Last December, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid apologized for writing decade-old “tone deaf” homophobic posts on her now-defunct blog The Reid Report. But confronted by a new collection of 50 similar posts from the same blog last week, Reid claimed she hadn’t written them and they were the result of hacking. But an investigation by The Daily Beast casts serious doubts on those claims, leading MSNBC to air an apology from Reid herself this past Saturday morning (video below). Even before the Joy Reid apology, some notable queer people had come to her defense, saying lots of decent people also held homophobic views a decade ago.
Last week Reid said that the newly unearthed posts — in which she allegedly accused Oprah Winfrey of being closeted, gay groups of preying upon “impressionable teens” and wrote, “Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing” — were “part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago.”
She added, “An unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology.”
Furthermore, her lawyer claimed that six images being circulated online of other homophobic posts, allegedly written by Reid, were completely fabricated and had never appeared on her site at all. But an investigation by The Daily Beast found that all six articles had in fact appeared on The Internet Archive, a website which stores old images of webpages from now-defunct sites.
Even worse, the Internet Archive disavowed Reid’s claim, stating, “When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions.”
Here’s video of the Joy Reid apology:
.@MSNBC's Joy Reid addresses homophobic blog posts:
"I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things … But I can definitely understand, based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people don't believe me." pic.twitter.com/PWjdPfs5KB
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 28, 2018
Reid addressed the issue on her Saturday morning MSNBC show, AM Joy, (video above). She said:
I hired cybersecurity experts to see if somebody had manipulated my words or my former blog, and the reality is they have not been able to prove it. But here’s what I know: I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me. But I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted and I have written in the past why some people don’t believe me. I’ve not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry.
Many conservatives have attacked Reid and MSNBC for her alleged homophobia and lying. But some gay people have come to her defense, most notably longtime gay activist Dan Savage, who wrote, “I don’t like people who are currently homophobic. If I was gonna be mad at people who used to be homophobic, I’d have to be mad at my mom. And an awful lot of current homophobes are furious that I’m not furious at an ex-homophobe. Hm.”
He also retweeted a message from longtime gay activist and blogger Joe Jervis who wrote, “The weirdest part of this Joy Reid kerfuffle is watching viciously anti-gay right wingers pretending for a hot second that they actually care about civil rights for LGBT Americans just so they can attack a liberal media personality.”
Other gay Twitter users also came to her defense:
I don’t know if Joy Reid is telling the truth or not.
Here’s my truth.
I grew up being taught in school that being gay was wrong.
I was told people chose to be gay.
I used gay slurs with my friends.
And then I learned the truth.
Now I produce Ellen.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) April 27, 2018
Here’s a personal anecdote/fact: 7 years ago after knowing me for 1 week my former boss @JoyAnnReid threw me a baby shower at NBC after I told her I was a gay man expecting a child with my lesbian best friend. #whyweneedjoy #AMJoy
— Chris Witherspoon (@WitherspoonC) April 28, 2018
I’m a black gay man, and I’ve known Joy Reid since my days at MSNBC. She interviewed me for her book years ago and spoke to my students in one of my Columbia classes a year or two ago. She has always treated me with dignity and respect, and I respect and appreciate her as well.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 25, 2018
If you’re still attacking Joy Reid, get a life. Most of these folks attacking her, are the same people who think gay marriage should be illegal. And think Trump’s doing a terrific job. This hysteria is ridiculous. She apologized. The world is on fire. Move on. We need Joy. #AMJoy
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 28, 2018