Time and again — two times, to be precise — the Erik Wemple Blog has campaigned for the apprehension of the hackers who allegedly hijacked the old blog posts of MSNBC host Joy Reid — those shifty forces whom she’d blamed for a disturbing crop of decade-old scribblings that have embarrassed her and threatened her career as a host at the network. In an April edition of her program, Reid noted that she attempted to prove the hacking but that her experts hadn’t come through with the goods. “We must rally around Joy Reid,” wrote the Erik Wemple Blog in a spirit of comity and justice-seeking righteousness.
Meanwhile, in rapid succession, MSNBC on Friday afternoon released a statement from Joy Reid and a statement from the network itself, its first on this controversy. From Reid:
While I published my blog, starting in 2005, I wrote thousands of posts in real time on the issues of the day. There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed. Today I’m sincerely apologizing again.
I’m sorry for the collateral damage and pain this is causing individuals and communities caught in the crossfire.
To be clear, I have the highest respect for Sen. McCain as a public servant and patriot and wish him and his family the best. I have reached out to Meghan McCain and will continue to do so. She is a former on-air colleague and I feel deeply for her and her family.
I’ve also spoken openly about my evolution on many issues and know that I’m a better person today than I was over a decade ago. I am the daughter of immigrants and have worked to be a strong ally of these communities. There is no question in my mind that Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or about Israel’s right to its sovereignty.
I believe the totality of my work attests to my ideals and I continue to grow every day.
Some of the things written by Joy on her old blog are obviously hateful and hurtful. They are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years. Joy has apologized publicly and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true.
These statements respond to sleuthing that surfaced some additional posts from Reid’s old blog, including: One from March 2006 highlighting a documentary laying out a conspiracy theory about 9/11; and another, from October 2007, using photoshop to superimpose the head of Sen. John McCain on the body of the Virginia Tech shooter. Hence, the references in Reid’s apology to McCain and sense of certainty that Al Qaeda did 9/11. As one Twitter user aptly noted:
Missing from Reid’s statement? The hacking claims that she’d made in April, after a wave of old homophobic posts embarrassed the progressive TV host. “I learned 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,” she wrote in a statement to Mediaite. The FBI was even alerted. “I hope that whoever corrupted the site recognizes the pain they have caused, not just to me, but to my family and communities that I care deeply about: LGBTQ, immigrants, people of color and other marginalized groups.”
The Erik Wemple Blog stuck our neck out in an effort to track down that “external party.” And now it appears that Reid has bailed on this line of inquiry, as if she — and not some digital criminal — wrote the things that bear her byline. Perhaps she can apologize to us as well.