackie

    Left Right who cares. The fact that this country has become so desensitized or continues to be racist amazes me. A picture of someone’s family is a nice thing not something that needs anything but praise. If they don’t see the wrong in this shame on them!

  • Fay

    If you look at the pic,,you willl see his big sister still holding close to him,,,,this child is loved and isn’t that what adopting is all about? But I guess msnbc would rather the child have been aborted,,,

  • Mr So Correct it hurts, Sr.

    MSNBC sounds like they hired Phil Robertson as a production assistant! Bet the NAACP will not address this one bit, too close to home for their taste!!!!! Bigots, all of them!

  • dobydog1

    this was racist pure and simple. she should be fired both from her msnbc spot and her professorship. it is time all racists are treated the same no matter what race or races they are.

  • One of GOD'S

    Babies(no color mentioned) are gifts from God, to be loved, cared for and given back to him. Be careful when talking about on of his.

  • lisa

    This is why there are so many children who feel it is acceptable to bully others. Until adults start acting like adults, they can not teach children how to behave respectfully towards others.

  • B

    Romney did the right thing and held the black child. I wondered who made the decision about who holds whom before the picture was taken??

  • mgarrett60

    If Mitt posts on here that he felt slighted by these comments then I’ll agree the host were wrong. If not, the rest of you need to grow up and get over it. Doodyheads.

  • Lee

    As much as they try to present themselves as the paragons of unbiased virtue, the depth of their hypocrisy glaringly shows through in racial bigotry against the child and the family, not to mention the political prejudice with which they have closed their minds and hearts.

    By contrast, the openheartedness of the Romney family is priceless, not perfect, (there’s a screaming kid in the back) but generous and inclusive. Indeed, the Romney’s are far more inclusive than the pompous MSNBC cast of pretenders.

    Give ’em another 18 years and they’ll be talking about how “white” this black kid is. It’ll be because he will be educated, respectful, and purposeful, as many kids of color are, who are raised by goal driven, no nonsense, parents with vision. The media standard for the “black experience” seems to be limited to the criminal thug, or the project bred child who is barely literate. This is an institutional racism which totally ignores all the hardworking, involved black parents out there doing a phenomenal job with their children raising them to be adults with dignity and honor.

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