Once again obscuring any line between MSNBC and NBC News, Brian Williams brought frequent MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid aboard Friday’s NBC Nightly News to praise President Obama’s comments on the Zimmerman-Martin case while he failed to mention she spent 2008 working for the Obama presidential campaign.
Between hailing Obama’s remarks as “extraordinary” and “brave,” Reid painted Obama as the victim of racism: “Everything about the Obama presidency, race has been a subtext to all of it. From the Tea Party which saw differently the Obama bailout of the auto industry from George W. Bush’s and suddenly became a movement, to him being called a liar in the well of the Congress, to him having to show his birth certificate...”
Williams introduced her by reciting how she “is a lot of things,” yet he managed to leave out the most relevant direct connection to Obama:
Joy Reid is here with us tonight in the studio. She is a lot of things: She is an MSNBC contributor, Managing Editor of our African-American-centric Web site, The Grio. She is a columnist for the Miami Herald and, perhaps most important for the purpose of this conversation, a mother of three children. Joy, what happened today? What did we witness there?
Her bio on the Miama Herald site  notes that “in 2008, she served as a press aide to then-Senator Barack Obama’s Florida campaign.” That’s a fact NBC has excised from her TheGrio.com bio .
After describing Obama’s comments as “extraordinary,” she opined on the racial context:
Everything about the Obama presidency, race has been a subtext to all of it. From the Tea Party which saw differently the Obama bailout of the auto industry from George W. Bush’s and suddenly became a movement, to him being called a liar in the well of the Congress to him having to show his birth certificate, there has been a subtext around this President that’s made it difficult for him to directly address race issues. When he’s even tiptoed toward them, as in the case when Henry Louis Gates was arrested for trying to get into his own home, the blow-back has been intense. So I think for this President it is brave to step out and the fact that it was extemporaneous and deeply personal, it was an important moment for him and the country.
-- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow Brent Baker on Twitter.