Poor People's Moral Action Congress

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It’s official.

Joy Reid will anchor her own nightly news show on MSNBC, making her one of the few Black women who’ve led an American evening news program.

According to The New York Times, Reid will move from hosting her MSNBC weekend talk show “AM Joy” to anchoring her 7 p.m. hour show, “The ReidOut” on July 20. The program follows the ending of Chris Matthews’ show “Hardball” after he was forced to resign in March because of on-air gaffes and accusations of sexist behavior in the workplace.

Black women such as Gayle King on CBS and Robin Roberts on ABC have led morning and daytime television, but presently, no Black woman hosts a nightly evening show on a major network. The last Black woman to hold such a position was Gwen Ifill, who co-anchored “PBS NewsHour” until shortly before her 2016 death.

Reid listed Ifill and two other Black anchors, Deborah Roberts and Carole Simpson, as role models.

“Evening and prime-time news has been a universe of white men really since I was growing up,” Ms. Reid said. “For somebody who grew up as a nerdy kid obsessed with news, watching ‘Nightline’ and ‘Meet the Press,’ the idea of being a part of that family has always just been kind of overwhelming.”

Along with focusing on political analysis and punditry on her show, Reid also said that she plans on addressing race, class, policing and other “cataclysmic social issues we need to reckon with.”

“I am a Black mom, a Black woman, a Black daughter,” explained Reid, who is married with three children. “I am also a journalist who can conceptualize that pain from a unique point of view. Every day I’m in this job, I’m very conscious of that responsibility to make that collective voice heard. It’s unique to do that as a Black woman.”

Reid has had her fair share of criticism. Back in 2017, homophobic posts and comments from “The Reid Report,” a blog she penned in the mid- to late 2000s, resurfaced on social media. She apologized for writing mocking claims that Charlie Crist, the former Florida governor, was gay. However, additional posts emerged where she opposed gay marriage, she argued that “most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing,” and she wrote “a lot of heterosexuals, especially men, find the idea of homosexual sex to be … well … gross.” 

Reid initially argued that these posts were fabricated and inserted into the archives of her blog by hackers who hoped to defame her. She eventually hired a cybersecurity expert to investigate, however, she later acknowledged that there was little evidence that the posts had been fabricated. 

“I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me,” she explained to viewers in a lengthy apology, saying she had grown up “in a household that, like many in America, had conservative views on L.G.B.T.Q. issues.”

“The person I am now is not the person I was then,” Reid continued.

This week, when she was asked whether she still believes the post weren’t written by her, Reid explained, “It’s two years ago, so I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about that old blog. What I genuinely believe is that I truly care about the L.G.B.T. people in my own life. I care about being a good ally, a good person, and making sure that my voice is authentic, that I can make a difference.”

Reid said her views have evolved thanks to the help of friends, colleagues and her own daughter who is gay. “My job in that moment was to listen,” she acknowledged, adding, “The L.G.B.T. community in this country has a resiliency and a core kindness.”

Meanwhile, NBC has pledged to improve its diversity after a problematic history of their own.

“AM Joy”, for example, was created after previous weekend host, Melissa Harris-Perry, left MSNBC, accusing the network of sidelining her. “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head,” Harris-Perry explained in an email to NBC staff at the time. Another Black anchor at NBC, Tamron Hall, left the network in 2017 after her contract expired and she was briefly replaced with former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Ms. Kelly parted ways with the network after she failed to understand the harm of blackface.

Fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said Reid’s promotion to hosting her own evening show was “a good decision by the network.”

“African-American journalists, African-American women in particular, are woefully underrepresented on TV in all hours of the day,” Maddow explained. “But particularly in prime time, it’s just a desert. Joy more than deserves this time slot and this kind of national platform.”


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Joy Reid Says Her Primetime MSNBC Show Will Address Race, Policing And ‘Issues We Need To Reckon With’  was originally published on