Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Christopher Rufo has comprehensively dismissed allegations that he’s uninformed about Critical Race Theory after being denied the chance to defend himself by MSNBC’s Joy Reid during an interruption-laden interview last week.
Rufo said that he came on “The ReidOut” Wednesday in his capacity as a think tank scholar, in the hopes of furthering “cross-partisan dialogue.” But according to this author’s count, Reid interrupted Rufo 27 times in 13 minutes and gave herself roughly twice as much speaking time as her guest in a broadcast analogue of congressmen barking, “Reclaiming my time.”
Reid may believe the Senate could abolish the filibuster, but she clearly has no qualms about using it herself.
The interview became so one-sided that Rufo eventually implored, “This should be a dialogue, right?”
“Well, it’s my show, so it’s how I want to do it,” Reid snapped.
At one point, Reid admitted she had no knowledge about one of Rufo’s claims — but said it was false anyway. After he quoted Robin DiAngelo and Barbara Applebaum, who are associated with CRT, Reid asserted that DiAngelo has nothing to do with CRT, and “I don’t know who the other woman is, but she’s not” a critical race theorist, either.
MSNBC experienced a massive public backlash after the network posted the segment on YouTube under the title “Joy Reid Schools Critical Race Theory Critic On Legal Scholarship.” As of this writing, the video has racked up more than 10,000 negative votes (compared to 1,200 positive reviews) and an estimated 6,000 anti-Reid comments.
“She will soon be claiming that her show was hacked and that wasn’t really her humiliating herself,” predicted Heritage Foundation expert Mike Gonzalez, the author of The Plot to Change America and an expert on CRT and intersectionality.
She will soon be claiming that her show was hacked and that wasn’t really her humiliating herself. But the question is, now that claiming “no, there’s no CRT here” is clearly not working, what will they try next? I think it will be that resisting CRT is “hate speech.” https://t.co/xDqCc9v4SI
— Mike Gonzalez (@Gundisalvus) June 25, 2021
After the dust settled, Rufo shared his views online. “Joy Reid turned the gaslight up to 100 tonight,” Rufo responded after the verbal slugfest. “Let’s deconstruct her word games.” He noted that, while CRT began in legal scholarship, its principles have infested U.S. public school curricula and academic syllabi; that Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “Critical Race Theory,” also originated the concept of “intersectionality”; and that the scholars who pioneered CRT used the same principle to create critical whiteness studies.
Reid’s interview perfectly illustrated the most common techniques broadcasters use to skew the news for their viewers: choosing a hostile interviewer, poisoning the well, embedding an accusation in every question, and frequently interrupting the guest.
Rufo told Stuart Varney on Fox Business that Reid’s interview amounted to a “petulant and childish outburst” substituting for a much-needed debate over a policy pervading every government-controlled institution from education to the military. “She’s desperate, and unfortunately, she turned what I thought could be a substantive debate over Critical Race Theory into an unhinged monologue in which she shouted me down [and] refused to let me answer,” Rufo said.
Reid may have needed the fireworks to power her faltering show, which experienced the worst week in its broadcast history last week. Over the week of June 14, “The ReidOut” the smallest audience since it began airing last July both in terms of total viewers (1.2 million) and in the most coveted 25-54 age demographic (149,000).
Reid’s hostile interview constitutes the second focused attempt to discredit Rufo in a week. Last Saturday, The Washington Post ran a highly critical, full-length story about Rufo that proved so incorrect the newspaper issued a retraction within 48 hours.
“Here’s the takeaway,” wrote Rufo, “the political Left is running away from critical race theory as fast as it can. They know it’s intellectually bankrupt and politically toxic. They’re retreating to language games and shell games because they cannot defend it on the substance.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.