MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is in hot water for making jokes about Mitt Romney’s adopted, African-American grandchild on the air last weekend.
The comments came during a segment in which a roster of comedians were riffing on notable photos from the past year, and things went off the rails.
A photo of the Romney family with Mitt’s latest grandchild, Kieran Romney, who is adopted and African-American, on Mitt’s knee, sparked laughter.
“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” sang out Pia Glenn, one of Harris-Perry’s guests on the show.
Harris-Perry herself said she would like to see the “gorgeous” child and North West, daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, get married some day.
“Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?” she said.
This apparently incongruous sight had everybody on-screen giggling, but the capper was provided by comedian Dean Obeidallah, who quipped:
“It sums up the diversity of the Republican Party and the [Republican National Committee], where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person."
While the imagery of Mitt and ‘Ye as in-laws is pretty hilarious, using a child of a public figure in a political jab (pertaining to race no less) is in pretty bad taste.
Conservative blogger Caleb Howe wrote, "He’s not a child adopted by loving parents prepared to provide him with a better life in keeping with the family’s values."
"Nope. He’s just a token. A punchline, not a person."
Sarah Palin was more pointed, writing, “Holy unbelievable. The hypocritical leftist lamestream media should be shamed by every caring, child-loving American."
Incredibly, this wasn’t just an off-the-cuff remark. The segment was pre-planned, leaving conservatives outraged that someone thought this was a good idea.
With Phil Robertson returning to Duck Dynasty, the media seized on this latest left-right controversy and the umbrage rising against the MSNBC host.
Harris-Perry apologized this morning, Tweeting, "I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family #MHPapology"
Yes … she appears to have added a touch of self-promotion in the form of that ridiculous hashtag to an apology that otherwise would’ve sounded sincere.
Compared to her guests, though, she was downright contrite. Pia Glenn apologized to families with adoptive children but defended herself vociferously.
Dean Obeidallah, meanwhile, apologized to the baby if the baby was offended, then went on the offensive, noting that the right is just as insensitive.
“I’ll apologize to the Romneys but not the wing nuts,” Obeidallah writes in a Daily Beast column Tuesday titled “Confessions of a Romney Baby Bully.”
And the 24/7 political/media wars raged on into 2014 …