- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2021

You knew Joy Reid would make it about race.

The MSNBC prime-time host blamed racism for the national-news coverage of the disappearance and apparent death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito and the search for her absent fiance.

Ms. Reid began Monday evening’s The ReidOut program by saying that there were “many wondering” about the coverage of Ms. Petito and the missing “person of interest” Brian Laundrie.



“Why not the same media attention when people of color go missing?” she asked, providing the answer herself and then introducing two guests to amplify it.

“Well, the answer actually has a name — ‘missing White woman syndrome,’” she said, crediting the phrase to PBS journalist Gwen Ifill’s noting “the media and public fascination with missing White women.”

Ms. Reid suggested that White women get more media coverage when they go missing because other groups get classified as runaways, get labeled as criminals, and because newsroom executives don’t think they look like their own daughters or granddaughters.

She noted the case of Daniel Robinson, a Black man who was last seen in June driving home from an Arizona desert job site.

“I’d never heard of it until this friend of mine sent it to me. And I guess, that’s the issue, isn’t it?” she asked her guests.

The two panelists on the resulting segment were Derrica Wilson of the Black and Missing Foundation, and Lynette Grey Bull of the Not Our Native Daughters Foundation.

“One of the main factors and one of the key factors that a lot of people don’t want to talk about is that it’s racism,” Ms. Grey Bull said. “It’s systemic racism.”

She brought up the case of Mary Johnson, an American Indian woman who has been missing from her Washington reservation for almost a year.

‘I’d never heard of this case, either,” Ms. Reid said.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information to help solve Ms. Johnson’s disappearance.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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