24 Hours Later, Thomas Roberts Apologizes for His 'Appalling' KKK Smear of Romney

Twenty four hours after linking Mitt Romney to the Ku Klux Klan, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts apologized for his "appalling" smear. The News Live host on Thursday waited until the show was 50 minutes over and then conceded, "During yesterday's 11am, we reported on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK in the 1920s."

He continued, "It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize to the Romney campaign." On Wednesday's show, Roberts slimed, "Plus, what Mitt Romney has in common with the KKK. Details on a rare Romney campaign blunder ahead."

He later trashed:

THOMAS ROBERTS: 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 piled on, "Romney's KKK Slogan?

On Wednesday's Hardball, Chris Matthews offered the first apology:

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.

Al Sharpton also apologized on Wednesday. A transcript of the Roberts apology can be found below:


12/15/11
11:50

ROBERTS: Now to some important housekeeping that I wanted to do myself. During yesterday's 11am, 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.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org