Joan Walsh and Jamilah Lemieux

Joan Walsh and Jamilah Lemieux

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, changed America, and Sen. Ted Cruz says it changed him.

That has the talkers at MSNBC beside themselves with scorn and MSNBC issuing an apology.

Interviewed Tuesday on CBS Good Morning, the announced candidate for president was asked about his musical tastes.

“I grew up listening to classic rock, and I’ll tell you sort of an odd story,” Cruz offered.

“My music tastes changed on 9/11.

“And it’s a very strange … I actually intellectually find this very curious. But on 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’s just a gut-level … I had an emotional reaction that said, These are my people.

“And so ever since 2001 I listen to country music, but I’m a non-country-music fan because I didn’t listen to it prior to 2001.”

But Cruz’s conversion to country music didn’t sit well with MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh and Ebony Magazine senior editor Jamilah Lemieux.

Appearing with MSNBC host Ari Melber the pair was asked for their reaction to Cruz’s comments.

“Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music,” said Lemieux sarcastically.

“Fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia … someone who obviously doesn’t want to be a polarizing candidate, he wants to bring people together. I mean, really? That’s absurd.”

“What an idiot,” chimed in Walsh. “Can you say pandering? … He’s not talking to people like us, so it’s fine. He knows who he’s pandering to, but I can’t believe it’s going to work with country fans, God bless them.”

It was up to former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was also a panelist, to answer the scoffers.

“I believe you’re absolutely right, Joan, he’s not talking to you. … I think what he was trying to say, however awkward that it came out, was that country music sort of captured that moment for him. It sort of expressed what he felt. It expressed his idea of America at this time of terrorism, and that resonated with him. I don’t make much more of it than that,” said Steele, suggesting Walsh and Lemieux were “overthinking” it.

Several segments later, Melber made an on-air apology for Lemieux’s comment: “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.”

It’s not the first time others have had to apologize for Lemieux.

Lemieux was widely criticized last year after she slammed remarks by Raffi Williams, a RNC press secretary who does youth outreach for the GOP, with a tweet: “Oh great, here comes a white dude telling me how to do this black thing. Pass.”

Social media exploded after Williams was identified as black, resulting in Ebony issuing a statement, apoligizing to Williams for “Lemieux’s lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account.”

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