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Matthews Apologizes for MSNBC's KKK Smear of Romney: 'Appalling Lack of Judgment'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday apologized for his network's "appalling lack of judgment" in comparing a Mitt Romney campaign slogan to the Ku Klux Klan. The Hardball host conceded, "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." [MP3 audio here.]

In the 11am hour of MSNBC, anchor Thomas Roberts smeared, "...So you might 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 America blog was the first to catch onto that."



A MSNBC graphic indicted, "Romney's KKK Slogan?"

It's rather lame for MSNBC to have Chris Matthews apologize for Thomas Roberts' screed. Will he apologize, live, on Thursday?

[Thanks to the MRC's Matt Hadro for the video.]

A transcript of Matthews' apology and the original comment can be found below:

Hardball
12/14/11
5:33
CHRIS MATTHEWS: We're back. During the 11am hour on MSNBC today we reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK 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.

MSNBC 11am EST hour
MSNBC GRAPHIC: Romney's KKK Slogan?

THOMAS ROBERTS: All right, so you might 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 America blog was the first to catch onto that.

- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.