Joy Reid on Saturday admitted there is no solid evidence that her old blog “The Reid Report” had been hacked and apologized for old posts that included disparaging statements toward LGBT people.
“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, have written in the past why some people don’t believe me,” she said at the top of her MSNBC show “AM Joy” on Saturday. “For that I am truly, truly sorry.”
The MSNBC host conceded that her team has not been able to find evidence of any tampering by outside parties as she had claimed earlier in the week.
Reid also offered an apology to Ann Coulter, who had been the butt of several jokes in tweets dating from 2010 and 2011 in which Reid had suggested that the conservative firebrand was really a man.
“I want to apologize to the trans community and to Ann,” she said.
It’s the latest development in what has become a metastasizing scandal for the popular MSNBC host.
The troubles began when Mediaite unearthed questionable posts from Reid’s long-defunct blog. Though the website had previously written about similar blog posts in December — and extracted a lengthy apology from Reid for them at the time — she insisted that the new findings were the result of manipulation and not her own work.
“In December 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,” Reid told TheWrap in a statement.
Hacking the “Reid Report” archives hosted on the the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is no small feat however and the organization strongly pushed back against the accusation.
“When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions. At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities,” said Chris Butler, the Director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive.
In the intervening days, the original story about unflattering blog posts morphed into one about Reid’s credibility. Even as the hacking claims continued to wilt under scrutiny, Reid doubled down. On Thursday, her attorney, John H. Reichman, said the FBI had launched an investigation.
“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,” he said in a statement provided to TheWrap.
As TheWrap reported, The Daily Beast also initiated its own investigation of the hacking claims as it announced a suspension Reid’s regular column.