Accuracy in Media

On Tuesday, PFLAG National – a venerable gay rights organization – revoked the Straight for Equality in Media Award that MSNBC personality Joy Reid was to receive at PFLAG’s 45th-anniversary celebration.

In December, entries in The Reid Report – the blog she ran at the time – were discovered in which she attacks Charlie Crist, then a congressman running for the U.S. Senate – as a closet homosexual.

“Now that he’s married to a girl,” she taunted. “Charlie Crist is being sought out for all KINDS of good stuff … [The GOP] are wooing Miss Charlie to run.”

Reid apologized shortly thereafter

“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,” Reid said.

That was enough for Jean Hodges, president of PFLAG National.

“When we extended our invitation to Ms. Reid to honor her at our 45th-anniversary celebration, we did so knowing about the blog posts from the late 2000s regarding Charlie Crist,” Hodges said in a statement. We appreciated how she stepped up, took ownership, apologized for them and did better – this is the behavior and approach we ask of an ally.”

But earlier this week, another batch of blog posts in which Reid expresses controversial views on homosexuality emerged, and the landscape has changed.

The latest quote:

“Keeping it real … most straight men feel exactly the same way and would have the exact same reaction to the idea of stripping naked in a sweaty locker room in close quarters with a gay teammate. Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing … Most straight people had a hard time being convinced to watch ‘Brokeback 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.) Does that make homophobic? Probably.”

She went on to say part of “straightness” is that straights view “homosexual sex as gross.” And “for the record, I’m sure gay people think straight sex is gross, too. It’s just that the nature of political correctness is that gay people are allowed to say straight sex is gross, but the reverse is considered to be patently homophobic.”

With that, Reid withdrew the apology and changed her story. She now said the posts – she has yet to be clear on whether she means all the anti-gay posts or just the ones she had not previously apologized for – were “fabricated” by an external party to make her look “offensive and harmful.” Several of the anti-gay posts have been removed from the Wayback Machine, a website that archives websites over time, at the request of her lawyer.

Wayback Machine executives say her posts were not tampered with on their website.

“I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach,” Reid said in a statement. “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.”

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who heads The Intercept, was having nothing of Reid’s claims.

He said her writings “square quite consistently with the newly discovered” writing that she denies.

“Mocking people on gender grounds, referring to men she suspects are as ‘Miss’ or implying they are trans for the sake of mockery is a longtime Reid tactic,” Greenwald wrote.

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