If you didn’t think MSNBC host and leftist icon Joy Reid could go any lower than posting anti-gay and anti-Muslim rants at her now-defunct blog, prepare to your perceptions revised. On Monday, the day before a coroner’s autopsy determined that a body found at a Wyoming national park was indeed that of missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito, Reid railed out at the media and public at large over their “double standard.” What double standard? All the hand wringing and teeth gnashing over “another missing white woman,” suggesting that if Petito had been “of color,” most Americans would yawn at any media coverage and change the channel.
“Now, it goes without saying that no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain,” Reid began her monolog, “and the Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice. But the way this story has captivated the nation has many wondering: why not the same media attention when people of color go missing?” She then went on to assign an obscene name for this phenomenon — white woman syndrome — ascribing the term to the “late and great Gwen Ifill.”
Then she brought on two guests, one the founder of something called the “Black & Missing Foundation,” the other the founder of “Not Our Native Daughters.”
MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid: Media reporting Gabby Petito’s disappearance/presumed murder is symptom of "Missing White Woman Syndrome." pic.twitter.com/UYAWgaDyYr
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2021
Reid should have quit with the observation that “no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain.” The rest of her diatribe was pure and unadulterated racism, dressed up as “MeToo-ism.” The simple truth is that not all stories of missing persons are reported because the number of such cases is staggering. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) reports, for example, that in 2019, the most recent year for which they have data, 609,275 went missing. The year before that it was 612,846. If each story received the same media attention, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to report anything else.
As to which cases get reported, my guess would be that the ones in which foul play — real or suspected — tend to be the most compelling. Explaining the decision on racial grounds seems grasping at straws.