In a not-altogether-surprising move, MSNBC is expected to announce daytime anchor Joy Reid is moving to prime time, where she will take over for the recently ousted Chris Matthews. Reid has been with the network for several years now, working as a national correspondent and hosting daytime program AM Joy.
The addition of Reid into the evening lineup at the network, their most-watched block of programming, is final proof that they have no interest in discussing the news and every interest in proving how woke they are. Matthews, who hosted 'Hardball' in the 7 p.m. slot since 1997, was no conservative, but he remained nuanced and interested in the news from both sides throughout his duration.
As my colleague Larry O'Conner pointed out upon Matthews' departure in March, the 'Hardball' host wasn't exactly a get-along-with-everyone guy and accusations of his inappropriate behavior with women throughout his career came as a surprise to few. But on-air, Matthews represented a type of commentary journalism that seems to be nonexistent these days, particularly on networks like MSNBC and CNN. Matthews was not an activist.
Sure, he was a Democrat, this was a fact he wasn't shy about. But his existence as a member of a political party didn't prevent him from drawing viewers from both sides of the aisle. His party affiliation didn't stop him from asking Democratic lawmakers tough questions on his show. This was because Matthews knew the job; he knew he was there to make a news program, something that mattered outside of an echo chamber of liberal ideals and challenged the status quo.
Matthews, of course, was no angel when it came to running the Russian collusion hoax for the Democrats. He, like so many others, suffered a political unhinging sparked by the election of President Trump in 2016. Perhaps his status as an insufficiently woke relic was already cemented. But his presence in the line-up as the progressive newbies filled in around him offered a bit of peace, a reminder of a bygone time.
There are no more Chris Matthews. Sure, there are some other cable news hosts in various time slots that offer some sense of nuance and flashes of caring about what the other side is saying. But the very idea of a program whose host is interested in presenting news and analysis of the day to a variety of viewers with a variety of opinions has gone the way of the dodo.
Joy Reid's new show will kick off an evening featuring hour-long fire hose blasts of liberal ideology and conservative thumping paralleled only by CNN and avowed Marxist activists with megaphones. Reid will be followed by Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and finally, Lawrence O'Donnell, who have all left behind whatever journalism dignity they once had to become operatives for whichever candidate, hoax, or glowing green space monster will defeat conservative values and those who espouse them.
Any idea that they could proclaim themselves as advocates for fair reporting dissolved the day Matthews took his leave. Any idea that they weren't using their air time and positions to move the direction of the country in the furthest left direction they could is solidly flushed down the toilet.
Of course, other liberal activist outlets are praising the choice to add Reid to such a white line-up. Reid is a rising star in political media, despite the flagrantly terrible and homophobic things she's said in her past. It isn't even the fact that she lied about saying those things and attempted to say she was hacked and later implied that she'd made that up. It isn't even the fact that she's never owned up to nor apologized for those things.
"Black lives may matter more at MSNBC," the NY Daily News proudly proclaimed. "The No. 2 cable news network is reportedly adding some much-needed color to its primetime lineup." It won't matter to Reid that she is most likely being chosen for the color of her skin and not her ability to draw viewers. This is her chance to do something much bigger: share her terrifying vision for America with a "No. 2" in cable news size audience.
And with that influence and visibility, she can be truly scary. She will spew toxic lies to defeat her perceived enemies, and spin ugly, false images of this country. In May, Reid said on AM Joy that President Trump promised his "White Voters" He Would "Get Rid of These Brown Immigrants." In January, after Trump announced he was sending support to U.S. soldiers under siege by Iranians in at the embassy in Iraq, Reid said it was "Trump's Benghazi" unfolding in Iraq. And she loves to remind people that she believes the president is a literal Nazi, providing only rhetoric and fear-mongering.
"People are afraid of, not just what [Trump] can do, but what he is doing to people, what he is bringing out in people," Reid said of the president in January. "You have swatting happening, and Nazis walking around. It is a scary time."
You get the idea. Reid is vicious and she's determined. And her goals are perfectly in line with the rest of the primetime block of hard-line progressive television hosts. There is no more room for nuance at MSNBC, only activism.