After her left-leaning fans actually called her out, MSNBC host Joy Reid admitted that her smear of National Review's David French was "off track."
French, an Iraq war veteran, offered a nuclear-attack preparation blog post on Monday titled, "If a Missile Alert Sounds, Prepare to Live."
The section in question reads as follows:
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.
The Raw Story posted a piece that responds to French titled, "Nuclear war won’t hit suburbs, conservative magazine assures readers."
It reads, in part:
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.
Reid reacted to a tweet that linked to the Raw Story piece and offered her own take on Twitter:
"And the magazine in question is the once-august National Review," she wrote. "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."
French, who never wrote anything of the sort, took Reid to task:
French also wrote a longer response to Reid for the National Review titled, "Anatomy of a Smear," which reads in part:
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.
Then some of Reid's fans got into the act and actually pointed out her error and defended French:
- "Love you Joy, but that’s really not what the article says or implies," one Twitter user wrote. "There’s a Newsweek article picking the story up that’s so sloppily written that it might be construed to be so though. I hate to say it but you seem to have made a bad call on this one."
- "I read you both regularly, and often disagree (and agree) with you both regularly," another user added. "And I'm a progressive. But this take is completely unfair. You have to put on thick partisan glasses to read this as a shot at Dems and minorities. It's not."
At that point, Reid offered a kind of mea culpa to French:
"Taking back my take on this take – the @rawstory writeup doesn’t reflect @DavidAFrench‘s intent and I think @Aunty__Em would probably agree," she wrote. "David and I disagree on almost everything, but my take on this was off track."
The Raw Story on Thursday told TheBlaze that the piece in question is "a direct reprint from a widely used wire syndication service called Repub Hub." The Raw Story article indicates it's by Newsweek, although the Newsweek article's headline — and some of the Newsweek article's text — is different than what appeared in the Raw Story.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)