Joy Reid Gives Joe Biden Pass on N-Word in Primetime Debut

Screenshot of Joy Reid on MSNBC.
MSNBC / YouTube

MSNBC’s Joy Reid gave presumptive 2020 Democrat presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden a pass concerning the revelation he repeatedly used the “N-word” in the 1980s in U.S. Senate hearings during her primetime debut on Monday night.

Reid, a black woman, on Monday hosted her first episode of The Reid Out, her new primetime show replacing the ousted longtime MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews. Reid’s rise to prominence comes amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and after Matthews—the host of Hardball for more than 20 years—was pushed out after a string of controversies plagued the end of his career.

For her debut program, Reid landed an interview with Biden. Biden is a huge interview for any network news show because Biden will be the Democrat candidate for president in November and could become President of the United States. Despite landing the huge interview, Reid failed to ask Biden about the biggest story of the day about Biden, which Breitbart News broke earlier in the day, which was the fact that Biden used the “N-word” more than a dozen times in a series of U.S. Senate hearings in 1985.

The story from Breitbart News topped social media networks throughout the day Monday ahead of Reid’s debut and her live interview with Biden. Some even publicly asked her to ask Biden about the story, including Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones–a black Democrat who has said he will back President Donald Trump in November:

Quoting someone else, Biden used the “N-word” thirteen times over three separate hearings in 1985, according to U.S. Senate hearing transcripts. Some video clips of a couple of the instances have circulated online in recent weeks, but the extent to which Biden went in three days of U.S. Senate hearings in the summer of 1985 to use the “N-word” repeatedly–13 total times over three days of hearings–has gone unreported until this week.

Biden’s campaign still has not addressed questions about this, and the first interview he gave since this came out was with MSNBC’s Reid, who failed to ask him about it.

Reid’s decision to give Biden a pass on his repeated use of the racial slur—even though he was quoting someone else in so doing—cuts against her history of calling out almost anyone who uses the term, from politicians to Hollywood directors and more.

Reid opened her program by noting the recent passing of Civil Rights Movement icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), arguing that there is “a contrast” between President Trump and people like Biden and her second guest, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She opened the program by claiming that Clinton was “denied” the ability to serve as president–even though she got millions more national popular votes than Trump–because of the electoral college.


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