We’ve all said things we regret, things we’d take back in a heartbeat if we could. Some of us have even been dumb enough to document our hateful rants in writing. The funny thing is, the internet never forgets, and those mistakes will inevitably come back to haunt us. You can tell a lot about people by how they react when that happens.
When it was revealed that, back in the day, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid had written a significant number of blog posts that the staunch LGBTQ advocate would later characterize as “homophobic, discriminatory and hateful,” her initial reaction was to claim her blog was hacked, call cybersecurity experts and the FBI, lawyer up and provide this statement:
“I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries. 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.”
That was just a week ago, but after close scrutiny by a number of media companies, those claims have since fallen apart; the offensive posts were found in their entirety in the internet archives written by none other than Reid on her own blog. Which led to Reid spending the first few minutes of her Saturday morning show issuing a bizarre sort of non-apology:
“A community that I support and that I deeply care about is hurting because of some despicable and truly offensive posts being attributed to me. Now, many of you may have seen these blog posts circulating online and on social media. And many of them are homophobic, discriminatory and outright weird and hateful.
“When a friend found them in December and sent them to me, I was stunned. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine where they’d come from or whose voice that was. In the months since, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sense of these posts. 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.
“But here’s what I know. 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 and have written in the past, why some people don’t believe me. I’ve not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that, I am truly, truly sorry.
“I can only say that the person I am now is not the person I was then. I like to think I’ve gotten better as a person over time, that I’m still growing, that I’m not the same person that I was 10 or five or even one year ago. And I know that my goal is to try to be a better person and a better ally.”
OK. Sometimes we say things we don’t remember saying. But if you read all the offensive posts – which I did so you don’t have to – you’d conclude that the only way Reid could have made the leap from hateful homophobe (her words, not mine) to staunch LGBTQ advocate is through some sort of epiphany. An epiphany she somehow now doesn’t remember having.
The very notion that she doesn’t remember ever being that person who could write those “despicable and truly offensive posts” is simply not credible. Not even a little.
Either Reid does not remember being a homophobe for most of her adult life (she was close to 40 when she wrote the offending posts) and literally hired cybersecurity experts, called the FBI and lawyered up to protect her present self from her former self, or she’s one big fat BSer with no integrity whatsoever. Take your pick.
Maybe Reid is a better person than she was 10 years ago. The question is, is she a better person than she was one week ago when she said “unequivocally” that she didn’t write those posts and made up the whole elaborate story about being hacked, called in the cybersecurity experts, the FBI, the lawyers and all that.
I don’t know folks; none of this passes the laugh test. And on the outside chance that Reid does not consciously remember who she used to be, well, I’m no shrink, but I think she may have bigger problems to worry about than this. I mean, who knows how many personalities she has lurking around in that head of hers?
Image credit MSNBC screen shot.