NYT: In early January, Joy-Ann Reid invited Pastor Mark Burns to be a guest on her MSNBC show to discuss disparaging comments that President Trump had made about Haitian and African immigrants. The pastor, a defender of Mr. Trump, refused to acknowledge a vulgarity the president had applied to those countries, as confirmed by two senators. Mr. Burns interrupted Ms. Reid when she spoke and talked over her when she tried to argue. Not one to brook insults from a guest, Ms. Reid called for a “time out” and told Pastor Burns he was wasting her time.
“You’re wasting my time,” he replied.
“Oh, well, then, if I’m wasting your time,” she said, “then goodbye.”
The interview abruptly ended.
It was a classically no-nonsense performance from Ms. Reid, 49, who has hosted “AM Joy” weekend mornings on MSNBC since 2016. She is a frequent substitute for other show hosts, including Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. She wrote a 2015 book on politics and race, “Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide” — “provocative and well-argued,” Kirkus Reviews said — and teaches a class at Syracuse University exploring race, gender and the media.
In the Trump era, Ms. Reid, the daughter of immigrants, has emerged as a heroine of the resistance to his leadership. And her forceful questioning style, matching that on conservative outlets like Fox, has resonated with MSNBC’s viewers. She is popular on social media with fans who fondly call themselves #reiders. Her morning show on Saturday averages nearly 1 million weekly viewers and, for the last four months, she has bested MSNBC’s competitor CNN, according to Nielsen, which tracks television ratings (granted, her competition then is general newsroom updates rather than another headline personality).
“Our prime directive is to constantly remind people that this is not normal and not to allow it to become mundane,” Ms. Reid said in a recent interview at MSNBC’s studios in Midtown Manhattan, referring to the architecture of the Trump presidency. Each week she makes sure to discuss the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. “We feel like one of our duties is to keep that story top of mind because it’s fundamentally about whether we truly choose our own leaders,” she said.