- Political analyst and host on MSNBC
- Views Republicans and conservatives as racists
- Views America as a nation replete with white racism
Born on December 8, 1968, Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst for MSNBC, where she has hosted the weekend program AM Joy since 2016 and frequently serves as a substitute for other MSNBC hosts. She is also a columnist for The Daily Beast.
During the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, Reid was the Florida deputy communications director for America Coming Together. In 2008 she was a press aide for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in Florida.
Portraying Conservatives & Republicans As Evil & Racist
In Reid’s opinion, conservatives are inherently racist, sexist, and insensitive to the needs of nonwhite minorities and the poor. When the Supreme Court in April 2014 upheld a Michigan voter initiative banning the use of race as a factor in that state’s public university admissions policies, Reid stated: “If this court has a central narrative, it could be that those who have held the advantage for most of this country’s history deserve to have it back if they can find the legislative or political means to take it back.… [T]he courts with conservative majority have a novel means of explaining why they feel duty-bound to side with the haves and the have mores. Time has passed, they say. And unless discrimination is violent and obvious and in-your-face, it’s gone. Past and over. That’s something only the privileged could believe.”
During her coverage of the Republican National Convention in July 2016, Reid reported that virtually every speech at that event had a “subtext … that brown people are dangerous.” “There was a lot of really angry rhetoric,” she added, “a lot of talk about murder and death and tying it all back to immigrants…. If you’re a person of color, this is a weird place to be.”
When a deranged gunman who had served as a volunteer for Bernie Sanders‘s 2016 presidential campaign shot and wounded Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others on June 14, 2017 in Virginia, Reid, in an interview with Protestant minister William Barber, wondered aloud whether people should temporarily refrain from criticizing Scalise’s past actions and positions, which she considered repugnant: “Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race. He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn’t know what it was. He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage [exclusively as a union] between a man and a woman. He voted for the House health care bill, which … would gut health care for millions of people…. And he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons…. Are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?”
In October 2017, after White House chief-of-staff John Kelly — a retired U.S. Marine Corps General — accused Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson, an African-American, of having misrepresented the tenor of President Donald Trump’s recent phone conversation with the grieving mother of a black American soldier who had been killed during active duty, Reid posted a tweet criticizing Kelly for his “segregated Boston upbringing and dehumanization of a black woman.”
In a November 2017 Daily Beast piece titled “As We Rethink Old Harassers, Let’s Talk About Clarence Thomas,” Reid classified Thomas — whom Antia Hill had accused of sexual harassment in 1991 — as well as President Trump as “predacious men” and “sexual raptors armed with immense power.”
In January 2018, Reid grossly mischaracterized the position of National Review’s David French, who had recently written: “[E]ven if a nuclear weapon as big as the largest North Korea has ever tested were to impact squarely on Manhattan, the vast majority of New Yorkers would survive the initial blast. A strike would devastate central Honolulu but leave many suburbs intact. If the missile misses a city center even by a small amount, the number of initial casualties plunges dramatically.” In response to those remarks, Reid – noting that both Hawaii and New York City were heavily Democratic and mostly nonwhite – inferred that French was in essence saying that such an attack would amount to nothing more than a temporary inconvenience from which the country as a whole could recover quite well. “We have truly entered the age of insanity,” she tweeted, “when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, ‘don’t worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities.” French responded that Reid’s interpretation of his words was “not only antithetical to my deepest beliefs,” but was also “directly contradicted by two long pieces I’ve written that were specifically intended to highlight the horrific risks of an all-out conflict with North Korea.”
On November 25, 2018, Reid invited her television guests to name a Democratic ticket that might be able to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. When TheBeatDC.com co-founder Tiffany Cross asserted that “Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey” could “beat Donald Trump by a landslide,” Reid opined that America’s inherent racism would prevent the pair from winning such an election: “[W]e know racially-polarized voting is a real thing, and people will say they’ll vote for Oprah until she’s actually on the ballot.”
In June 2019, Reid appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program to promote her new book, The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story. When co-anchor Willie Geist asked her what the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” meant to her, Reid replied:
“I hear make America a country that, in the 1950s, meant white Christian men had dominion over everyone else. That’s exactly what it means when I hear it. It’s George Wallace. He’s just Republican George Wallace, and that message has been resonant and actually has been potent for a very long time. David Duke used that message when he ran for governor of Louisiana; George Wallace obviously used it and he had a pretty good chunk of the — at the time the Democratic Party. Richard Nixon used it. It’s a common message because you just do have a certain quarter, maybe a third of the country that does not like the idea that we’re becoming a more multiracial society. Where women have a lot of asserted rights and where they’re not on top.
Later in the same interview, Reid claimed that the only black people whom Trump saw as his equals were wealthy celebrities: “Donald Trump has two kinds of visions of black people: one, celebrities and sports stars that he wants to be around. And two, every other black person that he thinks is beneath him.”
In an August 2019 appearance on AM Joy, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson said the following about Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “This is the guy who is singularly responsible … for bringing down any functional republic — not the dimwit [Trump] who is in the White House right now, not the people who are working with him. It was Mitch McConnell who knew the rules and broke them in order to push forward a white nationalist agenda….” Reid agreed, speculating that McConnell was trying to ruin the country for nonwhite minorities before their inevitable rise to political power in the near future:
“Absolutely. You know, somebody said to me this week, I thought was so smart, that it’s almost as if Mitch McConnell’s plan is that they know the demographics are what they are, and that the only way they’re willing to hand power to the non-white majority in this country ever is if the country is completely a shell and broke, and they’ll hand them the broken pieces and keep all the wealth for themselves…. I have this old set of New York Times front covers….to show how benign the coverage was even in the 1930s as the world was about to burn down in World War II. And the just sort of benign things, you know, it’s like a tick of wanting to see world leaders — in that case of Germany — they just want to see them as normal, and I don’t know where that comes from, but it is really — and I think it wouldn’t be so if those leaders were not white men, I have to say.”
In a December 2020 with Michael Eric Dyson, Reid accused Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of having “used the filibuster prodigiously against President Obama” as a way of saying, “You can’t even put anybody on the federal court. You don’t have the right. You’re not a real president.” “I feel like Mitch McConnell is just as center [sic] to the sort of diminution of Black life that we’ve seen over the last 10 years as Trump,” she added.
- “Rush Limbaugh died today at the age of 70 from the complications of lung cancer. And I would argue that he is among the three people in recent American history who had the most influence in building the modern Republican Party. None of whom are named Reagan or Bush. This is a party that was built by right-wing media, by Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh. They influenced the way Republicanism and conservatism sound and the way it attacks its opponents, and what generations of self-described conservatives think.”
- “The idea of injecting chaos and sexism, manipulation, racism, and dirty tricks directly into the artery of the Republican Party, bloodying people up, rather than faking compassionate conservatism and trying to get crossover votes, that ultimately would become the defining feature of Republican politics. Rush ultimately got his way. Rush Limbaugh reached millions of listeners via his golden microphone with his shows airing in small stations out in rural America that even Fox News couldn’t reach. Hardening rural white listeners and weaponizing white male grievance I would listen to him, and his show, And what I heard was a guy who took white Americans out there in the hinterlands and fed them a narrative of, ‘You’re the victim, no, no, you’re the victim. Don’t feel like there’s any privileges coming to you. You’re the victim. The black people, the brown people, the women, the feminazis, they’re taking things from you.’ And it kept people so hyper and amped up, that he then was able to turn that into politics.”
- “You know, just like Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh was this rich, privileged guy, never missed a meal, never had a problem, you know, financially, but who also kind of broke the Republican Party from the whole moral majority idea. You know, multiple marriages, they set it aside. The drug addiction issues, they set it — every kind of moral underpinning that Republicans claimed, he said, nah, forget all of that stuff. All you want to do is own the libs. Own the libs every day. And he was mad at the Republican Party for a long time that they wouldn’t do it. And finally, they not only did it, but elected his doppelgänger to be President.”
On March 3, 2021, Reid tweeted: “I’ll say it again: people on the right would trade all the tax cuts for the ability to openly say the n-word like in ‘the good old days.’ To them, not being able to be openly racist and discriminatory without consequence is oppression. Trump is the avatar for this ‘freedom.’”
That same day, Reid said that Republican-majority states like Texas and Mississippi had decided to end their mask mandates vis-a-vis the coronavirus pandemic because of the selfish impulses of white residents in those states: “There is a term called ‘necropolitics,’ which is essentially the politics of who gets to live and who gets to die, and these states, what they have in common is that they have structures which say that black and brown lives matter less. And so all that matters is that black and brown people get their behinds into the factory and make me my streaks, make me my stuff, get there and do my nails, work, get back to work now and do the things that I, the comfortable affluent person, need. Isn’t that what we’re seeing in states like Texas?”
Condemning What She Views As Widespread White Racism, Supremacy, & Privilege
In a May 2018 opinion piece, Reid articulated her belief that white people’s sense of racial supremacy and privilege continues to be a ubiquitous and deadly threat to black Americans. That white mindset, she explained, manifested itself in a wide variety of ways:
“If you’re black or brown in America and you’re lucky, it’s these small acts that stay with you, like a residual cough after a cold. It’s the clerk who persistently follows you through the store, as if you couldn’t possibly be simply browsing (even as your sister’s kleptomaniac, albeit white, former friend walked among store shelves unmolested.) It’s the college recruiter who sits just across from you for a half hour at the Village Inn, lifting her eyes at every young white girl who walks in the door, while you set a mental timer to see how long it will take her to ask if you are the student she’s looking for.
“It’s the waiter with the sour expression who takes so long to come to your table it would appear he doesn’t see you and your party at all, only to snap to it when a white friend arrives and joins the table. It’s the cab drivers, often brown themselves, who switch off their ready light, click their door locks and speed past you to pick up the white person on a nearby corner. It’s the job that was available until you showed up, or the apartment, or the loan. Or the ‘compliment’ on your natural hair that’s doubles as a gentle reminder that straightening it might look more presentable.
“If you’re unlucky, though, that residual racial cough becomes a full-body fever that won’t go away. In this case it’s the cop who pulls you over for a minor traffic violation and then stands warily outside the driver’s side door with his hand hovering over his gun. And it’s the deep ache in the pit of your stomach that starts every time you see red and blue flashing lights closing in behind you thereafter, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s the time you called 911 because you heard a noise in your house but were more afraid after the police arrived — and seemed to be searching your home for weed or guns instead of for a burglar.
“And if you’re really unlucky, you’ve had the cops called on you for just being in a public space where a white person thought you didn’t belong. And in the worst-case scenario, you or someone you love doesn’t walk away from that interaction alive, whether because of the police or just some random civilian armed with a gun. Just ask the parents of Trayvon Martin.”
In the same piece, Reid proceeded to expand upon this theme, writing:
“To be white in America is to assume, with total self-confidence and little afterthought, the personal ownership of public spaces. To be white in America is to have the confidence to say, without a second thought: this space, this neighborhood, this city, this county, this country is mine. Myself and those who look like me have the right to decide who can be here, and even what language can be spoken here….
“From the moment black and brown people were imported into this country, not as citizens but as worker bodies, transgressing these ‘white-owned spaces’ — from rail cars to restaurants to whole parts of town — could mean humiliation or persecution or even death. It still can today. What has changed is the scale. We don’t see death for the transgression of white spaces on the level we did in decades past. But it still happens…. Meanwhile, the definition of white-owned spaces keeps expanding: from the Starbucks seating area to the Yale common room to the barbecue area of a public park….
“Whiteness carries with it the luxury of invisibility. The white presence is deemed benign and eternally welcome. It’s why a white man can walk into a hotel with multiple valises full of guns and attract no notice whatsoever, until he turns his hotel room into a lethal sniper’s nest. In contrast, a black man carrying a cellphone in his grandmother’s backyard is deemed so threatening he is gunned down by panicked police.
“In contrast, the black presence (the brown presence, too, but particularly the black presence) is rarely viewed as benign. It is by default deemed suspect. Why are you in this store? Why are you in this Starbucks? Why are you in this nice car, or this nice neighborhood? What is your criminal history, or your criminal intent? Why are you running down the street? Why are you wearing that hoodie? …
“[B]eing black or brown in America means living under that constant threat of removal. And yet there is really no way to render yourself unthreatening enough to prevent that 911 call. At the same time, you are expected to act grateful for being ‘allowed’ to be here at all (see: Trump suggesting NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should ‘maybe’ be deported). As if we had a choice.
“Reversing everyday racism means somehow getting white Americans to recognize and cede this presumption of sole ownership of public spaces, and to see in each person of color an individual humanity.”
Smearing Justice Clarence Thomas As the Equivalent of an “Uncle Tom”
During MSNBC’s election coverage in November 2020, Reid spoke about the possibility that election litigation might reach the Supreme Court. In the course of her remarks, she smeared Justice Clarence Thomas with a racial slur: “I think what scares people is that if … somehow they manage to stumble into the Supreme Court, do any of you guys trust Uncle Clarence and Amy Coney Barrett and those guys to actually follow the letter of the law? No. I mean, it is a completely politicized Supreme Court that you can’t just trust that they’re going to do the right thing.”
Reid Is Sued for False Allegation of Racism
In September 2018, Roslyn La Liberte — a Trump-supporting California woman whom Reid had accused of calling a 14-year-old Latino boy named Joseph Luevanos a “dirty Mexican” during a heated public meeting on immigration three months earlier — filed a defamation lawsuit against the television host. The suit charged Reid with “spreading the false claim on social media” that La Liberte had “lobbed a racial slur” at the teen. In her posts on Instagram, for instance, Reid had written the following with regard to a photograph that showed the La Liberte wearing a pro-Trump “MAGA” (“Make America Great Again”) hat and supposedly shouting the aforementioned slur in the boy’s direction: “He showed up to rally to defend immigrants. … He is 14 years old. She is an adult. Make the picture black and white and it could be the 1950s and the desegregation of a school. Hate is real, y’all. It hasn’t even really gone away.” But according to La Liberte, her conversation with Luevanos was “civil” and had ended with them hugging one another. Reid eventually deleted her Instagram posts and wrote: “It appears I got this wrong. My apologies to Mrs. La Liberte and Joseph.”
Reid’s Anti-Gay Posts on Social Media
In December 2017, a left-wing Twitter user identifying himself as “Jamie Maz” used the “WayBack Machine,” an Internet archive, to uncover a number of controversial items that Reid had posted on The Reid Report, a now-defunct blog which she had formerly administered while covering Florida politics between 2006-09. In those posts, Reid had suggested that then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist was a closeted homosexual, referencing him as “Miss Charlie” and suggesting that he was “ogling the male waiters” while on his honeymoon with his new wife – on the theory that Crist had married the woman only because he thought it would help him politically. When reporters questioned Reid about these remarks in December 2017, she apologized, saying that her words were “insensitive, tone deaf and dumb.”
In April 2018, Mediaite.com published numerous additional blog posts wherein Reid, a number of years earlier, had said that:
- “most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing”
- “intrinsic” to being straight is the feeling that gay sex acts are “gross”
- she “couldn’t go see [the movie Brokeback Mountain] either, despite my sister’s ringing endorsement, because I didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex. Does that make me homophobic? Probably.”
- there are “concerns that adult gay men tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types, bringing them ‘into the lifestyle’ in a way that many people consider to be immoral”
- “gay rights groups … seek to organize very young, impressionable teens who may have an inclination that they are gay”
- Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers was a closeted homosexual who sported “one hellified lesbian hair-do”
- conservative commentator Ann Coulter was a “drag queen,” to whom Reid referred as “shim” — a combination of “she” and “him”
- Republican strategist Karl Rove and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh were closeted homosexuals
- “queers” had managed to become “the odd ones out at such a momentous turning point in history” by “pushing an agenda of stupid issues like gay marriage”
When Reid was asked to comment on these newly uncovered tweets, she claimed that “an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology.” But cybersecurity experts and several media outlets subsequently looked into the matter and concluded that the posts had not been the result of hacking or tampering with Reid’s Twitter account. Consequently, Reid stopped insisting that she had been the victim of such actions. Nevertheless, she said, “Here’s what I know: I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me.”
Reid’s 9/11 Conspiracy Posts
May 2018 brought still more revelations about Reid’s past comments – this time, about remarks she had made regarding “truther” conspiracy theories vis-a-vis the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
As Buzzfeed News reported, one of those comments was a March 22, 2006 Reidblog post titled “The Official Story,” which linked to Loose Change 9/11, a viral 80-minute web video alleging that the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) had been planned in advance by the U.S. government. Said Reid’s post: “The fundamental question is: do you believe the official story of 9/11? If you do, great. If you don’t, then everything that happened after that is called into serious question. Even if you’re agnostic, or you tend to believe that al-Qaida attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon and that the government had no warning such a thing could happen, it’s worth taking a second look.”
