MSNBC host Joy Reid is slated to become the network’s new primetime host despite her well-documented track record of spreading misinformation to her viewers and readers.
Here are seven times that MSNBC’s newest primetime host spread conspiracy theories and misinformation.
Reid falsely accused Trump supporter of calling a teen a “dirty Mexican”
After a photo of a woman and a teenage boy debating a proposed sanctuary city policy went viral, Reid spread a false claim that the woman had called the teen a “dirty Mexican” on Twitter.
Reid also posted the photo on Instagram with the caption: “He showed up to rally to defend immigrants . . . She showed up too, in her MAGA hat, and screamed, ‘You are going to be the first deported’ . . . ‘dirty Mexican!'”
But Reid got it wrong. Both the teen and the woman said that nothing of the sort had taken place and that they had had a civil conversation.
“I wasn’t really doing anything to him and everyone thought I was and that makes me really sad. It makes me really sad that I’m so vilified,” the woman said in the aftermath.
The online furor over the accusation led to harassment of the woman and a boycott effort targeting her small business.
Reid spread fake rumor that Trump campaign hiring black actors
In August 2017, Reid spread an unproven rumor that black attendees at one of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign rallies were actually hired actors, pointing to a random Craigslist advertisement.
There was no other evidence to support the claim, which was later deleted, but Reid’s post received more than 13,000 retweets.
Reid’s show falsely claimed that students from Covington Catholic high school had “harassed” elderly American Indian activist Nathan Phillips. Reid interviewed Phillips on her show and uncritically elevated his version of events.
Phillips had claimed that the students had swarmed him as he was preparing to leave the Indigenous People’s March scheduled for the same day as the March for Life.
An extended video of the interaction showed that Phillips approached the boys during their school cheers, not the other way around. Some of the people with Phillips were directing racially charged language at the students, not the other way around, video showed.
Reid floated Mueller report conclusion was “seeds of a cover up”
Reid in March 2019 said that special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion of his investigation could be part of a “cover-up” to help Trump.
“The fact that this investigation takes place within the Justice Department which Donald Trump essentially controls and that he got rid of the problem, Jeff Sessions, who the one decent thing that he did was just recuse himself, this guy is not recused, it feels like the seeds of a cover-up are here,” Reid said.
There is no evidence that this was the case.
Reid spread fake news about fake news
Reid spread a discredited claim about “fake news” influencing voters before the 2016 election. The MSNBC host told her viewers that Twitter users saw “more information from Russian outlets, Wikileaks, and fake news sites, than from actual news outlets, and that tweeters in swing states saw more misinformation than those in uncontested states.”
But the study she was citing didn’t support her claim. The study referred to “junk news” — which included legitimate conservatives news outlets like the Washington Examiner — not “fake news.” Reid, as it turns out, was actually a favorite pundit of Russian trolls online, according to a review by Law and Crime.
Reid’s 9/11 trutherism
More than once, Reid promoted conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during her pre-MSNBC life as a liberal blogger.
Reid wrote in one 2007 blog post: “Has it been resolved to most people’s satisfaction that the Bush administration had nothing to do with 9/11? (I think the answer here is clearly, no.)”
Reid also promoted a film — produced in part by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — that claimed the 9/11 attacks may have been an inside job. Reid said in June 2018, after her old blog posts resurfaced, that she now accepts the official account of the terrorist attacks.
Reid blamed hackers for her own blog posts
Reid resorted to spreading misinformation to defend herself after her old blog posts resurfaced. In addition to promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories, Reid also spread anti-gay innuendo and attempting to out gay people she thought were in the closet, archives of the blog posts showed.
Two entries imagined former Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch performing oral sex on current Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito at his confirmation hearing on Jan. 11, 2006, archives of Reid’s blog showed.
Reid initially claimed that the posts were somehow the work of hackers and claimed to have evidence to prove it. She also said that the FBI was investigating the case. When her hacking explanation crumbled under scrutiny, Reid admitted she hadn’t been hacked and had actually authored the posts.