Joy Reid Issues Apology For Stuff She Says Does Not Believe She Wrote
After a week-long drama over whether some old homophobic posts on Joy Reid's blogs were written by her or put there later by some especially prescient hackers, Reid took a moment on her AM Joy this morning to issue an apology of sorts, in which she explained that -- because of other things she's said in the past, she understood why people thought she wrote those other blog posts, even though she didn't remember writing them.
.@MSNBC's Joy Reid addresses homophobic blog posts:— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 28, 2018
"I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things ... But I can definitely understand, based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people don't believe me." pic.twitter.com/PWjdPfs5KB
"Here's what I know: I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things," she explained. "But I can definitely understand based on things I have said and have written in the past that some people don't believe me."
She then apologized for the things she'd said on Twitter that we already knew about -- like dead naming Chelsea Manning, saying transphobic things about Ann Coulter (who is the worst, yes, but attacking her in that way is still hurtful to trans people), etc.
"I looked back on some of the ways I've talked casually about sexual gender and orientation and I wonder who that even was. I'm heartbroken that I didn't do better back then. The reality is I have to own the things I've written and tweeted and said."
Unlike Evan, and probably everyone else here, I have no dog in this hunt. I don't watch her show because they don't have MSNBC on Sling and honestly I'm not much for watching pundits to begin with. However, I'm the only person here right now, so here we are.
Probably the only thing I have to add is that I've written a lot of stuff I have literally no memory of writing, and also that I would die in my face if anyone ever found my old LiveJournal. Not because there would be anything homophobic in there, mind you -- just a lot of teen angst/pretension, Emma Goldman quotes, Tori Amos lyrics, deeply embarrassing lists of qualifications for potential suitors (which at the time included things like being left-handed, wearing Elvis Costello glasses and agreeing that Harold and Maude is THE BEST) and few, if any, capital letters. Everyone has an embarrassing past of some kind.
I think it's probably more likely that she wrote those articles and didn't remember writing them than it being some kind of coordinated thing by hackers from before she was even that famous and also at a time when saying those things would have not even been that big of a deal. Occam's razor and all that. I think it was an extra bad idea to go all "I was hacked" if there wasn't concrete proof of that, because Streisand Effect. But even so, I think that if our actual goal is to get people to change -- which I like to think it is-- it is extremely counterproductive to hold their past views against them once they've renounced them and changed. We should provide incentive for people to change rather than make it look like saying jerky shit is a thing no one can ever overcome.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse