MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apologized Nov. 7 for commenting during the 2012 Presidential Election coverage that he was “glad” about Hurricane Sandy “because of its impact on this national campaign,” Mediaite reported.
Matthews’ original comments were:
“I’m so glad we had that storm last week, because I think that storm was one of those things … No, politically, I should say, not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
In his apology, Matthews commented, “It was a terrible thing to say, period.”
Matthews said on air that his comments were “not just stupid but wrong,” according to Mediaite, which posted a video clip of Matthews’ apology. He added that
“I said something that suggested ends justify means. Something I have never believed in my life and even thinking that way I think is an immoral way to live your life.”
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noted that Matthews also tweeted about his comments. Matthews tweeted in part that “obviously I wasn’t talking about the horror of the storm” and that “To clarify – I was thrilled at the cooperation between the President and state officials that made the country proud. Great bipartisanship.”
iMediaEthics wrote last year when Matthews apologized to Mitt Romney and his campaign for MSNBC’s wrongly reporting Romney was using a KKK slogan.
Also during the election coverage, NBC’s Brian Williams commented on air about a “rogue retweet” claiming that NBC had “somehow called the Massachusetts Senate race” when he said “we did nothing of the sort” yet. (Elizabeth Warren was later named the winner.)
Ezra Klein, for one, tweeted his “apologies” and noted he “got taken in by a Twitter rumor.”
Politico reported that an NBC spokesperson, Erika Masonhall, said “NBC never reported it and no tweet came from an official account…We caught the incorrect tweets and quickly reached out from NBC News and MSNBC to have the secondary sources correct their information.”
“CORRECTION: @NBCNews has not projected a winner in the MA Senate race. Apologies for the error.”
When NBC News did later name Warren the winner, the Daily Intel tweeted that out as well, writing “NBC News calls Massachusetts Senate race for Elizabeth Warren. We’re sure this time.”
Poynter’s Craig SIlverman pointed to Buzzfeed’s timeline of events in the misinformation. Buzzfeed traced the wrong report to the Twitter account for the Center for American Progress Action Fund that BuzzFeed said the center posted at 8:51 “NBC news is calling #MA Senate race for Elizabeth Warren (D).”
iMediaEthics has written to the Center for American Progress Action Fund asking if it issued a correction, where its information came from and if it has any response to BuzzFeed’s reporting. We’ll update with any comments.