In yet another March 2006 post, Reid wrote: “We sure knew a lot about these plotters in a very short time… and then there are the questions raised by the existence of Able Danger, which supposedly I.D.’d Mohammad Atta long before the attacks… is that why we figured out the plot within three weeks? And there still are other questions about the attacks that have never been answered (how and why did WTC 7, which wasn’t hit by an aircraft, collapse? For that matter, why did any of the WTV [sic] buildings fall…?) Anyway, just a bit on interesting nostalgia… Somehow I think it will be a generation before we get the full story on what happened on 9/11?”
Reid Mocks Senator John McCain in a Blog Post
On May 31, 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that in an October 2007 blog post titled “Baghdad John strikes again,” Reid mocked McCain’s pledge as a presidential candidate to follow terrorist leader Osama bin Laden to “the gates of hell.” The post showed a photoshopped image of McCain’s head on the body of Seung-Hui Cho, the gunman who murdered 32 people and wounded 17 others on the camps of Virginia Tech University in April 2007.
Reid’s Anti-Semitic Posts
On June 1, 2018, it was learned that in a blog post of December 8, 2005, Reid had quoted the following comments from then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjejad: “You believe the Jews were oppressed, why should the Palestinian Muslims have to pay the price? You oppressed them, so give a part of Europe to the Zionist regime so they can establish any government they want. We would support it. So, Germany and Austria, come and give one, two or any number of your provinces to the Zionist regime so they can create a country there… and the problem will be solved at its root.” Then, in that same blog post, Reid herself remarked:
“I hate to admit that Mr. Amadinejad has a point … but it was the German government of the 1930s and the Vichy French who perpetrated and abetted the Holocaust (and a plurality of the Israelis are former German nationals, plus lower castes consisting of Eastern Europeans, Russians, Sephardic Jews from the Mediterranean and at the bottom of the social pyramid, Falasha Africans …) It does seem a tad cheeky of the British to have unilaterally awarded the victims land belonging to living Palestinians as restitution. After all, God is not a real estate broker. He can’t just give you land 1,000 years ago that you can come back and claim today.”
Reid’s Post Deriding Illegal Immigrants
On June 1, 2018 as well, it was reported that in a blog post twelve years earlier, Reid had written the following about illegal immigrants from Mexico: “[M]any, if not most, of the illegal migrants who come to this country overland from Mexico are not coming here for citizenship, or freedom, or some other Statue of Libertyesque truism: they’re coming here for cash, that they intend to send home to Mexico (to the tune of becoming that country’s second largest component of GDP.)”
Reid’s 2017 Book
Hatred for the NRA & the 2nd Amendment
In the wake of a November 2017 mass shooting that left 26 people dead at a Sutherland Springs, Texas church, Reid condemned anyone who offered their prayers without also demanding stricter gun-control measures. “Enough with the ‘thoughts and prayers already,’” she tweeted. “The Bible teaches us that faith without works is dead. Do something or say nothing.” In a separate tweet, Reid said sarcastically: “Remember when Jesus of Nazareth came upon thousands of hungry people, and rather than feeding them, thought and prayed?” And in yet another tweet, she described the National Rifle Association as an organization “soaked and bathed in blood.”
Opposing the Electoral College
In November 2017, Reid said that the Electoral College enables America’s “rural minority” to wield “disproportionate power over the urban majority” in presidential elections, and that it thus represents “the core threat to our democracy.”
Contempt for Trump & His Supporters, Love for Obama
In December 2017, Reid described President Trump as a man with “a black hole inside of” him, and condemned “Trumpism” as a “guttural” disposition that exploits “all of your base fears of other people, your anger, your rage, your neediness.” She also cast Trump as “an authoritarian of the first order” – a man who “has the … dance of authoritarianism down to a science.” By contrast, Reid characterized former President Barack Obama as “the emblem of what presidencies used to be … the sort of model of the presidency as aspirational…and above the fray.” This was reminiscent of a tweet she had posted a month earlier, lauding Obama for the “soaring rhetoric” that had helped give him a “mythical quality.”
In a series of January 31, 2018 tweets, Reid derided President Trump’s State Of The Union address for its references to “church,” “family,” “police,” “military,” and “the national anthem” — words which Reid described as “tropes of 1950s-era nationalism.” Those “terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for,” she added, “allo[w] his base to reminisce about an Ozzie and Harriet past they don’t really value anymore based on their support for his ‘values’.” Reid also characterized Trump as “anti-immigrant, backward-looking, anti-innovation, and anti-progress”; condemned his “seeming eagerness to flirt with war with North Korea”; claimed that “his version of ‘family values’ excludes the families of immigrants”; and criticized the president for “mak[ing] it sound like the biggest issue in the United States, the biggest threat is MS-13, a gang nobody that doesn’t watch Fox News has ever heard of.”
In a February 2019 interview on Chris Matthews‘s program Hardball, Reid described President Trump as someone who “makes up nicknames for people and demand they give him a border wall and talk about the brown scare at the border. That’s the Trump he wants to be.” Matthews asked in response: “Has he actually used that awful phrase? Like the yellow scare? Did he say that?” At that point, Reid changed her narrative: “That’s not his exact text. But what he is essentially saying to his base, which is who he is president of, this third of the country, that, you know, you know, the brown people at the border are coming to take your jobs or kill you. And that’s who he wants to be.”
