BAILEY T. STEEN | THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018
MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid recently put on a clinic of bullshit when she claimed hackers “from an external party” were to blame for homophobic blog posts on the pundit’s former website The Reid Report, according to resurfaced archives from Twitter user Jamie_Maz and a new report from award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept.
More than a dozen blog posts from 2007 to 2009 contained anti-gay conspiracy theories peddled against former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the Democratic politician she labelled as “Miss Charlie”. The #Resistance icon later accused Crist of being a closeted gay man who “did not go for the ladies”, especially his newly wedded wife at the time, suggesting he would rather be “ogling male waiters” than focus on policy if he were picked to be VP under former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Mediaite then reported on more articles penned by Reid where she’s supposedly against gay marriage because “straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing”. She reportedly went on to defend former NBA star Tim Hardaway known for his own homophobic comments and opposed Harriet Miers’ Supreme Court for allegding the woman was a closeted lesbian, at the time suggesting it was the “lesbian haircut” that made the nominee look fit to be president of the notorious LGBT organisation GLAAD.
In early December of last year, Reid issued an official apology confessing she wrote the posts, expressing a change of heart from views she then considered “insensitive” and “dumb”. As Greenwald states, people who accepted this apology were well within their rights to do so. One of my criticisms of progressivist politics is their advocates don’t actually believe interpersonal progress. This is evidenced in #MeToo’s questionable puritanism and the treatment of Cenk Uygur, the former co-founder of Justice Democrats who was pressured by progressives to resign over resurfaced blog posts with vulgar sexual and racial humour. It’s only right people can learn from their past, reform their future actions and then welcomed back into polite society.
Reform is no longer Reid’s narrative, however. Instead, Variety now reports that the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) will investigate the blog to verify her new claims the site was comprised by hackers: these dark web secret disinformation agents who, for some reason, had an interest in making Reid look really bad on her now deleted blog only preserved through archive. It reads like a complex movie plot for a Coen Brothers production — or a simple case of someone lying to cover their own ass.
“We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” a statement from Reid’s lawyer John H. Reichman reads. “Our own investigation and monitoring of the situation will continue in parallel, and we are cooperating with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds.”
MSNBC has made no public statements regarding their potentially homophobic host, but leave it to Reid and her legal-tech team to fight their own battles by doubling down on the hacker narrative. “Five months ago, we found evidence Joy Reid’s now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, was breached after a review of suspicious activity,” alleged Jonathan Nichols, the cybersecurity expert who gave a statement to Variety. “We discovered that login information used to access the blog was available on the Dark Web and that fraudulent entries — featuring offensive statements — were entered with suspicious formatting and time stamps. The posts included hate speech targeting marginalized communities and Ms. Reid has been explicit in condemning them. Some of the posts in question were made while Ms. Reid was on the radio hosting her show. Text and visual styling was inconsistent with her original entries.”
As delightful a film as this sounds, these baseless claims were disputed by executives for Internet Archive, the San Francisco-based non-profit organisation that allows for free access to deleted online material — just like Joy-Ann Reid’s. On Tuesday, the organisation were less than satisfied with the lack of evidence presented by Reid’s representatives. “When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions,” the tech experts told BuzzFeed News. “At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities.”
Reid’s representatives now claim the versions of the blog saved through The Wayback Machine, the program used by the Twitter account, had their dates altered. Cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr told The Intercept this claim could be possible, though lean towards unlikely given there’s no real precedent for this happening.
“Regarding the Wayback Machine, I don’t know,” the expert told the publication. “I’ve never heard of that happening but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen, I guess. Was it the very last post that she published? Because if it wasn’t (and depending upon how her blog was set up), then there may have been more than one copy that would need to be hacked. My old Blogspot blog is like that. … That’s an awful lot of work for a hacker to do, and for what end? To make a homophobic person appear MORE homophobic?”
Greenwald then sourced out old 2010 tweets from Reid that just so happen to use “miss” to mock someone she’s accusing of transgenderism — such as the right-wing political commentator Ann Coulter in her use of the word “dude” and this odd pronoun she made up “shim”. Thus, we can see this homophobic behaviour is observably consistent across both the blog and Twitter.
Does this make her guilty? No, yet it hardly requires millions of dollars in tax money to fund an investigation into whether someone made her look more homophobic and transphobic than she already is. Of course, what we have here is a case of someone trying to protect their #Resistance status from more damage than need be — and the people just aren’t buying it.
Thanks for reading!
Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia, but is also Putin’s Puppet™ on occasion.
Business or personal contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Comment below
Cheers, darlings!! 💋