MSNBC host Joy Reid expressed frustration Monday with America’s interest in missing woman Gabby Petito — echoing complaints from the left that the national attention to her disappearance is a form of white privilege.
After reporting on the previous day’s discovery of human remains in Wyoming thought to be Petito’s, Reid immediately transitioned to educating viewers about something called Missing White Woman Syndrome.
MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid: Media reporting Gabby Petito’s disappearance/presumed murder is symptom of "Missing White Woman Syndrome." pic.twitter.com/UYAWgaDyYr
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2021
The “Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice,” Reid said on “The ReidOut.” “But the way this story has captivated the nation has many wondering, ‘Why not the same media attention when people of color go missing?'”
• Reid then brought on two activists to discuss “the media and public fascination with missing white women … while ignoring cases involving missing people of color.”
Other journalists and liberal commentators have made similar points.
• Molly Jong-Fast, The Daily Beast editor: “Personally, I find it more than a little infuriating that [the 710 indigenous people who have gone missing in Wyoming] didn’t get the same attention as this white, model-thin 22-year-old who’d been documenting her travels through Utah’s national parks in a white van with her boyfriend on Instagram.”
• Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, CNN contributor: I’m glad #GabbyPetito’s disappearance has received so much coverage and there’s been a vigorous investigation. My thoughts are w/her family. I just want there to be same interest and energy re every disappeared young woman in America – Brown, Black, Native-American, transgender.
• Brandi Morin, journalist: “Gabby Petito didn’t deserve what happened to her. She deserves the full resources of police, worldwide media attention when she went missing. She got that cause she’s white. There are THOUSANDS of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls who don’t get this justice-I’m pissed.”
On his CNN show Monday, Don Lemon suggested white privilege could also be working against Petito.
What? Don Lemon manages to twist the Gabby Petito case into police vs minorities/the poor. He launched into a screed about how the police weren't the "good guys" because in different situations they're hard on suspects and didn't force Brian Laundrie into a confession this time. pic.twitter.com/Z1Si2nurip
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) September 21, 2021
The “Don Lemon Tonight” host argued that Brian Laundrie — Petito’s 23-year-old fiancé and a person of interest in her case — may not have been allowed to disappear after returning from their road trip alone if he were not a white person “of privilege.”