Joy Reid Backpedals On Internet Archive Hack, Cyber "Expert" Can't Produce Proof

Joy Reid looks to be fairly screwed, after claims that a hacker "fabricated" homophobic and bigoted blog posts attributed to the MSNBC host has fallen apart.

After initially claiming that an "unknown, external party" hacked the Wayback Machine's internet archive pages and "fabricated" the offensive comments from over a decade ago, the folks at the Internet Archive responded -  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 At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities.

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.-Internet Archive

Now Reid is dropping the claim about the internet archive, per the Daily Beast, which reported Thursday night "Reid and her team no longer believe the archive was hacked, and the Internet Archive has denied any such manipulation could have occurred."

Meanwhile, Washington Examiner's Becket Adams notes that Reid's security "expert" is shady. 

I use quotation marks around the word “expert” because everything points to the likelihood that Nichols is a crank-for-hire. After all, he “had trouble producing the promised evidence” of a hack, the Daily Beast noted, adding that, “what he did produce failed to withstand scrutiny. … Blog posts that Nichols claimed do not appear on the Internet Archive are, in fact, there. The indicators of hacked posts don’t bear out.”

There’s also the fact he says he's an “Information Operations soldier” whose expertise lies in “military propaganda” and “human intelligence.” He also says he is a “ senior” Psychological Operations operative who could have “influenced the propaganda mission of Libya” but “chose not to.” Lastly, it doesn’t exactly strike confidence in one’s heart to learn he scrubbed his social media accounts following the publication of his supposed findings.

The real takeaway, however, is that Reid and her team of supposed “experts” (who are not official MSNBC employees) are backing away from their earlier suggestion that secretive operatives manipulated the Wayback Machine. -Washington Examiner

And as we pointed out yesterday, the noose is closing around Reid - as the posts could have only been "manipulated" within a six-week time frame on the then-virtually unknown Reid's blog. The hacker would have had to manipulate Reid's entries 12 years ago and then just sit on them as Reid got famous - according to Joy's account.

Library of Congress hacked too?

This is to say nothing of her Library of Congress problem. Like the Wayback Machine, the Library of Congress also archives Internet content. Their records show that at least one of the aforementioned anti-gay posts is definitely real. Reid hasn’t said whether she believes the Library of Congress has been hacked. -Washington Examiner

As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald noted the other day - "Last week, the same left-wing Twitter user (Jamie Maz) who first unearthed Reid’s anti-gay tweets about Crist unearthed far more toxic, bigoted, and vicious anti-gay articles that appeared to be from Reid’s old blog."

Reid has removed her blog from the internet, so Maz found the articles using the “Wayback Machine,” the internet digital archive that stores old online content even after it’s been removed or deleted by the publisher. Last night, the news outlet that reports on TV news media, Mediaite, published an extensive story on these newly found articles that appear under Reid’s byline.

But unlike the posts for which Reid apologized in December — which she said were intended to mock the hypocrisy of GOP officials who are simultaneously closeted gays, but also anti-gay in their politics — these newly discovered articles have nothing to do with GOP hypocrisy. They are just hateful, bigoted, and homophobic in their own right.

Some of the lowlights of Reid's posts, as Mediaite itemized, include (via The Intercept):

  • “defend[ing] former NBA star Tim Hardaway’s aggressively anti-gay comments by writing that while such comments are stupid for a public figure to make: ‘most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing’”;
  • saying she “couldn’t go see [Brokeback Mountain] 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”;
  • arguing that “intrinsic” to being straight is finding gay sex acts “gross”;
  • “defending Marine General Peter Pace after he condemned ‘homosexual acts’ as ‘immoral’ by suggesting his views are actually normal”;
  • opposing Harriet Miers’s nomination to the Supreme Court by implying she is a closeted lesbian and comparing her “lesbian haircut” to those worn by the presidents of NOW and GLAAD;
  • promoting the ugliest and most destructive stereotype of gay men as pedophile predators by suggesting that anti-gay attitudes are based in “concerns that adult gay men tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types, bringing them ‘into the lifestyle’ in a way that many people consider to be immoral” and that “gay rights groups seek to organize very young, impressionable teens who may have an inclination that they are gay.”

 Oh Joy...