MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts reported today on a blog post from the progressive site Americablog.com linking Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to a campaign ad with the slogan "Keep America American." As Roberts notes, the phrase was used as a rallying cry for the KKK during the 1920s:
However, it appears MSNBC and the progressive blog both missed the final 5 seconds of the "ad" which clearly reads "Mitt Romney does not actually support this ad." Not to mention the youtube channel that the blog reports the "ad" to have originated from is not from the Romney campaign but kdipark, whoever that is.
The blog only presents two examples of Romney using the phrase, which at face value does not sound too different than any other campaign rhetoric, and there is no evidence that the candidate was attempting to hark on the particularly ugly nativist sentiments espoused by the Klan. While the blog is entitled "Romney adopts KKK Slogan: 'Keep America American," the Romney campaign slogan has long been "Believe in America."
After the incendiary MSNBC report went viral, an NBC insider spoke with Mediaite that reports "NBC News President Steve Capus addressed this story this morning at an editorial meeting, and stressed the need for accuracy, fairness, and caution before proceeding. Capus is reportedly furious at the way the story was handled, and MSNBC is in the process of apologizing to the Romney campaign."
Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball tonight apologized on behalf of the network for the report, calling it an "irresponsible" and "incendiary" attack on Mitt Romney.
The anchor who first acknowledged the blog report, Thomas Roberts, is the same MSNBC host who said the GOP presidential candidates would like to go back to a time when women couldn’t vote and “slavery was cool.”