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MSNBC Apologizes After Guest Implies Country Music Is About Killing Muslims

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MSNBC issued an on-air apology after a guest made offensive remarks about country music during an interview on NOW With Alex Wagner.

The panel was discussing Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who recently announced his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election. During a round of appearances to promote his announcement, Cruz told CBS This Morning that he became a country music fan after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“My music taste changed on 9/11,” he said. “And it’s a very strange … I actually find this very curious, but 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded, and country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me, and I have to say it, just as a gut level, I had an emotional reaction that says, ‘These are my people.’”

Jamilah Lemieux is a New York-based writer and social critic and the Senior Editor of Ebony.com. “Nothing says, ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music, fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia,” she remarked on NOW. “Someone who obviously does not want to be a polarizing candidate, he wants to bring people together, I mean — really? That’s absurd.”

Panelists Joan Walsh and Michael Steele laughed at her remarks, but guest host Ari Melber tried to mitigate the tone of the conversation, saying, “Well, I mean there’s plenty of country music that doesn’t have that message, right?”

After the segment was over, Melber returned to the air to offer viewers a formal apology for the tone of the discussion, saying, “We have a programming note. A few minutes ago on this show, a guest made a comment about country music. That comment was not appropriate, and we want to be clear this network does not condone it.”

What do you think of Lemieux’s remarks? Sound off in the comments section below.

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