While Trying to Smear House GOP as Racist, MSNBC Mixes Up Rep. Jesse Jackson With Rev. Jesse Jackson

In the midst of fill-in host Craig Melvin hyping accusations that black lawmakers were "being unfairly targeted for ethics investigations" by the Republican-led House Ethics Committee during Firday's News Nation on MSNBC, the channel's graphics department mistakenly displayed an image on screen of the Reverend Jesse Jackson senior, instead of his son, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Melvin touted Democratic Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver "now calling for members...of the House ethics panel to temporarily step aside." He continued: "The Congressman writing a letter saying in part, quote, 'I write to express my deep and abiding concern with the protracted length, abnormal number, motive, and fairness of pending matters.'"

As pictures of five black Democratic members of Congress under investigation appeared on screen, including the wrong Jackson photo, Melvin turned to Politico's Manu Raju and wondered: "Is this, first of all, is this an unusual number?"

After the segment concluded, Melvin apologized for the error: "I also want to apologize to our viewers at home. We just put up a graphic of the – of the five congress people who are under investigation, under scrutiny by the ethics panel. We mistakenly put up a picture of Jesse Jackson senior, it's Jesse Jackson Jr., we apologize for that mistake."

This is not the first time MSNBC had an ID problem with Jesse Jackson. In October of 2009, then-MSNBC host Contessa Brewer introduced Jackson as "the Reverend Al Sharpton."


Here is a portion of the May 18 exchange:

2:40PM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Are black lawmakers being unfairly targeted for ethics investigations in Congress? Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is now calling for members of House ethics – of the House ethics panel to temporarily step aside. The Congressman writing a letter saying in part, quote, "I write to express my deep and abiding concern with the protracted length, abnormal number, motive, and fairness of pending matters." Joining me now is Politico's Manu Raju, and of course his article first appeared in Politico. Manu, good afternoon to you.

MANU RAJU: Thanks for having me.

MELVIN: Five black lawmakers currently under scrutiny in some shape or form by the Ethics Committee.

[ON-SCREEN GRAPHIC: Pictures of five members of Congress under ethics investigation, including Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, but Jesse Jackson senior's picture is shown. Click on image to enlarge.]   

MELVIN: Is this, first of all, is this an unusual number?

(...)

MELVIN: I also want to apologize to our viewers at home. We just put up a graphic of the – of the five congress people who are under investigation, under scrutiny by the ethics panel. We mistakenly put up a picture of Jesse Jackson senior, it's Jesse Jackson Jr., we apologize for that mistake. There are the five congress people who are under scrutiny by the congressional ethics panel.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC