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NYT on the Romney KKK slogan brouhaha

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You'll recall that we wrote earlier about how GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had at least twice used a former Ku Klux Klan slogan, "Keep America American," in two of his campaign speeches over the past year.  We then reported that MSNBC, which mentioned the story this morning, issued a public apology this afternoon for having reported on the story, though it wasn't entirely clear why they apologized, since the story is accurate.

It's pretty fair reporting from Brian Stelter at the New York Times.

Officials at MSNBC and NBC News were disturbed that the blog’s observation was passed along as-is, without any added reporting — like a comment from the Romney campaign.

After the network’s apology was read on “Hardball,” it was AMERICAblog that was disturbed. The blog’s main writer, John Aravosis, who has appeared on MSNBC in the past, wrote on Wednesday evening, “Clearly, Mitt Romney went ballistic at MSNBC behind the scenes over this story, which is telling. But again, what part of the story is wrong? Is the Romney campaign seriously going to keep using an old KKK slogan? I somehow doubt it.”
Interesting that not having a quote from the Romney campaign was the problem, since the Romney campaign refused to give a quote when the Huffington Post called them about this yesterday.  And actually, that concern about a quote is not what MSNBC said earlier when Chris Matthews apologized.  He didn't apologize for not getting a quote from the Romney campaign.  And MSNBC's Al Sharpton went one step further and called the story "half truths and innuendo."  What exactly isn't true?  No one can say.

It is interesting to note that the Romney campaign had no moral qualms with the zero truth and all innuendo attempt to attribute a John McCain quote about the economy to President Obama in the first TV ad of their campaign.  We're still waiting for Romney's "apology" on that one.

One wonders if the traditional media would be so kind to a Democratic candidate who had twice employed a former Ku Klux Klan slogan against his African-American opponent?  One doesn't really wonder at all.  The Republicans and Fox News would be having a field day, and the traditional media would dutifully report the he-said-she-said.  (It's also interesting to note that MSNBC's apology didn't seem to have a problem with Romney implying that President Obama was a socialist in the same paragraph in which Romney used the former Klan slogan.  IOKIYAR, apparently.)

Or is this really about the fact that a mere "blogger," as MSNBC repeatedly referred to me (who has a JD from Georgetown and used to write for the Economist, thank you) is behind this story, added to the fact that Romney scared the bejeesus out of the network?

You can read our original story here.  And about MSNBC's apology for reporting the truth here.

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