MSNBC’s Joy Reid Apologizes for Past Comments About Gays: ‘Disappointed in Myself’

Liberal host’s decade-old blog posts recently resurfaced

MSNBC host Joy Reid apologized for blog posts she wrote from 2007 to 2009 that used language criticized as homophobic to mock former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

“This note is my apology to all who are disappointed by the content of blogs I wrote a decade ago, for which my choice of words and tone have legitimately been criticized. As a writer, I pride myself on a facility with language — an economy of words or at least some wisdom in the selection,” Reid said in a statement provided to TheWrap.

“However, that clearly has not always been the case.”

Early Sunday evening, Crist accepted Reid’s apology.

In the posts, which appeared on her now-defunct blog “The Reid Report,” Reid frequently referred to Crist as “Miss Charlie” while calling him closeted. She also employed sarcastic  tags such as “gay politicians” and “not gay politicians.”

In other posts, Reid repeated speculation that Crist married to his now-ex-wife Carole Rome to quash rumors and increase his chances of being selected as Republican John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

Reid also joked about the possibility of Crist and McCain having sex, about what she called Crist’s “gay wedding,” and about his honeymoon.

The comments first resurfaced Thursday on Twitter.

In her statement Sunday, Reid said  Crist’s “positions on issues like gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Florida shared headlines with widely rumored reports that he was hiding his sexual orientation. Those reports were the subject of lots of scrutiny: by LGBTQ bloggers, writers and journalists, conservative blogs, a controversial documentary film called ‘Outrage,’ and even by the comedic writers at South Park.”

“My goal,” she continued, “in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy.”

Reid also says that since writing those posts, she has “learned, through brilliant friends and allies in the LGBT activist community, how to better frame my critiques of those who challenge people’s right to love who they want, marry them, and walk in the world as fully free people.”

But, “re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself. I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me.”

Read her full statement below.

“This note is my apology to all who are disappointed by the content of blogs I wrote a decade ago, for which my choice of words and tone have legitimately been criticized.

As a writer, I pride myself on a facility with language — an economy of words or at least some wisdom in the selection. However, that clearly has not always been the case.

In 2007 I was a morning talk radio host and blogger, writing about Florida politics (a blog I maintained until 2011.) Among the frequent subjects of my posts was then-governor Charlie Crist, at the time a conservative Republican, whose positions on issues like gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Florida shared headlines with widely rumored reports that he was hiding his sexual orientation. Those reports were the subject of lots of scrutiny: by LGBTQ bloggers, writers and journalists, conservative blogs, a controversial documentary film called “Outrage,” and even by the comedic writers at South Park. But it was my own attempt at challenging Crist on my blog that has now raised the issue of not just my choice of words, but what was and is in my heart.

Let me be clear: at no time have I intentionally sought to demean or harm the LGBT community, which includes people whom I deeply love. My goal, in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy.

Nonetheless, as someone who is not a member of the LGBT community, I regret the way I addressed the complex issue of the closet and speculation on a person’s sexual orientation with a mocking tone and sarcasm. It was insensitive, tone deaf and dumb. There is no excusing it – not based on the taste-skewing mores of talk radio or the then-blogosphere, and not based on my intentions.

In addition to friends and coworkers and viewers, I deeply apologize to Congressman Crist, who was the target of my thoughtlessness. My critique of anti-LGBT positions he once held but has since abandoned was legitimate in my view. My means of critiquing were not.

In the years since I went from blogger to opinion journalist, I have also learned, through brilliant friends and allies in the LGBT activist community, how to better frame my critiques of those who challenge people’s right to love who they want, marry them, and walk in the world as fully free people.

Re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself. I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me. Life can be humbling. It often is. But I hope that you know where my heart is, and that I will always strive to use my words for good. I know better and I will do better.”