On Tuesday, several left-of-center Facebook friends linked posts from a left-wing blog contending that Mitt Romney had adopted a Ku Klux Klan slogan to guide his presidential campaign. Quickly as charges leveled against conservatives and Republicans on such blogs are wont to do, that allegation was soon repeated unexamined on such news outlets as The Washington Post and on MSNBC.
By Thursday, even the New York Times was reporting that Mr. Romney had not indeed repeated the KKK slogan:
MSNBC apparently did not contact the Romney campaign for comment before it briefly reported on Wednesday morning that “you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the K.K.K. group.” The anchor credited AMERICAblog; the graphic on the screen read, “Romney’s KKK Slogan?”
Conservative blogs called out MSNBC for the report, and when executives at MSNBC and NBC News saw that, they were disturbed that the blog’s observation was reported as fact, without any added reporting. In a statement on Wednesday evening MSNBC said its report was “irresponsible and incendiary” and “showed an appalling lack of judgment.” A Romney campaign spokeswoman said it was pleased that MSNBC had “issued a correction and apology.”
The Washington Post also issued an apology on Thursday for factual mistakes in its blog post about the phrase. The correction stated that it “should have contacted the Romney campaign for comment before publication.”
Via Instapundit. Emphasis added. Fascinating the alacrity of such supposedly non-partisan purveyors of the news to pick up stories from left-wing blogs — and to repeat them without contacting the conservative criticized.