On March 24, 2019, Reid claimed that President Trump’s habit of “attacking the media” — which “isn’t a crime but it’s a violation of the First Amendment in a lot of ways” — could be grounds for his impeachment.
In a July 2019 appearance on Reid’s MSNBC program, political commentator Julianne Malveaux exhorted her fellow Democrats to remain focused on the objective of removing President Trump, whom she characterized as a subhuman ape, from office: “At the end of the day, the goal has to be to get rid of the orange orangutan.” Reid offered no pushback against Malveaux’s verbiage.
In August 2019, Reid compared what she perceived as the media’s friendly coverage of President Trump, to how Adolf Hitler was treated by the German press in the days leading up to World War II. “I have this old set of New York Times front covers … to show how benign the coverage was even in the 1930s, as the world was about to burn down in World War Two,” Reid said. “And the just sort of benign things, you know, it’s like a tick of wanting to see world leaders — in that case of Germany — they just want to see them as normal and I don’t know where that comes from, but it is really — and I think it wouldn’t be so if those leaders were not white men, I have to say.”
In a November 2019 interview with liberal economist Ron Isana, Reid sought to portray the Trump economy as weaker than the low unemployment rate (3.6%) seemed to indicate. Said Reid: “[W]e are in an economy where a lot of people have jobs, but the job numbers are plussed up because people have a second job driving Lyft, a third job driving Uber, and people are making money in the gig economy. I just was in the supermarket the other day and there were no humans. I mean … all there are are automated machines where you check your own groceries out and like two people have jobs in the grocery store, so the economy is working great for billionaires.” Reid was clearly unaware that whether someone has one job or multiple jobs, he is counted as employed; the number of jobs he holds has no effect on the reported unemployment rate.
During the impeachment hearings that congressional Democrats were holding against President Trump in November 2019, Reid lamented that “the entire Republican Party” was in the midst of a “moral crisis” whose principal hallmark was the party’s willingness to “subsume itself” to “a cult of personality” centered “around Donald Trump’s personal interests.” “It’s sad,” she added, “and so, the responsibility on Democrats is huge.”
Following a televised Democratic presidential debate in November 2019, Reid portrayed President Trump as a threat to nonwhites in the United States:
“The danger of Donald Trump is much more extent to my community. It’s much more extent to both my immigrant relatives, to African-Americans, to Latinos, it’s not about whether or not we can regain our public standing on the world stage and be seen as America, as America was, to people who look like me, it’s about imminent danger. Donald Trump is dangerous to our families, he’s dangerous to our lives. The, you know, my — my son, my — our youngest son goes to Syracuse University, where right now, you know, manif — the manifesto of the Texas shooter is being sent around to immigrant students, to black students, to Asian-American students. People are afraid to be in school right now and just being black or brown feels dangerous. LGBT community feel their marriages are in danger — in danger now. And so the idea of uniting and coming together [as Democrat candidate Pete Buttigieg had urged during the debate], that sounds fine … to middle class white America that wants to come together with their uncle who’s a Trumper. That’s not going to work in communities of color.”
On September 1, 2020, Reid likened the behavior of President Trump and his supporters, to the behavior of radical Muslims, saying: “When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence including on their own bodies in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy, we in the U.S. media describe that as they are ‘radicalizing’ these people, particularly when they’re radicalizing young people. That’s how we talk about the way Muslims act. When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
In a January 2021 discussion with MSNBC colleague Nicolle Wallace, Reid likened President Trump to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and asked if it was possible for the Republican Party to undergo a kind of “de-Baathification” process — an allusion to the 2003 effort by Iraqi leaders to purge the influence of Saddam’s Baath Party from the nation’s newly forming government in the aftermath of the Iraq War. Said Reid: “I wonder if [Republican Congresswoman] Liz Cheney, her [anti-Trump] statement being the thing that … the Democrats used … to explain why they needed to impeach Donald Trump, is there a little wing of the Republican Party that you think can do this sort of de-Baathification of the party?”
False Claims About Trump’s Immigration Policies & His Feelings about Latino Immigrants
In a June 2019 appearance on Bill Maher‘s Real Time, Reid lamented that Americans could not have “a standard immigration debate” because “what we have now [under President Trump] is a debate over whether or not the United States is operating concentration camps at our border. We have an almost Geneva Convention level threat to people’s lives…. We’re throwing kids in cages, we’re putting up military tents.”
On July 6, 2019, Reid smeared Trump supporters as a pack of sadists who wanted to see nonwhite people cruelly abused at the U.S.-Mexico border. Addressing her guest, Adam Serwer, who had recently authored an article titled “The Cruelty Is the Point” in The Atlantic, Reid said:
“You know, the dehumanization of these folks,… it brings back sort of the memories of the way people treated others during the invasion of Iraq. The sense of, these aren’t even people. Or in our own past. The way that people were able to treat others, whether it’s from enslavement on. They’re just not people so we don’t have to think of them as human beings…. I think I quote you every week, Adam: the cruelty is the point. That’s why they’re doing it, right? His base wants to see this. And so he’s showing them that he can dehumanize them. Isn’t that message coming from the White House, that essentially you don’t have to treat these people like human beings. Who cares?”
Supporting Open Borders
In December 2017, Reid described the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency as “the organization that deports people’s grannies.” During a discussion the following month about immigration reform, she scolded Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist, for his use of the terms “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrants.” “[W]e’re going with ‘undocumented immigrants,’” Reid stated.
Wrongly Defining “Classical Liberalism”
In November 2017, Reid wrongly defined “classical liberal” as “an accurate term for a person who supports New Deal economics and social modernity but does not identify as socialist.” For an accurate definition of “classical liberal,” click here and here.
