- Joy Reid repeatedly claimed to have evidence that anti-gay posts on her old blog were fabricated by hackers
- Reid admitted on Saturday that she had no such evidence
- MSNBC circulated a misleading statement from Reid’s consultant who falsely claimed to have evidence that Reid’s blog had been hacked
MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly claimed to have evidence that anti-gay posts on her old blog were fabricated by hackers, only to admit on Saturday that she had no such evidence.
Archives of Reid’s blog posts, first dug up by a liberal Twitter user on April 19, show Reid accusing several prominent political figures of being secretly gay, and using homophobic jokes to denigrate her political opponents.
Five months before, on Dec. 3, Reid had apologized for writing several anti-gay blog posts about former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whom she referred to as “Ms. Charlie.” This time around, Reid refused to admit writing her own blog posts. Instead, she claimed the posts were fraudulent, manipulated by unnamed hackers.
Reid released a statement to Mediate on April 23, claiming she learned in December “that 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.”
Reid claimed she had been working with a “cyber-security expert” who she claimed “first identified the unauthorized activity.”
The MSNBC host stated “unequivocally” that the “compromised” site didn’t “represent the original entries.”
The next day, NBC released a Dec. 19 letter that Reid’s attorney sent to the Internet Archive and a Dec. 22 letter he sent to Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Both letters demanded the companies remove archived pages of Reid’s blog, which her attorney said had been hacked to include defamatory material.
NBC also released an undated statement from Reid’s “security consultant,” Jonathan Nichols, who claimed to have “significant evidence” that Reid’s blog had been hacked.
A review by The Daily Caller News Foundation found several errors in the three letters, which provided no evidence that Reid’s blog had been hacked, as she claimed. All three inaccurate letters are included in full at the bottom of this article.
An independent cybersecurity expert interviewed by TheDCNF called Reid’s hacking claims “incredulous” and said it was unlikely she was telling the truth. It turns out she wasn’t.
After repeatedly telling the public that her blog had been hacked — and claiming to have evidence of such a hack — Reid admitted on Saturday that the facts don’t support her story.
“I hired cybersecurity experts to see if somebody had manipulated my words, or my former blog,” Reid said. “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,” she insisted.
Reid’s admission that her blog hadn’t been hacked came after several media outlets including TheDCNF pointed out the obvious flaws in her story.
The MSNBC host acknowledged and apologized for tweets she wrote calling conservative commentator Ann Coulter a “drag queen” and referring to Coulter as “shim” — a combination of “she” and “him.” Unlike the blog posts, Reid’s tweets about Coulter are still public.
Reid’s monologue Saturday did not address tweets in which she accused Republican operative Karl Rove and radio host Rush Limbaugh of being closeted homosexuals. Those tweets were similar in style and substance to some of the blog posts Reid denies writing.
An NBC spokesperson did not return a request for comment on the discrepancies between Reid’s versions of events and on whether the network regrets circulating the inaccurate letters defending the embattled host.
Joe Simonson contributed to this report.
Letter to Internet Archive 12.19.17:
Statement From Jonathan Nichols 4.24.18:
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