Following the Tet Offensive in 1968, “CBS Evening News” anchor Walter Cronkite criticized America’s Vietnam War effort in an editorial. Then-President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”
Here’s a modern corollary for MSNBC’s Joy Reid and her reaction to Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Thursday announcement of a proposal to start a statewide civilian military unit: If you’ve lost Sarah Silverman, you’ve lost your mind.
Reid is no stranger to fact-free freak-outs, mind you — and yet, she still has a job with the network. (We’ve been chronicling MSNBC’s left-wing bias and double standards for some time here at The Western Journal. If you’d like to help us fight their influence, you can subscribe here.)
In this case, however, she managed to go too far even for the Hollywood left.
On Friday, reporting on Gov. DeSantis’ proposal to establish the Florida State Guard, CNN published a story under this headline: “DeSantis proposes a new civilian military force in Florida that he would control.”
This sounds more than just vaguely minatory — particularly for CNN’s readership, some of whom doubtlessly saw the headlines and believed it was a prelude to secession.
One of these readers was apparently Joy Reid, who — having not come across a similar headline on her own network’s website — decided to tweet it out to her followers along with the comment, “So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?”
So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…? https://t.co/Q6a7eotAws
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) December 3, 2021
Yes, a fascist republic in Florida where people are … free from mask mandates and vaccine passports? This line of thought could have used some refining.
So apparently, Reid hasn’t read the Constitution — since, short of some kind of civil war, the states don’t have the power to do “fascisty bananas” type of stuff with their own private armies. (Little known fact: The framers had wanted to give Congress the power to do away with “fascisty bananas” in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. However, Benjamin Franklin convinced the constitutional convention that language allowing the legislature to “raise and support armies” in order to “execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions” instead would be, in his words, “completely lit, fam.”)
There’s another thing Reid hasn’t read, either: the article she was tweeting out.
While the headline makes it sound dire, CNN’s Steve Contorno made it clear what DeSantis was doing was “reestablish[ing] a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control” for the purposes of aiding “the Florida National Guard during emergencies, like hurricanes.”
In the fourth paragraph, Contorno also noted this: “States have the power to create defense forces separate from the national guard, though not all of them use it. If Florida moves ahead with DeSantis’ plan to reestablish the civilian force, it would become the 23rd active state guard in the country, DeSantis’ office said in a press release, joining California, Texas and New York.
“These guards are little-known auxiliary forces with origins dating back to the advent of state militias in the 18th century. While states and the Department of Defense share control of the National Guard, state guards are solely in the power of a governor,” he added.
The conflict, instead, hinges more upon how President Joe Biden’s administration is handling the National Guard, particularly in regards to its vaccine mandate. DeSantis said the unit would be “not encumbered by the federal government” and would give him “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.”
While two of DeSantis’ potential Democrat challengers in 2022 were quoted expressing similarly overheated sentiments regarding the Florida State Guard (Rep. Charlie Christ called it DeSantis’ “handpicked secret police” and state Sen. Annette Taddeo said the governor was a “wannabe dictator trying to make his move for his own vigilante militia like we’ve seen in Cuba”), CNN’s reporting indicated this was neither a) fascisty nor b) bananas.
Which led to this rejoinder from Sarah Silverman:
Please read the article before you post this stuff you’re a news outlet. The truth has to matter
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 3, 2021
“Please read the article before you post this stuff you’re a news outlet. The truth has to matter,” Silverman tweeted Friday afternoon.
I’m exceptionally unsure about that last sentence of the tweet — apparently, the star of “The Sarah Silverman Show” and “Wreck-It Ralph” hasn’t watched Joy Reid’s show — but the fact this drew a rebuke from Silverman says something.
Just so we’re clear on who we’re talking about without chronicling every political utterance the comedienne has ever made, Silverman openly hoped during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings that former President Donald Trump would “someday understand what it is to be held down against your will and violated.”
As for politicians she likes, consider she tweeted she was “heartbroken” when Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, saying that for her, the independent Vermont socialist was “right up there w Mr. Rogers.”
Wow. I’m heartbroken about Bernie. In all this darkness, he made me believe that people, together, could be the light. He continues to be an inspiration. And he’ll never stop fighting for us.
Thank you, Bernie. For me, you’re right up there w Mr. Rogers.💔♥️
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) April 8, 2020
This isn’t a covert Republican or someone given to whinging about the treacheries of the liberal media. If even Silverman knows this tweet is beyond the pale, it’s safe to say she’s not sticking up for DeSantis.
It’s also worth noting Reid wasn’t the only one to do this. Here’s some similar ridiculousness from Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali, Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson and MSNBC contributor Dean Obeidallah:
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) December 3, 2021
“And that, children, was the genesis of Florida’s nuclear weapons program.”https://t.co/mflg2wWqWC
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) December 3, 2021
WOW: GOP Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis wants to form a personal militia like the “political” leaders in Iraq have. It would be a militia that only answers to him. This is the beginning of a “Red Army” as the GOP prepares for war. Literally. https://t.co/cNsdymLtNz
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 3, 2021
If the MSNBC host’s lack of social media rigor shocked Silverman, it more or less confirmed what many of us already knew: The facts don’t matter to many in the media, particularly Reid. This is particularly true when it comes to DeSantis — a man she’s floated a baseless, vague accusation of sexual misconduct against because one of his former appointed officials also had connections to the sexual misconduct allegations against Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, themselves unproven. If it sounds good on air or looks good on her Twitter feed, she’s going to say it.
Maybe the fact she’s lost Sarah Silverman will cause Joy Reid to reconsider her journalistic standards. Or maybe she’ll try tying Silverman into the non-existent Ron DeSantis sex scandal, instead. You make the call.
I’d give it about even odds, to be honest.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.