Mocking Christian Beliefs
In December 2017, Reid interviewed the anti-Christian author and film director Frank Schaeffer, who had previously characterized Christianity as “a culture of insanity,” regarding President Trump’s recent affirmation that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, and that the U.S. would be moving its diplomatic embassy to that city. Reid began with a quote from what she called “one of the more liberal publications in Israel”:
“In order to truly understand the centrality of this theological dog whistle to Trump’s Evangelical base, you must take their religious beliefs seriously … this is vital … because rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem would initiate the end-time laid out in the book of Revelation. End-time is a fundamentalist Christian belief in a prophecy that the living and the resurrected will one day be delivered from the Earth by God, their bodies transformed and protected in heaven, as he pours out his wrath on the sinners left behind.”
Reid then commented with incredulity: “That sounds like something out of a novel. Is it true that there are people who really believe that having Israel unified under, I mean having Jerusalem unified under total Israeli control, will bring on the end times?”
False Claims About Treatment of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay
On May 11, 2019, Reid claimed that “during the [George W.] Bush era, we were … starving people in Guantanamo.” But in fact, precisely the opposite was true. As Newsbusters.org points out: “During the Bush era, Guantanamo officials took forceful measures to prevent people from starving. A number of prisoners had gone on hunger strikes to protest prison conditions…. Rather than let the prisoners starve themselves to death, the prison officials force-fed them.”
In May 2019, Reid condemned recently-enacted state laws restricting abortion as attempts by conservative Christians to “send women back to the Dark Ages.” Said Reid:
“Trump and Mitch McConnell’s tag-team effort to stack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with right-wing judges has made the Christian far-right so confident, they’re pushing through laws in multiple states under Republican control that essentially send women back to the Dark Ages, forcing them to give birth even when impregnated by a rape or incest. All in hopes of sending a case to the Republican-majority Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Essentially, turning all of America into Gilead from The Handmaid’s Tale….
“As we speak, the American religious right is waging an all-out assault on women’s rights. Essentially, attempting to reduce women to little more than vessels for pregnancy, subject to the complete control of the state once they become pregnant, even by rape or incest. The states implementing those forced-birth laws want to take their theocratic ideas national…. I think what people worry about now is that Donald Trump, who does not seem to be particularly religious himself, has essentially said to the religious far-right: you can have the courts; you can have an overturning of Roe v. Wade. He doesn’t particularly care.”
Supporting Black Lives Matter & Antifa
On September 3, 2020, Reid defended the funding of out-of-state agitators who were traveling across the U.S. to participate in various protests and riots — led by Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) — against the systemic racism allegedly pervading America. She also compared the activities and objectives of Antifa and BLM, to those of the civil rights movement: “First of all, it wouldn’t even be illegal if someone was paying for people’s flights to cities where they will protest any more than it was illegal for civil rights organizations to pay for the buses that brought northern protesters to the south during the civil rights movement. Most importantly, there is no evidence that anyone is paying for anyone to do anything, let alone there are ‘dark shadows’ out there enticing people to commit violent acts.” Asserting that the word Antifa “literally stands for anti-fascists,” and that the movement’s activities “aren’t close to organized crime,” Reid added: “I can’t believe I have to say this, but one more time for those in the back, Black Lives Matter and Antifa are not the mob.”
Reid Likens Ron DeSantis to George Wallace
On April 22, 2021, Reid likened Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to the late segregationist Governor George Wallace (who was a Democrat), for signing a new Florida law that: (a) stiffened the penalties for crimes committed during a riot or violent protest; (b) permitted authorities to detain arrested protesters until a first court appearance; (c) established new felony designations for organizing or participating in a violent protests; and (d) made it a second-degree felony to vandalize a memorial, plaque, flag, painting, structure, or any other object that commemorates historical people or events. Among Reid’s remarks were the following:
- “Republican state legislatures across the country are responding to the demonstrations over George Floyd’s murder with punitive new measures intended to discourage protests altogether.”
- “This is directed at Black Lives Matter. It feels so George Wallace that I’m shocked that George Wallace didn’t actually think of it back when he was governor of Alabama.”
- “Ron DeSantis appears to really want to reenact the entire George Wallace history. I guess he wants to be the modern-day George Wallace because he is enacting a slew of laws that essentially try to make it illegal to protest in the state of Florida, illegal to touch their precious Confederate statues from the losing side of the Civil War, right? But then also — but you also can’t vote. This is Jim Crow in your state.”
Reid Defends Critical Race Theory and Accuses Its Critics of Racism
On June 11, 2021, Reid tweeted that critical race theory (CRT) was not being taught in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. She also claimed that people who were concerned about CRT in the classroom were, by and large, hypocrites who had no objection to schools teaching “Confederate Race Theory,” which, by Reid’s telling, taught youngsters that “slavery was not so bad.” Reid also criticized Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo, who has written extensively about how CRT has infected American schools and businesses, as one of numerous conservatives who were “basically using critical race theory as a brand name.”
Following the segment, Rufo posted a tweet challenging Reid to debate him on CRT on her program. “@JoyAnnReid has denounced me by name multiple times on her show,” Rufo wrote. “But she doesn’t have the courage to invite me on as a guest. She knows that I will crush her critical race theory apologetics any day of the week.”
Reid replied by tweeting: “This is a weirdly aggressive way to get yourself on TV, Christopher. Why not just contact my booking producers like a normal person, rather than going with the White Man Demands option? I had never even heard of you until @oneunderscore__ piece exposing your plot to rebrand CRT.”
