Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt blasted MSNBC host Joy Reid on Tuesday night for focusing on “skin color” when it comes to news coverage of the Gabby Petito murder, ignoring the fact that his Newsmax colleague Grant Stinchfield had made exactly the same argument as Reid the night before.
Reid has once again found herself facing the wrath of right-wing media, this time over her commentary about the round-the-clock news coverage of the Petito case and how the media obsession with the case may result from “missing white woman syndrome.”
“It goes without saying that no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain. And the Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice,” Reid said on Monday night’s The Reid Report. “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 continued, “Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White Woman Syndrome. The term coined by the late and great Gwen Ifill to describe the media and public fascination with missing white women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving missing people of color.”
During Tuesday night’s broadcast of Rob Schmitt Tonight, Schmitt piggybacked on conservative media’s outrage over Reid’s remarks, suggesting that Reid was callously dismissing the tragedy surrounding Petito’s death by focusing on race.
“It obviously is a very engaging story because it’s so frightening and people have kids and this is, again, their worst nightmare,” the former Fox News host said. “But over at MSNBC, if you ask our good friend Joy Reid, the only reason for the national coverage of this case is Gabby’s skin color.”
After airing a clip of Reid’s comments, Schmitt then added, “Reid ended her tirade by suggesting that missing women of color weren’t noticed as much because they didn’t look like the daughters or granddaughters of newsroom executives.”
Besides Schmitt, Newsmax’s afternoon news show American Agenda also devoted a segment to the MSNBC star’s remarks on Tuesday, sharing tweets of outraged conservatives while noting that “a lot of people are still angry” at Reid suggesting Petito coverage is “missing white woman syndrome.”
Lost in Newsmax’s breathless coverage of Reid’s argument is the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, the network’s primetime star Stinchfield made the same exact argument on his show.
In a monologue that almost seemed to be cut-and-pasted from progressive columns on the subject, the ultra-conservative host criticized the outsized attention Petito’s case has received compared to the thousands of other women who go missing each year. He made race a central component of his argument.
“The very sad reality is there are thousands of young women missing across the country. They get no attention from the mainstream media,” Stinchfield said. “All of them deserve attention, but many of these other women. They could be runaways. Some, though, were murder victims, lots of them are women of color. They go largely ignored by the mainstream media, even though every victim deserves coverage.”
After listing the names of Black women who have disappeared and are still missing, the Newsmax host took a swipe at the news media for ignoring these stories. “Every city across America has tragic stories like these, but unfortunately, none get the media coverage like cute little white girl Gabby Petito,” he declared.
“Folks, I want you to remember the other names as well,” Stinchfield said after airing a montage of national news coverage of the Petito case. “Look, every victim deserves coverage. Gabby certainly deserves coverage, this story is horrible! But don’t all those other women deserve coverage too?”
He then ended the monologue by complaining that conservative media is portrayed as racist by its competitors.
“The media is hyper-focused on white girls with blonde hair. It’s sad and is that reality, while they cry about our racism,” he groused.
Stinchfield’s segment aired an hour after the Reid broadcast that drew howls from right-wing pundits. Yet, at the same time, it drew no criticism and was apparently ignored and forgotten by his own network.