MSNBC panel makes fun of Romney photo with black grandchild
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.”