The FBI has opened an investigation into Joy Reid's claims that some dozens of homophobic comments published to a now-defunct blog were actually "fabricated" by someone who either hacked into the "Wayback Machine"internet archive, or accessed her website before the controversial comments were archived.
“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 to Mediaite.
“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."
Reid’s lawyer, John H. Reichman, said the FBI is looking into the claims.
“We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” he said in a statement through MSNBC.
Many of the offensive posts can be seen by clicking on the below tweet and reading the 48-part tweetstorm by user Jamie Maz, documenting Reid's comments.
Thread - 1/x Joy Reid's homophobic blog posts were far worse than 1st reported.— Not a bot (@Jamie_Maz) April 18, 2018
They also had nothing to do with Republican hypocrisy on gay marriage. Joy also opposed gay marriage at the time. She gleefully accused people of being gay and posted a number of questionable things. pic.twitter.com/ZloivXczTS
After Reid's claims that the Wayback Machine had been hacked, the internet archive hit back - claiming they hadn't identified anything "to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine" versions of Reid's blog.
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. Her attorneys stated that they didn’t know if the alleged insertion happened on the original site or with our archives (the point at which the manipulation is to have occurred, according to Reid, is still unclear to us).
When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions. At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities. -Internet Archive
Given the fact that copies of the homophobic posts in question were archived by the Wayback Machine less than a month after they were published in some cases, means that if the Wayback machine wasn't hacked, the "unknown, external party" would have needed to manipulate Reid's entry within six weeks of its original publication in order to be included in the internet archive. Then, this malicious actor said nothing for over a decade before they were unearthed last December.
In an effort to suggest that the site just had to have been hacked, Reid's cybersecurity expert, Jonathan Nichols, said that credentials were available for The Reid Report as recently as five months ago. Which still wouldn't explain how copies archived in 2007 contain the bigoted language.
Late Tuesday, Reid’s cybersecurity expert, Jonathan Nichols, said in a statement provided to the Daily News that login information to The Reid Report “was available on the Dark Web” five months ago. He also said that the screenshots of the blog had been manipulated “with the intent to tarnish Ms. Reid's character.” -NY Daily News
Meanwhile, the Daily Beast has suspended Reid as a contributor over the controversy, and it doesn't look like they're buying the hacker excuse.
“We’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns,” said Shachtman in an email reviewed by TheWrap. “As you’re well aware, support for LGBTQ rights and respect for human dignity are core to Daily Beast. So we’re taking seriously the new allegations that one of our columnists, Joy Reid, previously wrote homophobic blog posts during her stint as a radio host.”
“Obviously, this is a difficult situation,” Shachtman added. “We’ve all said and done things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done. We deserve the room to grow beyond our past. But these allegations are serious enough that they deserve a full examination”
Daily Beast exec editor @NoahShachtman sent this note out to staff today regarding the @JoyAnnReid situation. He says reporters @kpoulsen and @maxwelltani are investigating her claims and examining her history: “In the meantime, we’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns...” pic.twitter.com/eJwwFeHSCn— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 25, 2018
As Tucker Carlson noted, all Reid had to do was say that her views had changed and she was a different person a decade ago - but nope, "it wasn't me" is the road she's on now. Good luck.