Rufo, in turn, responded: “I’m not ‘demanding’ anything; I’m challenging you to a debate about critical race theory. The real question: are you going to accept this challenge or not?”
Reid Claims That Fox News Anchors Want Their Own Viewers to Die of COVID
During a July 19, 2021 appearance on CBS’s The Late Show, Reid was asked for her thoughts about anchors on other television networks who questioned whether people should take the coronavirus vaccine. She replied: “Number one, it doesn’t make sense to me why folks at that particular network [Fox News], which I think we all know who we mean, would want to kill their own viewers. Their viewers are older. Their viewers are more susceptible to COVID. And I don’t understand what the point is of killing them because everyone on air at Fox has been vaccinated. I would put any money on it. They were vaccinated first. I’m sure they shoved little old ladies out of the way to get their vaccines first. They’re all vaccinated. They’re living in remote cabins… They’re all vaccinated. And so, if they’re telling you not to do it, you have to ask yourself why they don’t care about you when you’re their base. And again, the people who are saying this, what is in it for them for their own people to die?”
Racism & “Missing White Woman Syndrome”
On September 20, 2021, Reid claimed that the extensive coverage which the media had been giving to the mysterious recent disappearance of a 22-year-old white woman named Gabby Petito, was evidence of anti-black racism in the media. “It goes without saying that no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain,” said Reid. “And the Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice. But the way this story has captivated the nation has many wondering, why not the same media attention when people of color go missing? Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White woman syndrome. The term coined by the late and great Gwen Iffil to describe the media and public fascination with missing White women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving missing people of color.”
Reid Accuses Republicans of Opposing Voting Rights for Nonwhites
During the October 20, 2021 edition of her program The ReidOut, Reid, in a discussion about Rep. Liz Cheney’s effort to persuade her fellow Republican colleagues to take seriously the investigation of the January 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, said:
“We have to stop thinking about this as Republicans being in denial about how bad January 6 was and start thinking of it as them thinking how good it was for them. And that they have divorced themselves from the idea of a multiracial democracy because a multiracial democracy means when people who look like me vote for somebody, that person can be allowed to win. But what they’re saying is no, that person can’t be allowed to win. Only the people that they decide should be allowed to win, can. That is the opposite of believing in multiracial democracy. That’s the same problem we had after the Civil War. I feel like we still have it. The Republican Party, they don’t believe, they do not believe that non-white voters have the right to choose the president of the United States or any other officers. I don’t see any other way around it.”
Reid Says “Education” Is a Racist “Code” Word
During MSNBC’s election-night coverage on November 2, 2021, Reid — noting that in the state of Virginia, where many parents’ opposition to the teaching of Critical Race Theory principles in their children’s schools had led them to support Republican candidates rather than Democrats — claimed that those parents were essentially racists: “[T]he exit polls showed that — which was interesting — that the coronavirus, or that the virus was a very — was not important to many voters there. It was education, which is code for white parents don’t like the idea of teaching about race. And I mean, unfortunately, race is just the most palpable tool in the toolkit. It used to be of the Democratic Party back in the day when they were Dixiecrats, and now of the Republican Party. It just is powerful.”
Reid Condemns the Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Verdict
On August 25, 2020 — during a violent Black Lives Matter/Antifa riot which followed an incident where a white Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer had shot and permanently disabled a knife-wielding black criminal named Jacob Blake — Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white youth from Antioch, Illinois, drove to Kenosha, where his father resided, with the intent of: (a) helping to prevent further vandalism in that city, and (b) providing medical aid to people injured in the melee. At the scene of the unrest, Rittenhouse was armed with a semi-automatic rifle that had been purchased (with his money) and held for him by his friend Dominick Black, a resident of Kenosha. When white rioter and Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum — who had spent 15 years in prison for multiple child molestation convictions that included anal rape — chased Rittenhouse, threatened to kill him, and tried to take away his rifle, Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum. While subsequently being chased by a crowd of approximately a dozen rioters, Rittenhouse ran down a street toward police vehicles, in hopes that the officers might protect him from his pursuers. But the fleeing Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground, at which point he was struck on the head by a 39-year-old white man who jump-kicked him. Then, while Rittenhouse was still on the ground, white Silver Lake resident Anthony Huber — a domestic abuse repeater and an ex-convict who in 2013 had pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of strangulation, suffocation, and false imprisonment — struck him on the head and neck with a skateboard and attempted to pull away his rifle, at which point Rittenhouse killed Huber with a single gunshot to the chest. And when white West Allis resident Gaige Grosskreutz — who had a long arrest history that included multiple misdemeanors and felonies — then approached the fallen Rittenhouse and pointed a handgun directly at him, Rittenhouse shot him once in the right arm, wounding but not killing the man. Rittenhouse was subsequently tried on six criminal charges which included homicide, reckless endangerment, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18. A large number of leftists portrayed him as a racist, Trump-supporting white vigilante who had recklessly fired his gun at “social justice” and “racial justice” demonstrators in Kenosha.
After a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts on November 19, 2021, Reid lamented that America “was built on the idea that white men had a particular kind of freedom and a particular kind of citizenship that only they have, that gives, from the slave catchers on, the right to inflict violence in the name of protecting property. That’s like the foundational creation of the United States.” Regarding Rittenhouse’s acquittal, Reid said: “I was not at all surprised. We’ve talked about this. I mean, this is what we expected to happen. Because I think we have to keep in mind when we’re watching the criminal justice system at work, that it was designed to do exactly what it did today. Gun laws helped to enhance the design to allow this verdict to happen today. This country was built on the idea that white men had a particular kind of freedom and a particular kind of citizenship that only they have, that gives, from the slave catchers on, the right to inflict violence in the name of protecting property. That’s like the foundational creation of the United States. So, it [a conviction] would have been shocking.”
