The press, in all mediums, should police itself. Watchdog groups have some value but often the supposed watchdogs, such as Media Matters for America, are nothing but partisan hacks who take up for Democrats.
Cable networks and some news organizations hire media reporters. CNN employs Brian Stelter, the host of Reliable Sources and Oliver Darcy, a senior media reporter. Unfortunately, both of them appear to have contracts that force them to report on almost anything related to Fox News and Donald Trump but not much more.
One name that shows up maybe once or twice at most? Joy Reid.
Reid, a rising star at MSNBC had issues surface with an old blog she authored from 2007 to 2009 called ‘The Reid Report.’ In it, she posted entries that contained posts mocking then-Republican Charlie Crist as a closet homosexual. Criticized as homophobic, Reid called the posts “tone deaf” and apologized for the remarks. Charlie Crist accepted her apology. Case closed, right?
The same Twitter user who unearthed those blog posts using the Wayback Machine at archive.org said he found more. Mediaite reported on it, and this time, Reid’s comments had an uglier tone. “Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing,” she wrote. “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.) Does that make me homophobic? Probably.”
It gets better. Reid’s excuse for these homophobic posts? The Weiner Excuse. “I was hacked!” That’s right. Here’s what she told Mediaite:
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.
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.
As the Saturday Night Church Lady would say: “How convenient!”
I won’t get into the details of her claims or the rebuttals. Outlets are doing better work on that and guess what? They don’t believe Reid.
The Atlantic doesn’t believe her. New York Magazine doesn’t believe her. The Daily Beast has “paused” her columns for the time being (with a pretty loose standard for allowing them to resume, but still). Reporting on just the most basic of facts?
Tom Kludt, another media reporter, tweeted out his story. Brian Stelter retweeted it once and then tweeted it again with a comment at 9:00 am on Wednesday, and that’s pretty much the last he spoke of it. As did Darcy. The story itself is a standard news story. It lists out the accusations as well as Reid’s denials but does little to investigate the claims or to offer any reason to doubt what Reid says.
Both Darcy and Stelter spent more time tweeting about the ridiculous Donald Trump/Kanye West love affair. What’s happening at MSNBC and Joy Reid is a pretty big deal.
The strong possibility exists that Reid not only lied about her homophobic posts but lied about authoring them and attempted to cover up her actions by making up a hacking story. It is exactly the kind of story Brian Stelter should cover. The same goes for Oliver Darcy.