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MSNBC apologizes for comparing Romney to the KKK

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Mitt Romney

Like so many of the Republican Party's current presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney is a lot of unfortunate things. But I think we can all agree that "raging Klansman" is probably (hopefully?) not one of them. As such, MSNBC has been forced to issue an apology after daytime anchor Thomas Roberts reported on a blog item directly comparing Romney's campaign slogan to Ku Klux Klan propaganda.

"So you may not hear Mitt Romney say 'Keep America American' anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that." Meanwhile, a graphic at the bottom of the screen read, "Romney's KKK slogan?" 

After immediate complaints from Romney's camp over unspecified "misreporting," Chris Matthews took to Hardball to apologize on behalf of the network, citing an "appalling lack of judgment" for the "irresponsible and incendiary" report. 

Some people are unsure of why the apology was actually needed, though, since Romney has been using the phrase "Keep America American" in stump speeches, and the term was, in fact, popularly used in Klan materials in the 1920s, and even before that, by the anti-immigrant "Know Nothing Party" in the 1850s. "It's not entirely clear what they're apologizing for," said blogger John Aravosis, who penned the original blog post cited on MSNBC. "The story is true. Keep in mind, that even Romney is now claiming, between the lines, that President Obama is a socialist. So why shouldn't America be asking if Mitt Romney is a Klansman?"

So really, no one here really comes out shining. For its part, MSNBC reported a story verbatim from a blog without doing any of the additional, you know, reporting, that a news network is supposed to do. For his part, Romney is kind of campaigning around a slogan linked to and popularized by the Ku Klux Klan. Ouch.