Joy Reid attacks NRO's David French with fabricated quote; Update: Joy Reid Goes Full Emily Litella

Monday David French wrote a piece about the possible outcome of a nuclear strike on an American city. This was prompted by the false alarm that recently happened in Hawaii. Here’s a sample of what French wrote:

The bottom line, even 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.

Notice that French isn’t saying a nuclear strike would be a picnic. He’s simply saying that many people would survive even a worst-case scenario, i.e. a nuke hitting an American city. But Newsweek turned that into this headline, “NUCLEAR WAR? IT WON’T GET YOU IN THE SUBURBS, CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE TELLS READERS.” The article itself then makes this point which never appeared or was hinted at in French’s writing:

During the 2016 election, Trump won 50 percent of the vote in suburban America and 62 percent of the vote in small cities and rural areas compared to Hillary Clinton’s 45 and 34 percent performance in the regions.

Conservatives tend to prefer small towns and rural areas, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, with 46 percent of liberals preferring city life compared to just 4 percent of conservatives who said the same.

In other words, Newsweek is intimating that French was making a partisan claim that survivors would be disproportionately Trump voters, something David French never said or hinted at saying. But someone at Raw Story thought this story was golden and re-posted it there. Enter fabulist Joy Reid who took this misleading junk to a new level by suggesting French was making a racial claim as well as well as a partisan one:

This is like a game of telephone where everyone involved is a progressive and an idiot. First of all, the bit that Joy Reid puts in quotes is not taken from David French’s story or even from the Newsweek story. She just made that up. Shouldn’t someone who does this for a living have some idea of how quotes work? Just as importantly, David French never said anything that could even be fairly summarized in this way. It’s not there, leading me to wonder if Joy Reid read French’s story before trying to shame him and National Review for something he didn’t say. French himself responded, pointing out how absurd Reid’s tweet was:

The attack on French was so far off base that even people who aren’t conservatives are objecting:

Of course, there are still plenty of prominent progressives who aren’t saying anything:

I think this tweet sums up my take:

Yes, that’s it. Joy Reid says dumb things about people on both sides of the aisle. At some point, this ought to catch up with her. Unless she offers David French a clear and fulsome apology, maybe now is that moment.

Update: Well, Joy Reid’s moment has come, and I’ll let you decide for yourselves how fulsome an apology she issues to David French. From overnight into Thursday:


Taking back my take on this take – the writeup doesn’t reflect @‘s intent and I think @ would probably agree. David and I disagree on almost everything, but my take on this was off track.


—-Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 18, 2018


I give Joy credit for at least reading the serious blowback she got online from friend and foe alike over her now-deleted smear against David, something she apparently didn’t do when offering the offending tweet in the first place. She channeled her inner Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella from Saturday Night Live who when countered with overwhelming evidence her take was all wrong she simply said the equivalent of “never mind.”

I’m not here to tell her how to apologize to David, but I would think she would at least offer up a Maxwell Smart on him and say something like “Sorry about that, Chief.” Wouldn’t you?   —  Duane Patterson

Jazz Shaw Aug 17, 2022 11:01 AM ET