Accuracy in Media

MSNBC personality Joy Reid called rural Americans a “core threat to our democracy” last weekend.

Responding to a piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined, “The Varied – and Global – Threats Confronting Democracy,” Reid called for sacking the Electoral College because it gives rural voters an unfair advantage over urban voters in national elections.

It cites a prediction that by 2040, 70 percent of Americans will live in the 15 largest states by population. That means 70 percent of the people in America will be represented by 30 members of the U.S. Senate and the other 30 percent will be represented by 70 senators.

Americans also are represented in Congress by the 435 members of the House of Representatives, whose state-by-state allocation is determined by population. Nevertheless, two of the last three presidents, including President Trump, took office despite not receiving the most popular votes.

“The rural majority – the people [author] @JYSexton just wrote a long threat about – have and will continue to have disproportionate power over the urban majority,” Reid wrote. She then said the “abolition of the Electoral College” would help stave off a “core threat” posed by rural voters.

“The host of ‘AM Joy’ followed up her recent claim that the National Rifle Association seeks to create a landscape littered with murderous ‘warlords’ with a new prediction over Thanksgiving: Rural voters will become de facto tyrants by 2040,” the Washington Times wrote.

Reid has been on this theme since Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The next day, she tweeted, “The United States has been utterly exposed. We are a racially and regionally polarized, male-dominant, rural-urban hybrid. Myths busted.”

Then, the day after Christmas, she tweeted that each rural vote carries the same weight as thousands of urban votes – a formulation that shows a lack of understanding of the system.

On Independence Day, when Americans were celebrating the boldest experiment in self-determination in world history, Reid was lamenting the media attention focused on rural residents.

Either they get catered to, she said … or “otherwise, they’ll feel sad and disrespected and the @NYTimes will write doleful odes to their misery so they rest of us will pity them.”

Later in the day, she spelled it out.

“People, please. Your ethos is now running the United States. We are run by your rural, right-wing Christian ‘values’ and Ted Nugentian ethos.”

And later that month, she attacked the Electoral College.

“The EC is a relic always designed to let rural states whose economies depended on slave labor rule over the centers of trade and commerce,” she wrote.

Conservatives in the media wasted little time pointing out the problems with her latest analysis.

“Both [MSNBC producer] Kyle Griffin’s original tweet (about the 70-30 ratios) and Reid’s response highlight a core threat to our constitutional system: basic ignorance,” Erick Erickson, radio host and writer, wrote for Fox News. “The several states formed the national government, ceding certain powers outlined in Section 8 of the first article of the Constitution. They kept the rest of the powers for themselves. This is and has always been our basic constitutional system. We are a republic with representative democracy components in its operation.”

The Times story also mentioned an item on The Blaze, a conservative website, where writer Sara Gonzalez put Reid’s remarks in historical perspective.

“As of the 1790 census, 74 percent of America’s population lived in the seven largest states, which means that America’s population has always been concentrated in larger states, since the time of its founding,” Gonzalez wrote. “Reid is not objecting to a threat to American constitutional democracy. She’s objecting to a central feature of American constitutional democracy – a central feature that has been present since the founding of the country.”

Wrote Kristinn Taylor at the Gateway Pundit: “The irony of a liberal African-American political commentator calling for the disenfranchisement of a minority population group appears to be lost on MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid.”

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