MSNBC host and political analyst Joy Reid apologized this weekend for her 2007 to 2009 blogposts about then-Florida governor Charlie Crist, when she was “a morning talk radio host and blogger, writing about Florida politics.” The blogposts were “bigoted…smearing, mocking and attacking” Crist, according to Mediaite.
In an apology statement, sent to iMediaEthics by an MSNBC spokesperson, Reid wrote that her old blogposts “have legitimately been criticized.” While she denied having “intentionally sought to demean or harm the LGBT community,” she wrote, “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.”
Screenshots of the old blogposts were published on Twitter by @Jamie_Maz. In one from 2007, she wrote directed toward Crist, “Stop pretending, brother. It’s okay that you don’t go for the ladies.” Reid called Crist “Miss Charlie” and claimed his engagement was “part of the veep marketing strategy.”
“It was insensitive, tone deaf and dumb,” she wrote, adding an apology to Crist, who is now a congressman. “Re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself,” she added. Her full apology is below:
STATEMENT FROM JOY REID
This note is my apology to all who are disappointed by the content of blogs I wrote a decade ago, for which my choice of words and tone have legitimately been criticized.
As a writer, I pride myself on a facility with language — an economy of words or at least some wisdom in the selection. However, that clearly has not always been the case.
In 2007 I was a morning talk radio host and blogger, writing about Florida politics (a blog I maintained until 2011.) Among the frequent subjects of my posts was then-governor Charlie Crist, at the time a conservative Republican, whose positions on issues like gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Florida shared headlines with widely rumored reports that he was hiding his sexual orientation. Those reports were the subject of lots of scrutiny: by LGBTQ bloggers, writers and journalists, conservative blogs, a controversial documentary film called “Outrage,” and even by the comedic writers at South Park. But it was my own attempt at challenging Crist on my blog that has now raised the issue of not just my choice of words, but what was and is in my heart.
Let me be clear: at no time have I intentionally sought to demean or harm the LGBT community, which includes people whom I deeply love. My goal, in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy.
Nonetheless, 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. There is no excusing it – not based on the taste-skewing mores of talk radio or the then-blogosphere, and not based on my intentions.
In addition to friends and coworkers and viewers, I deeply apologize to Congressman Crist, who was the target of my thoughtlessness. My critique of anti-LGBT positions he once held but has since abandoned was legitimate in my view. My means of critiquing were not.
In the years since I went from blogger to opinion journalist, I have also learned, through brilliant friends and allies in the LGBT activist community, how to better frame my critiques of those who challenge people’s right to love who they want, marry them, and walk in the world as fully free people.
Re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself. I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me. Life can be humbling. It often is. But I hope that you know where my heart is, and that I will always strive to use my words for good. I know better and I will do better.
1/x From 2007 to 2009 @joyannreid authored a dozen homophobic posts not only attempting to out Charlie Crist as gay, she attacked & mocked him for being so.
She repeatedly referred to him as "Miss Charlie" and tagged posts about him under "gay politicians." (thread) pic.twitter.com/tRYvJ3lTc8
— James M (@Jamie_Maz) November 30, 2017