Reid Portrays Republicans As a Death Cult
On December 3, 2021, Reid said on her program:
“Republicans love to say that they’re pro-life, but the more accurate term is that they’re pro-birth. Because once that baby is born, they stop caring. And depending on the color of your skin, they may not even see you as fully human. If they did care about children after they’re born, they would be supporting universal health care, social services, food for kids whose families can’t afford it, fully funding education, and gun reform, so kids don’t have to do mass shooter drills at school. They would support the Build Back Better agenda, which invests in housing and the environment and acts as the biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade. Alas, not one Republican voted for that bill.
“But pro-life, really? The more appropriate slogan, in my humble opinion, is anti-choice, as this same party passes regressive policies that harm women, children, and families by taking choices away from them. Or maybe it’s pro-death, as this party does nothing about kids getting massacred in classrooms while siding with a virus that mutates and has killed nearly 800,000 Americans, many of them children. You don’t get to be a death cult while waving the pro-life flag. Especially when the flag was never about abortion, to begin with. It was only about orchestrating a rallying cry to politicize evangelicals. Which is why the pro-life lie by a death cult party is the absolute worst.”
Reid Says That “Selfish” White Christian Conservatives Believe That America Was “Built for Them”
During the January 3, 2022 airing of her MSNBC program The ReidOut, Reid said:
“They’re white so-called Christian conservatives who feel like this country was built by them for them, and so everyone but them needs to suck it up and let them have their way or else. Their party, the Republicans, have gone from pretending to be the party of personal responsibility to unmasking themselves as the party of selfish people that cannot play well with others. And they even have their own cable networks plus something called GETTR [a social media platform and microblogging site founded in July 2021 by former Donald Trump aide Jason Miller], which kind of sounds like porn. Moving on. So the special citizen says, ‘I don’t want to wear a mask [against coronavirus], and if you try to attack me, I’ll attack the low-waged clerks at the store or at the Burger King. I don’t want to get the [COVID-19] vaccine either. If people get sick from me, oh well, not my problem. Joe Rogan said it’s fine. My kids aren’t going to mask up to protect those other kids. F those other kids, their parents are probably commies anyway.’ Which usually means people who want rights for other people and who give a damn what happens to them. So this midterm election year, we’re going to find out which brand of citizenship is stronger, and the answer will tell us whether our democracy is strong enough to survive.”
Claiming That the World Is Concerned about Ukrainian Victims of Russian Invasion only Because Ukrainians Are White & Christian
During the March 7, 2022 episode of her MSNBC program The ReidOut, Reid spoke about how the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine was receiving an enormous amount of attention from people worldwide, including attention from corporations that had decided to cut their business ties with Russia as a gesture of protest. Said Reid:
“As the world watches the devastation unfolds in Ukraine, nearly 4,000 miles away, another crisis is deepening that we don`t hear much about in the U.S., and that is the war in Yemen. In March of 2015, a Saudi-led coalition backed by the United States intervened militarily in Yemen in a bid to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels. It has triggered one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, due to widespread hunger, disease and attacks on civilians. Four million Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes.
“Now, what we`re seeing in Ukraine is absolutely the worst humanitarian crisis that Europe has seen in decades, but we haven`t witnessed the same type of solidarity for the Yemenis as we do for the Ukrainians. We don`t see historic sanctions or global campaigns, corporations like Airbnb and Netflix taking a stand.
“Now, this is not to say that we shouldn`t care this much for Ukraine. Far from it. The point is, we should also care this much for refugees and those facing occupation and war in the Middle East and Asia and Africa too. The coverage of Ukraine has revealed a pretty radical disparity in how human Ukrainians look and feel to Western media, compared to their browner and blacker counterparts, with some reporters using very telling comparisons in their analyses of the war. […]
“[L]et’s face it. The world is paying attention because this is happening in Europe. If this was happening anywhere else, would we see the same outpouring of support and compassion?
“But we don`t need to ask ourselves if the international response would be the same if Russia unleashed their horror on a country that wasn`t white and largely Christian, because Russia has already done it in Syria.
“This is a teachable moment for us in the media. We aren`t afraid to call out our own industry. There is a lot of soul-searching that we need to do in Western media about why some wars and lives seem to matter more than others and why some refugees get the welcome mat, while others get the wall.”
For additional information on Joy Reid, click here.
- The reality of Guantanamo Bay bears no resemblance to the dark picture painted by Reid and other like-minded critics. All the detainees were supplied with Islamic religious items including a Koran, prayer mat, and cap. Loudspeakers in the camps broadcast the Muslims’ call to prayer five times each day. All prisoners’ meals were certified halal (adhering to Islamic law) by Guantanamo’s Muslim chaplain. Religious services were held for the prisoners on a regular basis. The floor of every cell had a stenciled arrow pointing toward Mecca, so that prisoners could face the correct direction while saying their prayers. Guantanamo’s 6,000-book library was well stocked with Islamic literature as well as books and DVDs on a wide range of subjects. There was an outdoor basketball court, and a special classroom where detainees could learn English, Arabic, or Pashtu. Guantanamo’s medical facilities were staffed by dentists, internal medicine practitioners, psychiatrists, nurses, and even special translators who did not interact with guards. The detainee hospital provided top-level care 24 hours a day. That included access to a pharmacy, which distributed some 400 medications daily, as well as a state-of-the-art radiology room, complete with CAT scan capabilities. It is also noteworthy that between April 2002 and March 2003, the detainees, rather than suffering from malnutrition, gained an average of 13 pounds apiece.