MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid was a panelist in the final hour of the network’s New York primary coverage in the midnight eastern hour Wednesday and astonishingly tried to claim that Hillary Clinton has had to “run essentially for the last 20 years against” the media’s “tide” of negative coverage.
Reid’s comments came around the 12:07 a.m. Eastern mark and started off on a poor note as she sarcastically brushed off former Cruz aide Rick Tyler’s assertion that Clinton is a “weak candidate” by touting how she “got nearly a million votes out of New York tonight” and “more votes by herself than all the Republicans combined.”
At face value, viewers without the facts may be taken aback by this claim but when one examines the overall turnout and the fact that New York is a deeply blue state, Reid’s claim falls apart. When the votes are fully tallied, the Republican primary will have seen roughly 857,000 voters while the Democratic primary turnout will be nearly 1.8 million people.
Aside from that, Reid’s late-night remarks were already textbook Clinton talking points as she complained that Clinton has been “a stronger candidate than the media is giving her credit for.”
While a devout liberal and Hillary Clinton fan himself, Hardball host Christ Matthews seemed skeptical as he reminded Reid that she’s “the media” herself. Nevertheless, Reid blew through that stop sign and continued lashing out at “the media” for having been set on wanting Clinton to fail for decades:
She has run essentially for the last 20 years against — with the media in her face, right? She has run against the wind, against the tide of coverage. I think Vox.com just published a piece that showed she and Trump get the most negative media coverage onslaught for something like 30 years she's survived. She's gotten I think over 10 million votes. I think it’s hard to argue she’s not popular.
Matthews sought to wrestle back control and came back harder at Reid over her accusations: “You think the media’s prejudiced? You think the media is biased against Hillary Clinton?”
Only here did Reid directly respond to Matthews and doubled down on the fantasy that the media has been unfair to the former secretary of state: “I think the media has a very negative relationship with Hillary Clinton and has done for 30-plus years.”
Not surprisingly, this fantasy that the liberal media’s devoted decades of resources to opposing Clinton is not foreign to MSNBC’s airwaves. Clinton surrogate and former Democratic Vermont Governor Howard Dean angrily attacked the network itself and the broader news media on February 5 for “attacking her personally” and that they've “dutifully” rallied behind “the right-wing” on a slew of her scandals.
A week later on February 11, Bloomberg/MSNBC host Mark Halperin proclaimed that the media is “biased against” Clinton to the benefit of Bernie Sanders in this particular election.
For one last example, Washington Post writer Chris Cillizza complained just over a year ago on April 19, 2015 that “[t]he media isn’t biased in favor of Hillary Clinton.”
The relevant portion of the transcript from the 12:00 a.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016 on April 20 can be found below.
MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016
April 20, 2016
12:07 a.m. Eastern
JOY REID: Yeah, but she's a weak candidate that got nearly a million votes out of New York tonight. She got more votes by herself than all the Republicans combined.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You think she’s a strong candidate now?
REID: I think she's a stronger candidate than the media is giving her credit for.
MATTHEWS: You think she’s performing — well, you’re the media.
REID: She has run essentially for the last 20 years against — with the media in her face, right? She has run against the wind, against the tide of coverage. I think vox.com just published a piece that showed she and Trump get the most negative media coverage onslaught for something like 30 years she's survived. She's gotten I think over 10 million votes. I think it’s hard to argue she’s not popular.
MATTHEWS: You think the media’s prejudiced? You think the media is biased against Hillary Clinton?
REID: I think the media has a very negative relationship with Hillary Clinton and has done for 30-plus years.
HOWARD FINEMAN: However, Bernie Sanders made a big, big tactical error here in New York, I think, because he created his own negative relationship with the media by the way he went after Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders said, okay, I'm coming into New York. I'm going to tear her apart on a personal basis. Now, he used the excuse of a Washington Post headline in which he was called unqualified, which Hillary didn't actually say. It was the headline writers who said it, to unload and that — he moved from being an idea. He moved from being a kindly uncle with glasses and white flowing hair to being an attack guy and the attack thing exposed an aspect of his character, his public character, that wasn't very popular and that also allowed Hillary — now, she didn't go the full victim route. She didn't say, you know, I'm nice too, or she didn't cry or anything like that, but I think people here in New York, Democrats here in New York were sympathetic to what they viewed as an overly aggressive, unfair series of attacks on Hillary Clinton.