The Weird Controversy surrounding MSNBC Anchor Joy Reid took a different turn on Wednesday night after her lawyer said the FBI had opened an investigation into whether online accounts had been hacked by her, causing controversial comments to emerge Reid, she says, are fake.
"We have received confirmation that the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activity involving multiple online accounts, including Joy-Ann Reid's personal e-mail and blog accounts," said her lawyer John H. Reichman, in a statement by MSNBC. "Our own investigations and monitoring of the situation continue in parallel, and we are working with law enforcement agencies as their investigations continue."
Weekend MSNBC anchor suspects old blog posts that mock the idea of gay marriage and homosexuality since this week's release. Reid said in a statement that she believes the contributions have been fabricated. Reid once wrote a blog titled "The Reid Report," a political outlet, and at the same time contributed to the Miami Herald and worked for The Grio, an online news agency for an African-American audience. The allegations against Reid are hard to come by because she felt it was right to write blog posts that contained similar sentiments in the past. In December, she apologized for contributions with homophobic comments that were recognized as genuine.
MSNBC has not commented publicly on the allegations, but it has sent statements from a cybersecurity expert who works for Reid on this matter. "Five months ago we found evidence that Joy Reid's now-defunct blog, the Reid Report, was broken after a review of suspicious activity," cybersecurity expert Jonathan Nichols said in a statement. "We found that the login information used to access the blog was available on the Dark Web, and fraudulent entries – containing offensive statements – were entered with suspicious formatting and timestamps, which included hate speech against marginalized people Communities and Ms. Reid have specifically condemned her, some of the posts in question were made while Ms. Reid hosted her show on the radio, and text and visual styling did not match her original posts. "
Internet Archive executives, a non-profit San Francisco organization, which provides free access to collections of digitized materials containing the old Reid blog posts, said on a Tuesday post that they felt Reid's agents had not yet pleaded for the removal of the material. "When we checked the archives, we did not find anything suggesting that the Wayback Machine versions were being manipulated or hacked, at least some of the examples of fraudulent posts allegedly provided to us were archived at different times and by different entities," says Chris Butler, an office manager on the Internet Archive.
MSNBC has used Reid in recent months. In addition to a weekend program "A.M. Joy," she often writes for the network's networking primetime anchors – Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O'Donnell. She attended Harvard University as an aspiring documentary filmmaker, but has since had a new success by hosting a show that examines the day's problems through a progressive lens. She is also one of the few anchors of color in MSNBC's programming.