by Peter Grady –
NBC issued an apology after an MSNBC anchor implied that Romney supported the goals of the KKK.
Romney has used the phrase “Keep America American” at several of his campaign events.
Thomas Roberts, a daytime anchor with MSNBC, suggested the candidate was advocating for the KKK. “It was a central theme of the KKK in the 1920’s. It was a rallying cry for the group’s campaign of violence and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews,” Roberts said.
This is not the first insinuation of racism against Romney. When the campaign ran a recent ad featuring brief images of a black church it was said to be an attempt at race-baiting.
The ad features a series of images in rapid succession, including a foreclosed home and empty businesses. Among the images that appear for a fraction of a second are black women walking down a large hallway and panning over a predominantly black audience.
Romney was criticized by Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who also advised the Al Gore and John Kerry campaigns.
Devine said it was an attempt to bring up the issue of Jeremiah Wright again. Wright was Obama’s pastor for over 20 years in Chicago and often used race-tinged language in his messages. He said American had deserved the attacks on 9/11 and they were our “chickens coming home to roost.”
When Jerry Falwell made similar statements, liberals called on Republican candidates to repudiate the comments, but Wright’s comments are considered off limits by members of the media.
Romney has also been criticized for his Mormon faith with some questioning his membership in a church that until 1978 prohibited blacks from holding the priesthood until all white men had received it.
The MSNBC story has proved to be a bit of problem for the network. On Chris Matthew’s Hardball this evening the network issued a rare apology.
“During the 11AM hour on MSNBC,” Matthews said, “we reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK in the 1920s. It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize to the Romney campaign.”
Tags: American, campaign, church, home, images, Jeremiah Wright, Jerry Falwell, John Kerry, Keep America American, KKK, language, MSNBC, NBC, network, problem, second, story, Tad Devine, Thomas Roberts, Wright