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MSNBC’s Joy Reid runs with false election claims, gets fact-checked hard by CNN’s Jake Tapper

MSNBC’s Joy Reid was called out by CNN’s Jake Tapper who solidly fact-checked her on false claims concerning the 2000 presidential election results and the origin of the name FiveThirtyEight. Monday evening, Reid tweeted, “Here’s the thing: the reason there’s a thing called @FiveThirtyEight is because 538 was the margin in FL when the Republican SCOTUS reversed the 2000 election during a recount, making Dubya the president.”

“That’s the kind of margin where races can flip. That’s not what’s up now,” Reid claimed.

She engaged in some revisionist history when she claimed that the 2000 election was “reversed” by the Supreme Court by a margin of 538 votes. She ostensibly made the claim in an attempt to dismiss Republican allegations of voter fraud.

Reid also attempted to argue that the data outlet FiveThirtyEight was named after the voter margin in Florida when in reality the founder Nate Silver named his outlet after the number of electors in the electoral college. Her comments show a lack of knowledge concerning political facts and history.

Both assertions are completely wrong.

Her statement is incorrect and Tapper informed her of this. “This isn’t accurate,” he stated. “The margin in Florida was 537 votes (538 is the number of electoral college voters).”

Tapper also corrected her on the point that “the SCOTUS didn’t reverse the 2000 election,” as “Bush always led in every count.” Gore challenged the lead and demanded a recount, which was effectively granted by the Florida Supreme Court on December 8, 2000. The Bush campaign subsequently asked the Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari, which was granted.


In Bush v. Gore, which was ruled on December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court did not overturn Bush’s margin, but affirmed it, saying in a 5-4 decision that Florida Supreme Court’s decision had overstepped its bounds by effectively creating a new election law — infringing on the state legislature’s authority — and that no recount could be completed, due to a looming federal deadline for the selection of electors.

Reid has been widely mocked on social media and from all sides for her claims concerning the 2020 presidential election. Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman, an NBC News contributor, flatly stated “Yeah that’s not it” in response to the MSNBC host’s inaccurate assertions.

Just recently, Reid also argued that Justice Clarence Thomas (whom she smeared as “Uncle Clarence”) and his fellow Republican-appointed justices could not be trusted “to do the right thing” in the case of the presidential election reaching the Supreme Court. She also stated that the close election between Trump and Biden stemmed from “a great amount of racism and anti-blackness.”

Reid has a long history of missteps, errors, and falsehoods. The New York Times’ Liam Stack resurrected the 2018 scandal over unearthed homophobic and inflammatory blog posts that Reid initially blamed on a supposed hacking despite eventually apologizing for some of the blog’s content.

“I know everyone is making jokes about Joy Reid getting this wrong today, but did she ever find the hackers who she claimed wrote all that homophobic stuff on her old blog?” Stack wrote. “Every time I see her on TV or see her tweets I think about that.”

Stanford professor Keith Humphreys mused, “Twitter is a place where you can learn something new every day that isn’t true.”

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