Kilmeade doesn’t sound especially sorry

KILMEADE DOESN’T SOUND ESPECIALLY SORRY…. On Friday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade felt compelled to share his unique perspective on religion and terrorism: “[A] certain group of people attacked us on 9/11, it wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

That is, of course, both ridiculous and offensive, and had the makings of a Rick Sanchez Moment. It was made worse when Kilmeade returned to the subject on his Fox News Radio show, insisting once again, “Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim. You can’t avoid that fact.”

Media Matters asked, “What does Brian Kilmeade have to say to get fired?” Apparently, quite a bit more. This morning, Kilmeade told viewers, “On the show on Friday, I was talking about Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on ‘The View,’ and I said this: ‘Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.’ Well, I misspoke. I don’t believe all terrorists are Muslims. I’m sorry about that, if I offended or offended or hurt anybody’s feelings. But that’s it.”

The “that’s it” declaration seems to be Kilmeade’s way of saying, “I’m not Rick Sanchez.”

If you watch Kilmeade’s “apology,” such as it is, this wasn’t exactly a sincere expression of regret. Indeed, claiming he “misspoke” is silly, given that Kilmeade made the comment, then repeated it hours later, insisting that his misguided, intolerant analysis is a “fact.”

Nevertheless, it’s a reminder not only of Fox News’ imaginary professional principles, but also of the competing standards. This is a network that tolerates religious bigotry on the air, just so long as it’s target at certain faith traditions.

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Steve Benen

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.