MSNBC's Hayes Retracts Claim Whites More Likely to Commit Interracial Murder

Media Research CenterOn the Monday, July 29, All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes had to make a retraction for incorrectly citing statistics on Friday suggesting that a higher percentage of black murder victims are murdered by whites than the percentage of white murder victims killed by blacks.

Hayes had used the incorrect numbers as he mocked FNC's Bill O'Reilly for his recent commentary which dealt in part with black-on-black crime. On Friday's show, the MSNBC host had erroneously declared:

Well, now, O'Reilly's argument is that fear of black men is justified by the risk they pose. Well, here's some data that prompts the question, who should be more scared of whom? In 2010, according to the FBI's expanded homicide statistics, 8 percent of all white people murdered were murdered by black people. While 14 percent of all black people murdered that year were murdered by white people.

After recounting that many more white Americans die from various other causes than are murdered by black Americans, he mockingly concluded:

In other words, Bill O'Reilly, you have more reason to be afraid of your own swimming pool than any young black man you see in a hoodie.

It did not seem to occur to Hayes that the same logic could be applied to the likelihood of a black American being killed by a white American, thus undermining his disproportionate obsession with Trayvon Martin's death.

On Monday's show, Hayes had to correct himself, although he doubled down on his mockery of O'Reilly. Hayes:

On Friday night in our discussion of statistics about race and crime, I mistakenly inverted two numbers. In situations in which we know the race of the offender in a murder which is a relatively small subset, 14 percent of white victims were killed by black offenders in 2010, while 8 percent of black victims were killed by white offenders. On Friday, I said the reverse.

He then added:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center