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MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Apologizes for Using Faked Photos of Sarah Palin

MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan apologized on Monday for using photoshopped images of Sarah Palin firing a gun while wearing a bikini. The pictures, which were first brought to light on NewsBusters, appeared during a November 13 segment on the former governor and also included a doctored photo of the Republican in a black mini-skirt.

The Morning Meeting host explained, "I want to apologize to Governor Palin and all of our viewers. On Friday, in a very misguided attempt to have some fun in advance of Sarah Palin's upcoming book Going Rogue, our staff mistakenly used some clearly photoshopped images of Ms. Palin without any acknowledgment."

Calling the use of such faked images "unacceptable," Ratigan continued: "We should have never used those photos in the first place and you can rest assured we spent the weekend and Friday afternoon taking measures to make sure it will never happen again. I apologize."

It's encouraging that Ratigan promptly apologized, especially given that many on his own network criticized Fox News' Sean Hannity for taking video images from the 9/12 health care protest and then portraying the footage as from a more recent tea party event. (Hannity quickly noted the error on-air.)

[Thanks to MRC intern Mike Sargent for the video.]

A transcript of the November 16 apology, which aired at 9:18am EST, follows:

DYLAN RATIGAN: Before we begin this one, I want to apologize to Governor Palin and all of our viewers. On Friday, in a very misguided attempt to have some fun in advance of Sarah Palin's upcoming book Going Rogue, our staff mistakenly used some clearly photoshopped images of Ms. Palin without any acknowledgment. And on behalf of the show, I would like to say that this was completely unacceptable. We should have never used those photos in the first place and you can rest assured we spent the weekend and Friday afternoon taking measures to make sure it will never happen again. I apologize.

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.