Chris Hayes Apologizes for Tagging George Wallace As Republican: A ‘Stupid, Inexcusable, Historically Illiterate Mistake’

The laziness from the folks at NBC News has reached a new low for their sister network MSNBC. On Tuesday June 11, All In w/ Chris Hayes featured an on-screen graphic labeling arch-segregationist Governor George Wallace (D-Ala.) as a Republican. Alerted to the error via Twitter, Hayes apologized this morning.

In a segment marking the 50th anniversary of Governor Wallace personally attempting to block two black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama, host Chris Hayes showed 50-year-old video of Wallace opposing integration, his name appearing onscreen tagged with (R) denoting him as a Republican. Hayes’ analysis of Wallace was correct, labeling him “obviously the villain in this story” but the sloppiness at the “Lean Forward” network minimizes his important point by falsely allowing his already liberal audience to believe Gov. Wallace was a Republican, when in fact he was a Democrat. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]

To be fair, Hayes probably does not oversee every on-screen graphic decision made and might have been unaware of the error made. To his credit, Hayes issued the following apology via Twitter, responding to a Mediaite story:

This was a stupid, inexcusable, historically illiterate mistake. I should have caught it and apologize for failing to.

We expect he will follow up with an on-air apology tonight as well, but that remains to be seen.

From now on, MSNBC needs to be careful about monitoring what graphics it chooses to air, and Denis Horgan, Executive Producer of All In, should do a better job of monitoring his shows before slamming Republicans as racist, even erroneously.


See relevant transcript below.


All in w/ Chris Hayes

June 11, 2013

8:01 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES: But we begin tonight with this man. Former Alabama Governor George Wallace who 50 years ago today made his infamous stand in the schoolhouse door. A principled stand on behalf of evil. In defiance of the United States Justice Department, Governor George Wallace stood outside the University of Alabama personally blocking two black students from enrolling there.

GEORGE WALLACE: I stand here today as governor of this sovereign state and refuse to willingly submit to the illegal usurpation of power by the central government.

HAYES: Today, 50 years later when we look back on that moment on June 11th, 1963, we can tell very clearly the heroes from the villains. George Wallace was obviously the villain in this story.

Race Issues Racism MSNBC All In Chris Hayes George Wallace

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