Politics & Policy

White Flight

If MSNBC were obsessed with Flight MH370 . . .

Joy Reid: Welcome to The Reid Report. Today, we’ll be discussing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared 45 days ago and has been missing ever since. In the studio with me, I have Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, Touré, Lawrence O’Donnell, and contributor Michael Eric Dyson. Michael, let me start today with what I think is the central question here: Did the plane’s First Class cabin perpetuate income inequality?

Michael Eric Dyson: Joy, it is imperative when addressing this pressing inquiry to acknowledge that there is some movement toward the examination of the proposition that what is relevant here is the issue of what some would call the theme of the Ryan budget, which, in its pernicious attempt to deprive minorities of their access to contraception and to the ballot box, cuts the treasure that has been put aside to keep flush the pot from which the budget reserved to ensure that air-traffic control is funded, reallocates money to the rich, and takes it away from the poor like a latter-day Robin Hood who has lost his way. We aren’t buyin’ what Ryan is lyin’.

Reid: What?#ad#

Dyson: What I mean to say is that in my many forays into the academic world I have encountered those who would say that the inability of the American government to find this missing and absent and mislaid and disappeared plane is bound up without a doubt with Paul Ryan’s egregious comments on the children of color who do not enjoy enough authority over their lives and who are on the receiving end of an insidious endeavor to harden the soft underbelly of racism and, if you will, to perpetuate the bigotry that his well-toned but unquestionably white body would repurpose for the reestablishment of slavery and segregation. You want to talk about a plane; I want to talk about a shame. You want to talk about a flight; I want to talk about who’s white.

Reid: Exactly, Michael. Do you think there has been too little coverage of this plane because most of the people weren’t white?

Andrea Mitchell: [interrupting] Actually, Joy, I have to disagree with you. I would say there’s been an awful lot of coverage . . .

Reid: Exactly. Has there been too much coverage because most of the passengers weren’t white? Ed Shultz, what do you think?

Ed Schultz: The results of our new poll are in. Our question this week: “Do you think Republicans even want to find the plane?” The result? Well, I must say that, even after several years in this job, I’m still shocked. I’m shocked sometimes at what this country has become since 1998. A remarkable 98 percent of our audience thinks that Republicans do not want to find the plane. They want it sitting there at the bottom of the ocean. They want foreigners to die. And I think that tells you a lot.

Reid: It also shows the hypocrisy of Republicans who rail against “big government” but seem to be fine with the feds investigating a terrible plane crash that might have been terrorism. Chris?

Chris Hayes: Joy, you mentioned earlier that the plane was “lost.” And I think that’s an interesting word: “lost.” Look, I don’t want to compare carbon emissions to slavery, but I should say that, when it comes down to it, I think that carbon emissions and slavery are pretty much exactly the same thing. I suppose I see this crash very much as an opportunity — as the twilight of carbon, if you will. I looked this up earlier, and a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing puts out 0.77 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is only a little less than is necessary to plunge the world into global catastrophe, kill everybody who isn’t white, and close all of the bridges between here and New Jersey . . .

Rachel Maddow: On the bridge question, can I just say . . .

Hayes: . . . Rachel, if you’d just wait a moment I think you’ll like what I have to contribute to the group here. I wonder, would we have cared as much about this plane if it weren’t white? Would we have cared as much about this plane if it were shaped like a vagina rather than a penis? It seems to me that we just have one more beautiful, slender, white thing that the world is obsessed with. That the world is amazed by. And I wonder if that’s fair? I wonder, too, if we’d have found the plane by now if it had fallen into a white man’s ocean. Had the crash happened off the coast of, say, America or Poland, I’m pretty sure they’d have found survivors by now.

Chris Matthews: Chris, that’s a great point — you’re also called Chris! How is that even possible? — I mean I was thinking about this in the sense of the old manufacturing unions and I think it’s just one more self-proclaimed example of the homeless guy on the street whose information that has come to us implies that a mismanaged scandal has basically been totally screwed up by the Republicans. It’s crocodile tears! It’s racism! It’s a [inaudible]. Who even goes to the zoo? Once there was a plane — you know, that plane? — but now we learn there’s not even that plane. It’s gone. Was it there? I don’t know. Men don’t know, even the ones who have won the World Series. Even when the tax rate was 90 percent. Nobody knows. I never know where these planes are coming from anyway. Would Tip O’Neill know? Would Jack Kennedy have let this happen? I doubt that. When I was born there weren’t planes. Well there were, but we didn’t think of them like that. They were more . . . the minimum wage. See? Eggs.#page#

Reid: Breaking Bridgegate news here at MSNBC . . .

Maddow: Ooh! So, here’s the thing about that, when you . . .

Reid: . . . it has come to light that embattled New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, once bought a Toyota Camry for his wife.#ad#

Touré: Thanks, Joy. That truly is damning. My only thing here is to ask a few uncomfortable questions. This whole missing plane, I must say, is really fishy. How could a plane crash without anybody seeing it? They have scuba divers everywhere — even in the New York subway. Are we really supposed to believe that this thing wouldn’t appear on TV? Everything appears on TV, even me. And are we supposed to believe that it would leave no wreckage? I don’t buy it.

Lawrence O’Donnell: This has been a well-covered story, Touré. And we know exactly what those covering it are trying to do. They are trying to align the missing plane with Tiger Woods and, surely, the lifestyle of Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods is a professional golfer and he plays tournaments all around the world. Tiger Woods is black. The plane’s wheels are black. I’m not sure what there is left to . . .

Touré: Well, not all of the plane is . . .

O’Donnell: . . . yes, yes, the logo is blue and red — and so are the stripes down the side — but the wheels are jet black, and much blacker than Tiger Woods, in fact. Can we honestly say that this story isn’t ultimately about . . .

Mitchell: Hillary? Yes, I think this story is about Hillary. Remember, Hillary Clinton flew a lot of miles as secretary of state, and in doing so she bravely exposed herself to precisely this sort of danger. Air travel — especially to Asia — is precarious. Just ask John McCain . . .

Joy Reid: Thank you, Andrea. Up next, did the Koch Brothers steal some of Flight 370’s fuel?

— Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.

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