MSNBC Apologizes to Romney Campaign for Klan Report

Brian Stelter, New York Times, December 14, 2011

Blaming its own staff for an “appalling lack of judgment,” MSNBC apologized on Wednesday for reporting that a phrase used by Mitt Romney on the campaign stump was used in the past by the Ku Klux Klan.

The brief report during the 11 a.m. hour on MSNBC triggered internal turmoil at the cable news network, which is linked to NBC News, the home of the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.” {snip}

The MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, who was not involved with the original report, read an apology to the Romney campaign during his 5 p.m. program, “Hardball.”

The network, Mr. Matthews said, “reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the K.K.K. way back in the 1920s. It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this, and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize, we really do, to the Romney campaign.”

{snip}

The comments on MSNBC about Mr. Romney seemed to have been plucked straight from the Web site AMERICAblog, which noted on Tuesday that in the 1920s, K.K.K. literature employed the phrase “keep America American.”

(Others have used it, too; The Washington Post noted on Wednesday that “long before the KKK picked up the slogan, it was used in the 1850s by members of the ‘Know Nothing Party,’ an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic nativist party.”)

Mr. Romney has used the phrase in speeches while campaigning for the Republican nomination for president. At a campaign appearance last Friday, he described the race for president by saying, “We have on one side a president who wants to transform America into a European-style nation, and you have on other hand someone like myself that wants to turn around America and keep America American with the principles that made us the greatest nation on Earth.”

{snip} “So you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the K.K.K. group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews,” the MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts said on Wednesday morning. While he was speaking, a graphic on the screen read, “Romney’s KKK Slogan?”

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    No matter who used it first: Not keeping American American means that it will be become something other than American. So what exactly should that be, MSNBC?

  • Hirsch

    Gee, Mitt Romney wasn’t responsible for burning down a Jewish store in NYC and getting several black people killed, but do you want to guess who was? MSNBC correspondent, “Reverend” Al Sharpton. Google “Freddie’s Fashion Mart” for anyone who still does not know the story. He urged the jews to “pin back their yarmulkes” and called them “diamond merchants,” and then incited a melee that left several people burnt beyond recognition.

    I know they’re capable of looking into Teleprompters over at MSN, but they might want to give the mirror a try every once and awhile too.

    This is all very similar to the charge that “Take our country back” was a phrase the Republicans were using to cue their Pavlovian racist white stormtroopers. Needless to say, in less than 24 hours some astute blogger had assembled a reel of Democrats from John Kerry to Hilary Clinton using the same “Take our country back” platitude.

    This race-baiting is all a dry run for 2012. The mainstream media is probing to see if they can get away with playing the race card for Obama, in order to spare him the indignity of having to lay it himself.

  • Question Diversity

    This was controversial in the MSNBC propaganda distillery it calls an newsroom? That only proves how vicious it was, that it caused controversy within the “lean forward and bite the ankles” network. Even Al Sharpton tried to walk it back during his own Resist-We-Much-A-Thon later that evening, even though the original “slander” wasn’t aired on his show.

    Now, as for “keeping America American,” I highly doubt Romney actually means it. He actually has more billionaire campaign donors than Obama.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like MSM is worried that Romney will be the Republican choice to run against Obama. From where I stand I think he is more electable than the others and this poses a threat to their annointed one. Newt is their choice due to baggage which will used against him when the camaigning begins seriously.

  • Fireforce

    Many years ago the American Nazi Party used to used portraits of George Washington in it’s iconography. So does that mean that people should avoid the one dollar bill as well? The fact that some group or another used a similar phrase at some time in the past is just about as silly a reason to avoid it. This was just an attempt by MSNBC to smear Romney.

  • Jack

    If Mitt Romney gets elected President in 2012. And his many years of experience in the business world can help get our nation’s economy on the road to recovery from this current recession. Then I don’t care that he is a Mormon!

    To Fireforce, so the American Nazi Party many years ago used portraits of George Washington in it’s iconography? Those Anerican neo-Nazis must have really been ignorant about American history! The real George Washington once wrote a letter of commendation to a synagogue, which included words against giving sanction to bigotry.

  • Fireforce

    Jack: Right. I never said their use of his image made alot of sense. 😉 My point was/is that the use of a particular item, be it a turn of phrase or image, does not somwhow “taint” it and preclude it’s use in the future in another context.

