I’m not 100 percent sure on this, but I’m pretty well convinced Joy Reid’s MSNBC show is actually brilliant conservative performance art. There’s not a better explanation for it that I can think of, and the weirdness is just too consistent to be explained otherwise.
So, if you’re not familiar with Joy Reid, let me give you an explainer. She’s a weekend host on MSNBC, which is the rubbish bin where the Maddow Network sticks hosts I can only assume they’re contractually obligated to air. (See also: Sharpton, Al.)
It’s impossible to go through all of the joy that Reid has brought us over the years, including the claim that her blog from ages ago, archived by reputable organizations, had been hacked to include homophobic comments about certain politicians.
And who can forget the aftermath of Brian Kemp beating Stacey Abrams in last November’s Georgia gubernatorial race, when Reid claimed Kemp “bioengineered” enough white voters to win the race.
Now, Reid is telling her audience — Tolstoy readers all — that they need to dumb down their spiel on impeachment at the Thanksgiving dinner table in order to convince (ugh, yes, I’m serious) “Uncle Roscoe and Auntie Carol.”
Roscoe and Carol are constructs (I hope) meant to act as a stand-in for the unwashed, sneering mass of humanity that generous, humane and — above all — intellectually sound liberals will no doubt have to condescend to deal with this Thanksgiving.
Reid knows the feeling. She feels your pain. And so what she advises is that you use words even the unfortunate, unlettered conservatives at the Thanksgiving table will understand.
“We are just over two weeks away from one of the most beloved American food holidays,” Reid said on her Nov. 9 show. “Thanksgiving, where problematic actual history meets delicious cuisine, and many will be heading home to spend time with family and friends, eat a little too much and perhaps engage in a dreaded, contentious political debate with your cranky Uncle Roscoe when he starts yelling, ‘Read the transcript!’ at the dinner table between bites of turkey and pumpkin pie.”
“But fear not!” our intrepid host continued. “We here at AM Joy are going to help you get through it all by telling you everything you need to understand about impeachment!”
Even given Reid’s history, this does indeed manage to be worse than you’d imagine it to be. Maybe some hackers bioengineered it or something:
“Here’s a hint: Do not worry about trying to explain the cast of characters … or the very overused term, ‘quid pro quo,'” Reid said. “Most people can’t say it, spell it or understand it.”
Except her, of course, and every single person who’s watched five minutes of impeachment coverage.
“What we’re actually talking about here is not a pithy Latin phrase. It’s something a lot simpler — bribery and extortion,” she continued.
“Beyond the whistleblower and over 100 hours of testimony backing up that fact, Donald Trump admitted to it, and even released edited notes from his call with the Ukrainian president — which, by the way, is not a transcript — that actually prove he did it,” she said.
“Even Uncle Roscoe and Auntie Carol ought to understand that.”
If they’re dumb enough to be lied to that blatantly, sure. While the transcript may not technically be an official transcript — it’s also not just “edited notes,” but that’s the least of our concerns here — there’s no evidence, explicit or implicit, that points toward bribery or extortion.
But then again, Uncle Roscoe and Auntie Carol aren’t the type to understand the words “bribery” or “extortion,” either.
Let’s really make sure they understand it: “Hey, Uncle Roscoe? You know powerful guy in big White House who appears on TV a lot with the funny hair and floppy tie? He did bad stuff! You want to throw the bum out now, right? I win!”
I’m always amazed at these stories about liberals traveling home to meet troglodytic conservatives like myself for Thanksgiving and contriving ways to dumb down their brilliant ideas just enough so that I’ll see the light.
It’s never occurred to them that a) they could do themselves a favor by not showing up and b) the person at Thanksgiving dinner who believes everyone else in the room is the idiot would almost certainly be in for the rudest surprise of their life if God suddenly granted them a modicum of self-awareness.
Alas, that won’t happen anytime soon, and “AM Joy” watchers will continue to believe that Uncle Roscoe and Aunt Carol (OK, seriously, for the final time — was there no one in the MSNBC newsroom with enough common sense to dissuade Reid from using those names?) won’t see the light because they lack the basic intelligence and literacy to understand the issues.
That’s certainly their right.
Can we just ask that if they continue in this self-delusion, that they at least have the common decency not to push it upon us while we’re trying to enjoy food — yes, even during a holiday with “problematic actual history?”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.