On Colbert Show, Joy Reid Says Media Isn’t Tough Enough on GOP

MSNBC’s Joy Reid joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show‘s Tuesday installment on CBS and as Colbert tried to learn more about the news industry, Reid claimed that the media is not hard enough on democracy-destroying Republicans.

Reid claimed that the media’s supposed timidity in this comes from the fact that, “the media will gravitate towards change and conflict. But the media doesn’t want to be in conflict necessarily with the president but the idea of almost like a sports-like conflict between the parties is, kind of, where the media tends to go.”

The real problem for Reid, however, isn’t that media stirs up conflict, but that it doesn’t adequately explain just how high the stakes are, “That’s not healthy when we’re dealing with, like, the decline of democracy, which is actually not a sporting event and we should probably take that seriously, and there are there are two sides, and there is one right to being for or against democracy and I think the media has failed there.”

If ignoring the fact that the media does do what Reid wants wasn’t bad enough, Reid also claimed the media is being too hard on President Biden because he is just a bystander whose policies have no impact on the country’s economic situation: 

But I think also, you know, complicated things like inflation and economics, it’s just easier to cover it like a sporting event– Republicans say this, Democrats say that and to sort of lay things at the feet of the president where he might not be able to do anything about it. I doubt any president can reverse inflation. It’s just not a thing they do.

Earlier in the segment, Colbert agreed with this the idea that the media is being too hard on Biden, “At his marathon press conference last week, President Biden said ‘Members of the media talk about how nothing has happened in [his] first year, and the fact of the matter is, we got an awful lot done.’ Is that a fair complaint by Joe Biden, because there is a whole lot of talk in the media– no offense, also MSNBC– about the agenda stalling.”

Only a late-night talk show host and MSNBC agitator could claim that the media is being too hard on Biden while not being tough enough on Republicans.

This segment was sponsored by McDonald’s

Here is a transcript for the January 26 show:

CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

1/26/2022

12:15 AM ET

STEPHEN COLBERT: Hey, everybody, we’re back with MSNBC’s Joy Reid. At his marathon press conference last week, President Biden said “Members of the media talk about how nothing has happened in [his] first year—

JOY REID: Yeah.

COLBERT: — and the fact of the matter is, we got an awful lot done.” Is that a fair complaint by Joe Biden, because there is a whole lot of talk in the media– no offense, also MSNBC– 

JOY REID Yeah. 

COLBERT: –About the agenda stalling and, you know, I’m sure he’d like to get everything done or —

REID: Yeah

COLBERT: — his base would like to get everything done. What do you make of his first year and is he right to complain about the description? 

REID: I think, you know, all presidents complain about the press, you know, President Obama didn’t really like the press, no one really likes the press when you work in politics because you’re never get the coverage you want. But I think in one sense, Biden has a point. I think that the media, you know, I like to say that, you know, the media does have two biases, right? Change and conflict. Right? So if we see change, we run toward that, and that’s interesting. 

COLBERT: Because change is a new thing to talk about. 

REID: Change is new. You know, President Obama, that was an exciting sort of change in America’s culture and politics. You know, the media will gravitate towards change and conflict. But the media doesn’t want to be in conflict necessarily with the president but the idea of almost like a sports-like conflict between the parties is, kind of, where the media tends to go. That’s not healthy when we’re dealing with, like, the decline of democracy, which is actually not a sporting event and we should probably take that seriously, and there are there are two sides, and there is one right to being for or against democracy and I think the media has failed there. But I think also, you know, complicated things like inflation and economics, it’s just easier to cover it like a sporting event– Republicans say this, Democrats say that and to sort of lay things at the feet of the president where he might not be able to do anything about it. I doubt any president can reverse inflation. It’s just not a thing they do. So, I think that, yes, in a sense there has been– policy is boring and so the media won’t cover the sort of policies that are just working their way normally through Congress and he signs them. The conflict is more interesting.

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