December 15, 2011 / 5:00 PM / 6 years ago

MSNBC apologizes for Mitt Romney-Klan references

2 Min Read

NEW YORK ( - MSNBC apologized Wednesday night for a report earlier that day that claimed Mitt Romney was using a Ku Klux Klan phrase as a campaign slogan.

Chris Matthews apologized on behalf of the network on his show "Hardball," noting that the report was "irresponsible" and "incendiary" and that the network showed an "appalling lack of judgment."

The initial report, given by Thomas Roberts shortly before noon, was based on a post from left-leaning website Americablog on Tuesday, which pointed out that KKK literature often used the phrase "Keep America America." It then provided an example of Romney using the phrase, and has provided more examples since MSNBC apologized.

The KKK is not the only group to use that phrase, and rest assured most candidates have used some kind of similar-sounding phrase.

Here's what Roberts said on MSNBC: "So you may not hear Mitt Romney say 'Keep America American' anymore. That's because it was a central theme of the KKK in the 1920s, it was a rallying cry for the group's campaign of violence and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews. The progressive blog AmericaBlog was the first to catch on to that."

Lesson to all those in the media? Best to avoid any Klan references, no matter the circumstances.

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