Ahead of Fox News’ scheduled airing of disparaging comments he made about Barack Obama in a private conversation, Rev. Jesse Jackson has already issued an apology for what some are describing as shockingly inflammatory remarks about the presumptive Democratic nominee.

So what did Jesse Jackson say that has stirred up so much controversy?

Among the comments Jesse Jackson reportedly made about Sen. Barack Obama was his assessment that the Illinois senator was ‘cutting off his nuts with black people’ and guilty of ‘talking down to black folks’.

Other media outlets report Jackson saying he would like to ‘cut [Obama's] nuts off,’ though the exact wording of his mistakenly overheard commentary still remains unclear.

Jackson is now backpedaling from those off the record remarks which he told CNN he didn’t realise were being captured by the live microphone of a Fox News reporter.

“For any harm or hurt that this hot-mic private conversation may have caused, I apologise,” Jackson said in a written statement.

“My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”

According to Fox News, which has exclusive access to the recording of Jackson’s comments about Sen. Obama, Jackson’s rant referenced Obama’s speeches in black churches.

By way of explanation, Jackson said he was trying to emphasise that Obama’s moral message should “not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy.”

Jackson also told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he doesn’t remember exactly what he said Sunday but that he was “very sorry” for his comments about Obama.

He called his comments “a side light in a broader conversation about urban disparities.”

Fox News is scheduled to air the comments in full at 8PM ET tonight on The O’Reilly Factor.

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