Uh-Oh: Internet Archive Site Crushes MSNBC Host Claiming She Was Hacked


It may not be believable, but it certainly
was expected. MSNBC host Joy Reid is under fire after homophobic
posts from her old blog were posted this week on Twitter. The old posts were accessed using
an internet tool called the Wayback Machine, which saves screen shots of websites or web
pages that are no longer active. This is the second time Reid’s old blog,
which she managed more roughly a decade ago prior to her joining MSNBC, has been unearthed
to show some not-so-nice things Reid had to say about gay marriage and acceptance of gays
as a whole. When the first batch of unflattering posts
were uncovered in November, Reid owned up to the writings and apologized, saying her
words were “insensitive, tone deaf and dumb.” This week, however, she has taken the go-to
approach almost every celebrity uses when cringeworthy material attributed to them appears
on social media: claim to be a victim of hackers. Reid told Mediaite.com the newest uncovered
posts were somehow put into the blog by an “external party” that “manipulated material
from my now-defunct blog.” “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 said in a statement. “I began working with a cyber-security expert
who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials
of the breach. The manipulated material seems to be 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. 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.” MSNBC seems to be trying to bolster Reid’s
case. Although it has not issued a public comment on the matter, CNN reported Wednesday
that MSNBC told the network an independent security consultant claims he has “significant
evidence” to prove the recently uncovered posts are not authentic. But a representative from Archive.org, the
nonprofit organization that offers the Wayback Machine, says it has seen no evidence of hacking. In a Tuesday blog post Tuesday, Chris Butler
said that so far, Archive.org has found nothing to support Reid’s claim. “This past December, Reid’s lawyers contacted
us, asking to have archives of the blog (blog.reidreport.com) taken down, stating that ‘fraudulent’
posts were ‘inserted into legitimate content’ in our archives of the blog,” Butler wrote. “When we reviewed the archives, we found
nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions,” he added.
“We let Reid’s lawyers know that the information provided was not sufficient for us to verify
claims of manipulation. Consequently, and due to Reid’s being a journalist (a very
high-profile one, at that) and the journalistic nature of the blog archives, we declined to
take down the archives. We were clear that we would welcome and consider any further
information that they could provide us to support their claims.” Meanwhile, the first significant backlash
against Reid became known Tuesday. The gay rights advocacy group PFLAG National rescinded
an invitation for Reid to receive the group’s Straight for Equality in Media award, which
she had been scheduled to receive next month at a gathering honoring the group’s 45th
anniversary. “In light of new information, and the ongoing
investigation of that information, we must at this time rescind our award to Ms. Reid,”
Jean Hodges, PFLAG National president, said in a statement. Reid was basically forgiven by the LGBT community
after her initial apology in December. Unless she can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
these latest posts are indeed bogus, it seems unlikely she’ll be given a second chance
at redemption.

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