MSNBC host Joy Reid has been a reliable critic of President Trump on, well… pretty much anything and everything that happens. She was never going to get in any trouble with her fans for that. But when her old blog posts with less than charitable comments about gays and lesbians surfaced I’m guessing her bosses were holding their breath. Turns out that was probably for good reason. Some of the first sets of ratings since that particular scandal broke have come out and the news is less than good for Reid. (Fox News)
MSNBC star Joy Reid’s program “AM Joy” reportedly has been losing viewers since the #Resistance hero backtracked on claims that diabolical hackers were responsible for planting anti-gay rhetoric in her pre-fame blog…
Contemptor – a media and culture website — founder Justin Baragona, who was previously a cable news watchdog for Mediaite, broke down Reid’s ratings for her shows that have aired since the controversy erupted. Baragona found that this past Saturday’s 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET hours of “AM Joy” finished last among major cable news networks in the key demo of adults age 25-54 – but questioned whether or not it was a “blip or a trend.”
Baragona pointed out that Reid finished second among cable news rivals the previous Saturday when she delivered her quasi-apology for comments dug up by a Twitter user and published by Mediaite. The unearthed posts showed Reid wrote numerous offensive jokes and comments on her now defunct blog, “The Reid Report.”
The bottom line is that Reid’s audience in the core demo fell by roughly 92,000 in the 10 o’clock hour and by 95,000 in the 11 o’clock hour as compared to the previous week when she apologized. Starting from an audience of 263K that’s a pretty drastic decline. But in a way it also makes sense. After all of the blog news broke, Reid had become the news rather than someone reporting or commenting on it. That’s rarely a good thing for an actual journalist, though “opinion journalists” might see it as a plus if it’s a sympathetic story.
This story was anything but sympathetic, particularly in the eyes of her very liberal core following. So the week of the apology probably had everyone on pins and needles, waiting to see what she might say. Once it was over, they bailed out in significant numbers.
What was puzzling me more was how she managed to even achieve the apology tour numbers in the first place. I still recall writing about her terrible ratings back in 2015 when MSNBC had to cancel her weekday show during a major shakeup. At that time she was attracting an audience only slightly larger than she could have gotten by shouting out the window of her office. The move to weekends and “other duties” at that time sounded as if MSNBC was getting ready to show her the door, but she clearly managed to hang on and rebuild some of her brand.
More amazing was the number of her fellow left-side television personalities who were quick to jump on Twitter and defend her. Hey, she (eventually) owned up to her “mistake” and apologized so she deserves another chance, right? I’ve been searching around for examples of when the same people have similarly forgiven conservatives for any of their linguistic missteps but I’m mostly coming up dry. Apparently, you can be forgiven almost anything if you sing in the correct portion of the choir.