Joy Reid’s claim that her old blog was hacked didn’t make much sense to start with. After a week of looking at her claims closely, even her allies on the left (HuffPost, the Atlantic, the Nation) have concluded they don’t stand up to any scrutiny. Today Reid opened her weekend show on MSNBC by admitting she had zero proof her blog was ever hacked, but her statement quickly went downhill from there.
“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,” Reid said. Then she added, “But here’s what I know. I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me.”
At this point, the wheels are really starting to come off this statement as Reid takes another sharp corner: “I look back today at some of the ways I’ve talked casually about people and gender identity and sexual orientation, and I wonder who that even was, but the reality is that, like a lot of people in this country, that person was me.”
Wait, what? Didn’t you just say that person wasn’t you?
“Now the reality is, I have to own the things that I’ve written and tweeted and said,” Reid said.
Does Joy Reid know what taking ownership means? Claiming offensive things written on your blog under your own name don’t belong to you is the opposite of owning something. She’s actually disowning it. To be fair, she does take responsibility for one set of tweets attacking Ann Coulter (suggesting she’s trans). Those tweets came up this week only tangentially, i.e. as proof that Reid did talk online exactly like the person who wrote those old blog posts. But the important point is she’s ducking responsibility for about 90% of the material everyone has been talking about. Reid never even mentions that she dragged the FBI into this cockamamie story. How about an apology to them for making them part of this silly cover-up?
Reid and her fellow progressives talk a lot about privilege and who has it and who needs to check it. But if you want to see privilege in action, all you have to do is imagine this same set of facts attached to someone on the right. If a right-wing commentator at Fox claimed a hack was responsible for dozens of politically incorrect comments on their old blog, produced no proof, and yet still claimed they weren’t responsible…that person would be eaten alive. Joy Reid seems to think she can apologize for a few tweets (that weren’t even at issue) and simply skate away from everything else. Her far-left network is giving her the space to do that. That’s some sweet progressive privilege, right there. And here it is, the hand of forgiveness after this no-real-ownership apology:
Brains, guts, heart and soul — beloved Joy Reid has always been a treasured and brilliant colleague, but I’ve never been prouder to work with her than I am now. https://t.co/J95uL3CjMv
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) April 28, 2018
Update: Glad to see I’m not the only person thinking this apology didn’t really address the main problem with what happened this week.
Alarmed by the response to Joy Ann Reid’s apology by people in the press who are–rightly–obsessed with The Truth. Of course she should be forgiven for her past statements. But she lied. And now makes the baffling claim that she “doesn’t believe” she wrote them. Huh?
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) April 28, 2018
I’m completely agreeing with David Sirota.
Left unsaid in the Joy Reid crap: when high-profile media folk appear to blatantly lie & then their media buddies publicly defend them, it fuels overall distrust of media, which makes it harder for honest workaday journalists to be viewed as credible, do their jobs & have impact.
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) April 28, 2018
Update: Management knows she’s lying but saying so would be problematic.
According to former colleagues, @MSNBC @NBCNews management “certain” @joyannreid lied about being hacked, but decided not to fire her, in part, given B.Williams history + ongoing role. Truth and integrity still matter to a few at the org, though they feel like a dying breed.
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) April 28, 2018
Update: From a man who knows something about avoiding consequences for your actions.
Joy Ann Reid apology. Appropriate. Heartfelt. This unique and compelling voice for tolerance and equality should not be silenced. We learn – and change – from our mistakes. She has.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) April 28, 2018