Is there anything a left-wing activist can do to fail in media? Using Joy Reid as the standard gives us an indication. Reid, who hosts her own MSNBC show, has long been a point of frustration and baffled awe of conservative media commentators. As Bre Payton pointed out back in 2018, Reid has a knack for getting away with things no one on the right side of the political spectrum could dream of.
Many Americans are aware of her homophobic remarks she claimed a hacker wrote on her old blog, as well as her support for Iran’s antisemitic proposal to move Israel to Europe and her sharing of 9/11 truther information. Nevertheless, this coming spring, Reid will be teaching journalism students about race and gender in media reporting at Howard University in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film as a visiting professor. Her focus will be on the “racial roots of journalistic objectivity vs. fairness,” disinformation in media, and black voters.
On teaching a course on how race and gender affect political coverage, Reid remarked, “Particularly in this era of virtual media, and deep partisanship and political division, it’s never been more important that journalists incorporate a thorough and honest historical context in our coverage.” When considering Reid’s actual commentary and journalism, this plays out like a parody.
Discussing the upcoming Georgia runoff election recently, Reid went on an unhinged rant about GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. She accused them, without any basis whatsoever, of exploiting the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for empty politics.
This, she argued, was true for “all GOPers,” as though any time a Republican honors King’s legacy it is shallow and hypocritical. She justified this with an ongoing, but completely unfounded, argument of voter suppression against black and minority voters. To boot, she has also argued that a Democrat will never get a majority of white voters.
Another one of her recent tirades focused on President Trump’s rally in Georgia, which she asserted was simply done to rile up racist Republican voters who “can’t believe blacks of all people are allowed to vote and elect a president.” This, of course, ignores the fact that about 8 percent of black voters (18 percent of black male voters) supported President Trump in the 2020 election.
A so-called journalist who will be focusing on race in political reporting should probably not be making such bold and defamatory accusations against an entire political party.
Continuing this thread of misinformation designed to fuel hatred and bigotry, Reid went on a long lecture on how the cause of the massive rioting the country witnessed over the last year were white nationalists, “unleashed at night.” Blaming Trump, she detailed her conspiracy theory that armed white nationalists were targeting peaceful Black Lives Matter protests to “scare fellow white people” into supporting the president.
“It’s an old, tried and true strategy: using fear and anti-blackness for politics,” she claimed, again without evidence. There is absolutely nothing to support such a ridiculous hallucination. In a weird contradiction of these claims, she also publicly praised two violent rioters who attacked Kyle Rittenhouse, calling them “brave young men,” and shared a story claiming Trump was fomenting “deadly violence” and “ethnic cleansing” in defending Rittenhouse.
Demonstrating her hypocrisy and continuing the conspiracy theory that white nationalists were behind the Black Lives Matter rioting, Reid attempted to shame Republicans for not condemning threats made against election workers in Georgia; The White House did so the next day.
When Sen. Lindsey Graham was threatened by opinion journalist Jimmy Williams if he pushed forward a Supreme Court nomination this past September, with Williams saying “I will do everything I can to destroy you,” Reid promoted his tweet, saying, “The knives are out, y’all. Here we go…”
Joy tweeted in support of protests at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offices in Kentucky and DC saying, “The masses are moving. Republicans won’t steal RBG’s seat painlessly.” This as prominent left-wing activists and organizations were surrounding the homes of Republicans in “protests” to intimidate them over the Supreme Court seat. Outrage over political intimidation is selective for Reid, it would seem.
Because it was developed during the Trump era, and in light of historic medical injustices against the black community, Reid has even perpetuated distrust of the coming COVID vaccine.
"To often, science has been a tool of white supremacy." @DrChrisMD says 'it's not the responsibility of the community to suddenly have trust but it's responsibility of the academic medical complex, health care more broadly to demonstrate trustworthiness.'#thereidout pic.twitter.com/kUCXojYkmC
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) December 1, 2020
So, yes, Reid is a profoundly reckless and irresponsible activist who engages in openly racist arguments. Whether she is spreading false information about voter suppression and other conspiracy theories, spreading racism, hatred and bigotry against Republicans or others based exclusively on their skin color, or engaging in open activism and partisanship, Reid is one of the last people working in the legacy media today who should be teaching journalism students anything, let alone about honesty and integrity.
Despite all this, she received the 2016 Women’s Media Center Journalism award and was offered the prominent MSNBC nightly anchor slot formerly held by Chris Matthews. Even after ignoring calls to apologize for an Islamophobic comment, in left-wing circles she is still praised, not for her work but solely for what she looks like.
Associate professor and former CNN producer Jennifer Thomas cheered Reid’s newest recognition “as the only Black woman to anchor a prime-time news show on any major network.” It seems, once again, for the left all that matters is what you look like and what you represent, not integrity, reliability, or anything resembling honesty in media.