Is Joy Reid trying to earn herself a Fake News Award?
The MSNBC host received bipartisan censuring this week for a tweet that falsely accused a conservative columnist of claiming he would be willing to risk nuclear war if it would only affect minorities and Democrats.
Reid took aim at National Review contributor David French, whose Monday post reflected on Saturday’s false ballistic missile alert in Hawaii and called on Americans to make preparations for survival in the event of an attack.
In the piece, French urged readers to “prepare to live,” rather than spending crucial pre-strike moments bidding farewell to loved ones.
“First, you have to understand that the odds are overwhelming that you’ll survive an initial blast,” French wrote. “Nuclear weapons are devastating, but it’s a Hollywood myth that any individual strike will vaporize an entire American city, much less the suburbs and countryside.”
The National Review regular noted that “[a] strike would devastate central Honolulu but leave many suburbs intact.”
Some outlets misrepresented French’s point. A Newsweek/Raw Story article focused on the fact that in the 2016 election, President Trump beat Clinton in the suburbs and rural areas–the places French said would be less affected in a nuclear strike against a major US city.
Reid apparently went by such second-hand accounts rather than the source piece when she excoriated the conservative commentator.
“We have truly entered the age of insanity when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, ‘don’t worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities’” Reid wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Shame on you @DavidAFrench.”
French himself responded, slamming the tweet as “misleading and ridiculous.”
In the annals of misleading and ridiculous tweets, this takes the cake:
1. I did not argue in favor of risking nuclear war.
2. I never said anything like the words in those quotes.
3. I wrote only in favor of prepping for bad events.
Other than that, the tweet’s great. https://t.co/oWpXdnjOpD
— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 17, 2018
Earlier tonight @JoyAnnReid smeared me. She made things up. She claimed I said things I never said and never would say. Can she really believe I’m ok with nuclear war if it kills Democrats and minorities? https://t.co/O0wybIRX9i
— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 18, 2018
Yashar Ali of the Huffington Post criticized the MSNBC host for her “unfair characterization.”
This is not what @DavidAFrench's says – this is a totally unfair characterization of his column. And frankly I'm not surprised your framing has come from Newsweek which is an embarrassment.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 17, 2018
Fellow National Review writer Jim Geraghty also called Reid out.
Does anyone around Joy Reid have the courage to say to her, "that was dishonest, and you shouldn't have done that"? Not a single person?
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) January 18, 2018
Other Twitter users piled on to mock Reid.
I know what Joy Reid was responding to — and shame on her. When you have a vast following, vast fan base, you have responsibility to check out a clickbait piece to see whether it reflects reality. Shame on you, Joy Reid. Shame on you. You smeared David French, a good man.
— Amy Alkon (@amyalkon) January 18, 2018
Shame on YOU, Joy Reid, for lying about what David French wrote. Perhaps your comprehension skill and cognative reasoning skills are lacking. Even worse you may be illiterate.
— Patrick M. Barnett (@PatrickMBarnett) January 18, 2018
Unhinged Joy Reid stoops to more lies, like blaming the Pacific Command for the Hawaii missile warning. This article by French has nothing to do with Dems or minorities. Shame on YOU, you vile propagandist.
— David Mayze (@DavidMayze) January 18, 2018
I like Joy Reid, but she does have a habit of not correcting herself, in this case when she’s plainly misread French’s article to maximize political effect.
— James R. Brennan (@jamesrbrennantz) January 18, 2018
It’s insane. It’s also incredibly embarrassing for @JoyAnnReid because it shows that she can’t even bother actually reading something before rushing out with some vapid, race-baiting response.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 18, 2018
Following the vehement response, Reid walked back on her condemnation of French, calling her take on the article “off track.”
Taking back my take on this take – the @rawstory writeup doesn't reflect @DavidAFrench's intent and I think @Aunty__Em would probably agree. David and I disagree on almost everything, but my take on this was off track. https://t.co/YARwfhRNRE
— Joy-Ann Pro-Democracy & Masks Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) January 18, 2018
Reid may have missed the cutoff date for President Trump’s Fake News Awards, but if she keeps this up she’ll be a shoe-in for next year.