Joy Reid wants it to be both ways on media coverage of Ukraine

Highlighting the extensive media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Joy Reid concluded monday ReidOut criticizing the global con...


Highlighting the extensive media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Joy Reid concluded monday ReidOut criticizing the global conflict news outlets they choose to cover – and those they don’t.

While the MSNBC host made some very valid observations, her overall assessment rang quite hollow.

She told her audience:

Today, what we are seeing in Ukraine is absolutely the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades, yet we have not witnessed the same kind of solidarity for Yemenis as for Ukrainians. We don’t see historic sanctions or global campaigns, with companies like Airbnb and Netflix taking a stand.

And that’s not to say we shouldn’t care so much about Ukraine, far from it. The point is that we should also care as much about refugees in those facing occupation and war in the Middle East, as well as in Asia and Africa.

Coverage of Ukraine revealed quite a drastic disparity in how human Ukrainians look and feel towards Western media compared to their darker, blacker counterparts, with some journalists using very telling comparisons in their analysis of the war.

Part of that is right. American media is not it focus a lot on, for example, the Tigray war in Ethiopia or the Somali civil war. And not even president Joe Biden seems particularly interested in trying to put an end to the monstrous behavior of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, rupture his promise to do so. It must be said, however, that the war in Ukraine is the largest ground campaign in Europe since World War II. To say the least, what we see now is extremely rare on this continent.

But it’s a weird flex from Reid. His show mirrored his cable peers when covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and did so after largely ignoring the war in Yemen and other international conflicts. Indeed, Reid refused to use her platform on the nation’s largest liberal cable network to call on the Biden administration to impose on Saudi Arabia the kinds of sanctions she mentioned in her monologue.

A search of transcripts in a database called TV Eyes indicates that prior to Monday, Reid had not mentioned the war in Yemen since at least September last year, possibly longer. However, the war has been mentioned in recent weeks on other MSNBC shows, such as Ayman and The Mehdi Hasan show. (Mediaite contacted MSNBC to ask if The ReidOut aired segments on Yemen, but did not receive a response before publication.)

That’s not to say that Reid, who I assume has a lot of latitude in choosing the topics for his show, should run more international stories. After all, it’s up to her to decide what she’s talking about. If she wants to turn at least part of her show into something like the BBC news time focusing on global stories is his prerogative.

“It’s a teachable moment for us in the media,” she concluded, “We’re not afraid to call out our industry. There’s a lot of soul-searching we need to do in Western media to find out why some wars and lives seem more important than others, and why some refugees get a welcome mat while others get the wall.

Again, that’s a very fair observation. But unless that “introspection” results in some sort of shift in coverage of his own show, what exactly is the point of his criticism here? Reid is not a helpless media critic demanding better and wider coverage from the outside. She is able to right what she believes to be wrong. Whether she actually does is up to her.

Watch above via MSNBC.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Joy Reid wants it to be both ways on media coverage of Ukraine
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