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article imageOp-Ed: MSNBC's Harris-Perry is way over line with Romney baby jokes

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 1, 2014 in Lifestyle
Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC has issued a brief apology, she did so on Monday, for what was one of the more tasteless pieces of journalism of 2013. She didn't simply make fun of Mitt Romney, not really, no — she made fun of Romney's son. A baby.
A baby?
This isn't the first time MSNBC has produced questionable journalism on the left (i.e. Martin Bashir's comments about Sarah Palin) just as Fox News has on the right (Anna Kooiman's bizarre and false story on President Obama paying to re-open a Muslim center) but this one takes the cake. They used a baby, adopted by the Romney family since the 2012 election, adopted because they cared, to make sport of the family and the Republican party.
Harris-Perry and MSNBC: Cruel Jokes
Here's what Harris-Perry and her cohorts on their show did last weekend: The show put up on the screen a photo of the Romney clan's Christmas photo and it included their adopted son Kieran, who happens to be African-American, the only black child out of the many Romney children in the photo.
Harris-Perry and guests, actress Pia Glenn and comedian Dean Obeidallah, began to make comments on the photo centering on Kieran and his skin color. Ms. Glenn actually began to sing the famed Sesame Street song "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others" clearly in reference to the youngest Romney son.
"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn't the same," Glenn sang. "And that little baby, left and center, would be the one." Harris-Perry and Obeidallah had a good chuckle over that.
It went on from there, including remarks about the diversity of the Republican Party and its one black member and some gobbledegook about Kieran growing up to marry North West, the daughter of singer Kanye West and socialite Kim Kardashian.
MSNBC: "One of these hosts is not..."
I'm giving it the lowest mark in journalism in the U.S. for the year not simply because it is tasteless but because it involves a baby. You're using a baby to make fun of someone you don't like politically? A baby that he and his wife and their family adopted out of love?
Jokes about kids, Obama's kids, Palin's kids, anybody's kids, no. It's not rocket science, you don't go there. How could Harris-Perry not have known that? She knew but she did it anyhow. Her claim is something to the effect that the segment was meant to be supportive of Kieran and it went sideways somehow.
Not buying it.
Despite her apology (which likely came only due to the hue and cry her comments raised) a suspension is warranted. Give her time to think about it and send viewers the message MSNBC cares about how its hosts do their job. After all: "One of these hosts is not like the others ones, one of these hosts has crossed the line."
So make her pay.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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