FOX NEWS SURE IS TOUCHY…. As part of its New Years broadcast this week, Fox News viewers were invited to send in messages that were then added to the network’s on-screen crawl at the bottom of the screen. Presumably, someone at the network was checking the text to make sure FNC didn’t air anything too offensive, but that didn’t stop Fox News from broadcasting one message that said, “[L]et’s hope the Magic Negro does a good job.”

Yesterday, a network official responded to the incident.

Fox News VP of programming Suzanne Scott explains, “We received tens of thousands of text message submissions during our New Years Eve special, and this particular viewer submission was inadvertently cleared for air. At FOX we recognize our error as opposed to networks who allow their hosts to utter crude vulgarities to the public.”

It’s an interesting response for a couple reasons. First, as Matt Corley noted, it’s harder to accept these “accidents” given Fox News’ history of “allowing racially-charged language aimed at Obama and his family to make it on air and then claiming it was simply a mistake.”

Second is that “as opposed to” line from Suzanne Scott. Fox News can’t just admit it made a mistake; it has to take shots at its competitors. It’s a like a child who gets caught screwing up, and whose first instinct is to point to some other kid and say, “Yeah, but he screwed up, too.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.