In yet another ugly incident featuring an MSNBC host, Joy-Ann Reid smeared National Review’s David French on Monday in a statement suggesting that an article he wrote was motivated by racism. The premise for Reid’s serious charge, however, was fundamentally flawed, which the left-wing host was finally forced to admit.
Reid’s smear of French revolves around a straightforward “prepper” article the Iraq war veteran wrote for National Review about the realities of a nuclear attack, titled, “If a Missile Alert Sounds, Prepare to Live.” Here’s the key passage:
First, you have to understand that the odds are overwhelming that you’ll survive an initial blast. Nuclear weapons are devastating, but it’s a Hollywood myth that any individual strike will vaporize an entire American city, much less the suburbs and countryside. You can go to sites like nuclearsecrecy.com to see the blast radius of direct nuclear strikes at various yields.
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.
Because it’s an increasingly hysterical, leftwing rag, Newsweek responded to French’s article by publishing a disingenuous piece on it that distorted what French actually wrote under the misleading title, “NUCLEAR WAR? IT WON’T GET YOU IN THE SUBURBS, CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE TELLS READERS.” Here’s how Newsweek twisted French’s “suburbs” comment to be a politically and racially charged attack on Democrats:
An article published Monday in the National Review reassures readers that nuclear war—and North Korea’s arsenal—shouldn’t cause them concern because a nuclear strike will mostly vaporize those in major cities while suburbanites will come out largely unscathed. …
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.
Newsweek’s dishonest take, which was republished by Raw Story, prompted Reid to issue her since-deleted smear of French:
“The magazine in question is the once-august National Review,” she tweeted. “We have truly entered the age of insanity when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, ‘don’t worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities.’ Shame on you, @DavidAFrench,” wrote Reid.
French responded by giving Reid credit for officially issuing the most “misleading and ridiculous” tweet ever:
After getting publicly shamed — even by some of her fans, as HotAir’s John Sexton highlights (examples below) — for the egregiously unfair tweet, Reid finally deleted her initial smear and issued an apology.
“Taking back my take on this take – the @rawstory writeup doesn’t reflect @DavidAFrench‘s intent and I think @Aunty__Em would probably agree. David and I disagree on almost everything, but my take on this was off track,” she wrote.
In his follow-up article titled “Anatomy of a Smear,” French notes that he personally knows Reid and in the past found her “perfectly pleasant and civil”:
The strange part of this is I actually know Joy. We’ve talked, I’ve been on her show, and while I disagree with her politics, I’ve found her to be perfectly pleasant and civil. Others have had different experiences, unfortunately. But I’ll hold out a shred of hope. Perhaps she’ll actually read my post, realize her mistake, and apologize. If she does, I’m happy to forgive her and move on. Until then, MSNBC should know that one of its hosts is making things up. It’s a smear, pure and simple. There is no excuse.
Some examples of the blowback Reid’s now-deleted tweet received online: