The Cutline

MSNBC apologizes to Mitt Romney campaign over ‘irresponsible,’ ‘incendiary’ KKK segment

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Cutline

MSNBC has apologized to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign for airing a segment that connected Romney's use of the  expression "Keep America American" to the Klu Klux Klan.

"During the 11AM hour on MSNBC, we reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK in the 1920s," Chris Matthews said on Wednesday. "It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize, we really do, to the Romney campaign."

The aforementioned segment was anchored by Thomas Roberts.

"So you may not hear Mitt Romney say 'Keep America American' anymore,' " Roberts said in his report. "That's because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews. The Progressive American blog was the first to catch on to that." (Roberts also apologized on Thursday.)

A Romney campaign spokeswoman told the New York Times that it accepted MSNBC's apology: "We are pleased they have issued a correction and apology. That was the right thing to do."

According to Mediaite, MSNBC executives were furious over the handling of the segment.

"NBC News President Steve Capus addressed this story this morning at an editorial meeting, and stressed the need for accuracy, fairness, and caution before proceeding," Mediaite reported.

And, as Mike Krumboltz noted on Yahoo's Upshot, it's hard to tell from the Romney campaign ad highlighted by Americablog if the former Massachussetts governor is saying "Keep America America" or "Keep America American."

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