Your Low Class Cable News Moment Of The Day, MSNBC Edition


I’m not usually a person to go for the latest cable news outrage, but something currently making its way around the blogosphere strikes me as having gone way, way over the top:

A Romney family photo featuring Mitt Romney and his grandson Kieran Romney that flew under the radar of most media outlets made a “photos of the year” segment of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show on Sunday, prompting a discussion by Harris-Perry’s panel that has conservatives crying foul.

“Any captions for this one?” Harris-Perry asked her panel.

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

Comedian Dean Obeidallah told Harris-Perry that he thought the photo was “great” and that “it really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”

Here’s the video:

The explanation for the photo? That was revealed back in September:

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has welcomed a new addition to the Romney clan.

On Friday he tweeted, “Our 22nd grandchild was officially adopted today: Kieran James Romney,” alongside a photograph of a cute African-American baby. The child has been adopted by Romney’s second youngest son Ben and his wife Andelynne.

Interestingly, Kieran means “little dark one” in Gaelic. Kieran is common name in Ireland and although it literally means “black” or “dark,” it generally signifies a link to Fergus, King of Ulster, a mythological Irish figure.

So Mitt Romney’s second youngest son and his wife adopt a child, a child who no doubt will be loved and well taken are of and likely have a better life than he would have otherwise. And Harris-Perry, presently a Professor at Tulane University along with being an MSNBC weekend host and formerly a Professor at Princeton University, thinks it’s just hilarious to use this child to make fun of the GOP and the Romney family, some 13 months after the 2012 election ended and Mitt Romney largely retired from the political life. Romney himself is a fair target, perhaps, but since when is one of his Grandchildren a fair target? Pretty low class if you ask me.

This is yet another reason to never watch American cable “news.”

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Stonetools says:

    Yeah, it’s a little in bad taste.

    Then there is TBogg’s tweet on the issue:

    @tbogg: In Kieran Romney, conservatives have finally found an African-American child they care about.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    Harris-Perry has never been a particularly good woman, or a figure worthy of respect. The latest example of how low-class she really is inside.

  3. rudderpedals says:

    LOL WUT?

  4. Paul L. says:
  5. bill says:

    that anyone even noticed it on such an unwatched “network” is the really amazing thing. maybe they’re trying to create a buzz so someone will tune in?

  6. Franklin says:

    Wow, that was definitely low class and frankly, stupid. When conservatives complain that liberals make everything about race even when it isn’t, they can point to this example as proof.

  7. mantis says:

    Pretty low class if you ask me.
    This is yet another reason to never watch American cable “news.”

    Absolutely. So much so I won’t even bother to watch the clip. I’m sure its disgusting. Those channels are all poison.

  8. CSK says:

    It wasn’t just tacky, it was breathtakingly pointless. This is what they’re reduced to on cable?

    President Obama said, during the 2008 campaign, that “the kids are off-limits,” meaning Palin’s and McCain’s minor offspring. And he was right.

  9. Pinky says:

    You’ve got to watch it. She promos the upcoming year-in-review segment, “Hey, Was That Racist?”.

  10. Tyrell says:

    @mantis: I do not watch the cable news any more or hardly any network news. I mainly get my news now from local stations, amateur radio, cb radio (not many on there any more), and at the local diner.
    I grew up listening to every word of Conkrite, Brinkley, and Severeid. Things have changed since then.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Jokes involving other peoples children tend to be very unfunny.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    As a father, the father of an adoptee, and an adoptee myself, yeah it’s kinda fwcked up.

  13. bandit says:

    Every liberal is a racist in their putrid black heart

  14. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Like school on a Saturday…

  15. Todd says:

    My first thought was that people today are way too sensitive about stupid stuff. I want to just say hey get over it. But then it occurred to me that if this exact same scenario was to have taken place on say O’Reilly or Beck, that very crowd in the video would have been having a hissy fit themselves.

    “News” people should probably just avoid trying to be “funny”.

  16. rudderpedals says:

    Before I can start my outrage engine I need to know who chose the name “Little black one” and how the little girl became the target of the slam at the oblivious vulture fund financier?

  17. matt bernius says:


    But then it occurred to me that if this exact same scenario was to have taken place on say O’Reilly or Beck, that very crowd in the video would have been having a hissy fit themselves.


  18. Todd says:

    @matt bernius:

    The flip side though, is that this is something you’d be more unlikely to see from O’Reilly or Beck:

  19. Stonetools says:


    Indeed. When will right wing pundits apologize to Susan Rice for their hatchet job?

  20. MBunge says:

    Even though he gave them the template that saved their network, a lot of folks at MSNBC don’t really understand what Olbermann did and why he did it that way.


  21. michael reynolds says:


    Every liberal is a racist in their putrid black heart

    I doubt you realize how revealing that comment is. Obviously it’s false since the entirety of the local liberal population condemned the remark. Liberals didn’t tolerate it from one of “our own” any more than we’d tolerate it from Fox.

    So much for the superficial content of your statement.

    Now, here’s what your remark really means. It means that you find racism to be a perfectly natural system of belief. You don’t think anyone is actually not a racist. You think everyone is a racist and is just hiding it.

    Because that’s what you are and what you do.

    It’s quite a common syndrome for conservatives. You figure you and all your friends are racist, homophobic and sexist so you can’t believe anyone isn’t. You’ve accepted the need to conceal your true feelings, so you skulk and talk in code and lie. You’re usually pretty bad at it so you get busted fairly frequently, which just makes you angry because, again, you’re only feeling what you have convinced yourself everyone feels. Then when a liberal says something like this you leap from cover and yell, “Ah hah! I knew you were all just as depraved as me!”

    But we’re not. Evidence of which is above and below your unintentionally self-damming comment.

  22. James Pearce says:

    A comedian made a joke and it bombed? Scandalous.

    Best policy, I’ve found, is to give wide latitude to humor. The most offensive thing a joke can be is not funny. Was Dean Obeidallah’s joke not funny? Mileage will vary. I think it was about as funny as something you’d see in the comedy panel segment on Chelsea Lately, or in other words, lame comedians making lame joke. It’s a crime against comedy, not civic decency.

    Still, I think it’s a pretty good policy not to joke about someone else’s kids. Especially if you’re the kind of comedian booking talk shows on MSNBC. Chances are you will not have the talent to pull it off.

  23. John425 says:

    MSNBC is a “cable news show”? I thought they just showed prison documentaries.