  • Greg

    To the Republican field: The lesson is that the American-hating, white hating left will dig up any mundane phrase you utter and spin it to make you out to be a racist. So instead of sucking up to hispanic voters who don’t want welfare, food stamps, or free education cut; appeal to the hard right. Call out Holder for singling out conservative whites while ignoring the abuses made by racial minorities. Demand justice and a stop to the hatred of traditional Americans (whites) by those on the left.

  • Fritz

    The K has also been known to carry the American flag in their parades and light crosses at their rallies. Are crosses and flags now poison? What’s so wrong about wanting to keep America, American as opposed to letting it become more like Mexico or Kenya?

  • Anonymous

    If America does not remain American, where can the Americans go to remain American?

  • NBJ

    This doesn’t surprise me one bit. After all, this is the same station that allows the charming Ed Schultz to spew his spiteful rhetoric, once calling Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut” on his radio show. I’ve even heard him refer to Republicans as “those bastards” so nothing that comes from MSNBC should surprise anyone.

  • Anonymous

    {snip} “So you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the K.K.K. group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews,” the MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts said on Wednesday morning. While he was speaking, a graphic on the screen read, “Romney’s KKK Slogan.

    _____________________________

    Here we go again. The same ole tactic used by the White haters, calling us nazis, White Supremacists, racists, etc.. Demonize any White group that defends their own race and we all fall into their trap and fall to our knees begging for “forgiveness”…. I will no longer fall for their lies and slander or fall to my knees. How about you, White man?

    Using the K as the most evil people on earth? At least they DID want to keep America White. So what is wrong with that? Isn’t that what most of us wish for? Isn’t that what our Founders wanted in the first place? A White nation FOR White people? The K was squashed by the anti-White forces as part of their agenda to squash the White race and America/Europe out of existence, period.

    So they (K) “intimidated” certain “groups”, so what? Now it is we, Whites, who have been intimidated, attacked and hated by those groups and we have lost our OWN country because we have allowed the enemy within, to dictate our destiny, which btw, includes our own genocide. When are we going to stand up and fight for our OWN destiny? When are we going to quit being cowards?

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    It seems only natural that if you create a nation out of a wilderness with your blood, sweat and tears, you would want to leave it to your descendants.

  • Amen says I

    Theres only one thing I don’t understand. As white nationalists and people with common sense, why on Earth are so many here supporting egg heads like Romney, Gingrich etc, when the obvious best candidate who comes close to our interests would be Ron Paul. If there is any solution to many of our problems, Ron Paul is as close as you could get. Oh well, I guess ignorance is bliss!

  • Anonymous

    2 — Hirsch wrote at 6:45 PM on December 15:

    “Gee, Mitt Romney wasn’t responsible for burning down a Jewish store in NYC and getting several black people killed, but do you want to guess who was? MSNBC correspondent, “Reverend” Al Sharpton. Google “Freddie’s Fashion Mart” for anyone who still does not know the story. He urged the jews to “pin back their yarmulkes” and called them “diamond merchants,” and then incited a melee that left several people burnt beyond recognition.

    The IRReverent Sharpton also referred to Jews as “interlopers”.

    Freddie’s was never replaced by a Black owned business was it? IF Every White business owner closed up shop where would the Bleck Comoonity be then? “Save the nation by REPATRIATION”

  • Jack in Chicago

    All readers/supporters should be prepared for the smear:

    “You’re RACIST because”

    – you said something, dressed some way, gave a salute some way or acted in some way that famous RACISTS (K, Nazis, Hitler) did in the past.

    Practice how you will respond to these smears or support candidates who have been smeared this way.

    I recommend not being defensive and don’t waste a lot of time trying to be fair and treat the “YOU’RE RACIST – THUS NOT FIT FOR MAINSTREAM LIFE” as a fair charge that needs to be refuted in the past.

    Instead, go on the offensive and use lots of humor and sarcasm. Try something like this.

    “Ow – you think our candidate is like Hitler, he’s supposed to be RACIST. Did you know that Hitler was a vegetarian and an artist – so I guess you Leftists are all secret followers of Hitler because you tolerate vegetarians and artists in your ranks.”

    [Hitler was also for animal rights. — Moderator]

  • Ross

    Reply to Amen says I:

    Ron Paul is indeed the one who should be our next President. But, unfortunately Ron Paul, as a Libertarian, is too radical for Middle America to be elected President.