MSNBC’s Joy Reid, host of the weekend show AM Joy, is taking over one of the network’s weekday primetime slots despite her well-documented history of homophobic statements.
Reid will host The ReidOut on weekdays at 7 p.m., taking over former host Chris Matthews’ slot, the network announced on Thursday.
“The Washington, D.C.-based show will feature one-on-one conversations with politicians and newsmakers while addressing provocative political issues both inside and outside of the beltway,” the press release stated, touting Reid’s status as a “best-selling author and public speaker” and her “decades-long experience in politics” and “passion for addressing the intersection of race, justice and culture.”
Unmentioned in the network’s announcement is Reid’s history of controversial homophobic comments, which were unearthed in 2017. They were found in her former blog, The Reid Report.
Reid, in posts written 2007-2009, unleashed a crusade against former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist with an ongoing homophobic schtick, referring to Crist as “Miss Charlie” and suggesting that he was hiding his true sexuality. His then-wife, Carole Rom, was not spared from Reid’s wrath, as the journalist suggested that Crist married her to quash any speculation of homosexuality and reduced their engagement as an elaborate “veep marketing strategy.”
“I can just see poor Charlie on the honeymoon, ogling the male waiters and thinking to himself, ‘god, do I actually have to see her naked…?’” she wrote in one post.
Other remarks, as highlighted by Breitbart News’s John Nolte, include:
- “Miss Charlie, Miss Charlie. Stop pretending, brother It’s okay that you don’t go for the ladies.”
- “When a gay politician gets married, it usually indicates that he is highly ambitious, and desires to put himself in a position to move up the power ladder.”
- “Oh and if I were Charlie’s fiancée. I wouldn’t bet everything I had on that December wedding. Getting engaged was kind of part of the veep marketing strategy.”
- “Miss Charlie … would immediately start planning the state funeral down to the last flamingo-shaped napkin and get his decorator to the West Wing faster than you can say ‘George Takei!’”
- “Did I mention Miss Charlie also won’t be on the ticket because he’s gay?”
- “But what is most interesting of all is the way [the media] pretend that they don’t all know what they know about Crist’s sexual orientation.”
1/x From 2007 to 2009 @joyannreid authored a dozen homophobic posts not only attempting to out Charlie Crist as gay, she attacked & mocked him for being so.
She repeatedly referred to him as "Miss Charlie" and tagged posts about him under "gay politicians." (thread) pic.twitter.com/tRYvJ3lTc8
— Autonomous Zone diet (@Jamie_Maz) November 30, 2017
Reid issued an apology following the emergence of the posts, defending herself as a former “morning talk radio host and blogger, writing about Florida politics” and claiming that she had “at no time … intentionally sought to demean or harm the LGBT community.”
“My goal, in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy,” she said, expressing “regret” for the way she 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,” she said at the time. “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.”
Making a few things plain… my full statement, as excerpted by NBC OUT
STATEMENT FROM JOY REID
This note is my apology…
Reid continued to enjoy her employment at MSNBC following the controversy, but months later, additional homophobic posts stemming from her former blog surfaced, uncovered by Mediaite. Despite Reid’s established history of issuing controversial, homophobic statements on the blog, she denied that she was the author of the new discoveries. Rather, the posts, she said, were the work of an “unknown, external party” which “accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog … to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology.”
“Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing… Most straight people had a hard time being convinced to watch ‘Broke Back Mountain.’ (I admit that I couldn’t go see the movie either, despite my sister’s ringing endorsement, because I didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex.),” one of the entries, which Reid denies authoring, read.
“Does that make me homophobic? Probably. And I’m not exactly proud of it. But part of the intrinsic nature of ‘Straightness’ is that the idea of homosexual sex is … well … gross … even if you think that gay people are perfectly lovely individuals,” the post continued.
The alleged hacker also included Anderson Cooper and Clay Aiken in a list of “totally not gay celebrities of the year” and mused on homosexual men preying on young boys:
And then there are the concerns that adult gay men tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types, bringing them ‘into the lifestyle’ in a way that many people consider to be immoral… Ditto with gay rights groups that seek to organize very young, impressionable teens who may have an inclination that they are gay.
2/x Top 5 "totally not gay celebrities of the year".
Using your media platform to out people you think is gay to get clicks has nothing to do with Republicans hypocrisy on gay marriage. pic.twitter.com/0B921itHkj
— Autonomous Zone diet (@Jamie_Maz) April 18, 2018
However, Reid claimed it was “manipulated material” that was “part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago.”
“Now that the site has been compromised I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries,” she said at the time.
Even so, the left-wing Mediaite offered a dose skepticism:
It is worth noting, however, that Reid does admit these posts came from her blog … with the caveat that they were added by nefarious hackers after she had the site shut down. It’s unclear when the nefarious hackers would have hacked her site and added the controversial content, since it has been defunct for years and still is. More importantly, NBC could or would not specify exactly which posts Reid is claiming were doctored.
Even the Daily Beast had trouble taking Reid at her word, writing in October 2018:
MSNBC host Joy Reid claims that recently unearthed homophobic articles attributed to her are fakes. And she says a cybersecurity consultant has proof that her old blog has been hacked.
But that consultant, Jonathan Nichols, had trouble producing the promised evidence. And what he did produce failed to withstand scrutiny, according to a Daily Beast analysis. Blog posts that Nichols claimed do not appear on the Internet Archive are, in fact, there. The indicators of hacked posts don’t bear out.
While Reid never faced any serious consequences in terms of her employment with the network, conservatives have remembered her history of controversial statements. Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham brought them to the forefront last December after Reid referred to her as “Baghdad Bob,” former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s spokesman.
“I’d love to respond, but Ms. Reid would likely just claim something crazy like she was hacked again – just as she did when all of her homophobic blog posts were discovered,” Grisham said in response to Reid’s attempt at a political slam.
MSNBC made no mention of Reid’s controversial past in its press release of her new primetime slot. MSNBC President Phil Griffin said he was “thrilled” to have Reid hosting a show five nights a week.
“She’s thoughtful and brings so much depth to her reporting,” Griffin said. “She’s made for this moment.”