It's almost impressive how far MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid was able to twist what David French recently wrote at National Review Online (NRO). French wrote a piece on the accidental missile alert that went out in Hawaii and concerns that, should we hear that a nuclear weapon is headed for us, we should "prepare to survive. French wrote:
The bottom line, even if a nuclear weapon as big as the largest North Korea has ever tested were to impact squarely on Manhattan, the vast majority of New Yorkers would survive the initial blast. A strike would devastate central Honolulu but leave many suburbs intact. If the missile misses a city center even by a small amount, the number of initial casualties plunges dramatically.
He goes on to share some rudimentary information on how to survive a nuclear strike.
No biggie, right? Then Joy-Ann Reid, with more than one million Twitter followers, tweeted about the piece.
She has since deleted her tweet, but screenshots are forever.
What? French said none of those things. It takes a significant amount of work to make anything he said even resemble anything she is alleging. French was rightfully confused:
In the annals of misleading and ridiculous tweets, this takes the cake:— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 17, 2018
1. I did not argue in favor of risking nuclear war.
2. I never said anything like the words in those quotes.
3. I wrote only in favor of prepping for bad events.
Other than that, the tweet’s great. https://t.co/oWpXdnjOpD
Earlier tonight @JoyAnnReid smeared me. She made things up. She claimed I said things I never said and never would say. Can she really believe I’m ok with nuclear war if it kills Democrats and minorities? https://t.co/O0wybIRX9i— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 18, 2018
He wrote this in response:
What the heck? I said nothing of the sort. Not only did I say nothing like that, I can’t imagine saying anything like that. It’s not only antithetical to my deepest beliefs, it’s directly contradicted by two long pieces I’ve written that were specifically intended to highlight the horrific risks of an all-out conflict with North Korea.
During my time in the Army, I deployed to South Korea briefly during Operation Key Resolve in 2010. I sat in a bunker for hours watching the projected casualty counts from a North Korean invasion mount up to truly terrifying levels. I’m a veteran of the Iraq War and grieve still for lost friends. You don’t need to tell me that war is hell.
So where did Reid get this idea? She read a Raw Story reprint of Newsweek's bad-faith summarization of French's piece. The piece is entitled "Nuclear war won’t hit suburbs, conservative magazine assures readers," and begins with the lede "An article published Monday in the National Review reassures readers that nuclear war—and North Korea’s arsenal—shouldn’t cause them concern because a nuclear strike will mostly vaporize those in major cities while suburbanites will come out largely unscathed."
So, Reid didn't even bother to read the actual piece, just the clickbait representation of it. Fortunately, she has backtracked.
Taking back my take on this take - the @rawstory writeup doesn't reflect @DavidAFrench's intent and I think @Aunty__Em would probably agree. David and I disagree on almost everything, but my take on this was off track. https://t.co/YARwfhRNRE— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 18, 2018
Maybe, in the future, it's worth the one extra click to see if what you're saying is true.