Monday morning nooses were found hanging in trees around the Mississippi state capitol. A local news channel posted photos of two of the nooses and the Associated Press wrote a story about the discovery:

A Mississippi official says two nooses and six signs were found on the grounds of the Mississippi state Capitol.

Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol, says the nooses and signs were found Monday morning shortly before 8 a.m. on the south side of the Capitol grounds.

He says the matter is under investigation, and he did not immediately know what was on the signs.

Here’s a photo of the first two nooses that were initially discovered. Eventually, five more were found:

At some point the AP published a revised version of the story which noted that the source of the nooses was unknown:

It was not immediately known who put the nooses up or why. Mississippi is preparing for a U.S. Senate runoff Tuesday between Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in a contest that has increasingly taken on racial overtones.

Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol, said the nooses and signs were found shortly before 8 a.m. Monday on the south side of the Capitol in downtown Jackson.

He said the matter is under investigation by the Mississippi Capitol Police, and he did not immediately know what was on the signs.

But while the AP was covering its bases, most people commenting on the incident seemed to think it was pretty clear who was responsible, i.e. some hate group trying to intimidate people. The state’s governor, Phil Bryant, issued a statement saying he had called in the FBI to help find the person or persons responsible: “The perpetrators of this act will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I have contacted the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance.” U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst issued a statement saying in part, “With our law enforcement partners, we are actively looking into these acts of hate and intimidation. Let me be perfectly clear – there is absolutely no place in our state for these unacceptable symbols or tactics to intimidate others.” Meanwhile, the Associated Press put out this video clip with multiple photos of the nooses and no commentary:

So what was on those “hate signs?” Well, it turned out they contained messages referring to the state’s history of lynchings and also direct references to the election. One of the signs read, “On Tuesday November 27 thousands of Mississippians will vote for a Senator. We need someone who respects lives of lynch victims.” Another sign read, “We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed.” A third sign referenced leaders giving “honest apologies.”

All of this seems to be in reference to a comment made by Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith who earlier this month said, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” She has since apologized for the comment

In other words, the nooses and the “hate signs” were all a stunt designed to get attention for a progressive political message on the eve of an election. This is the far left’s idea of a voter guide. Here are photos of four of the signs:

Why didn’t the news channel which released photos of the nooses also releases photos of the signs at the same time? That’s the question that needs to be answered. In watching one of the early local news reports on this story, I noticed that it was Capitol police who refused to show the signs while the investigation was ongoing. Given the content, that seems like a poor decision.

Whoever placed the signs and nooses must be thrilled with how all of this worked out. They did their best to identify themselves with the signs but still got several hours in which the nooses were assumed by many to be the work of some right-wing hate group running rampant. The station that initially published the photos, the Associated Press, and the Capitol police didn’t do a great job explaining what had actually happened here in a timely manner.

Update: MSNBC host still needs help telling the truth about what happened here.