MSNBC host Joy Reid apologized Friday “for the collateral damage and pain” caused by recently unearthed posts from her old blog that stoked conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and depicted the head of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the body of the Virginia Tech shooter.
“While I published my blog, starting in 2005, I wrote thousands of posts in real time on the issues of the day,” Reid said in a statement provided by an MSNBC spokesperson. “There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed. Today I’m sincerely apologizing again.”
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In a separate statement, the network broke its silence on the controversy, which has lingered since the host claimed without evidence in April that anti-gay posts on her now-defunct blog were planted by a hacker.
“Some of the things written by Joy on her old blog are obviously hateful and hurtful,” an MSNBC spokesperson said in the statement. “They are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years.”
They added: “Joy has apologized publicly and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true.”
Reid came under increased scrutiny earlier this week when BuzzFeed surfaced old posts from the Reid Report Blog in which she promoted conspiracy theories that Sept. 11 was an inside job. BuzzFeed reported that in a separate post, Reid appeared to photoshop McCain’s head over an image of the Virginia Tech shooter.
The revelations prompted additional calls for MSNBC, which had yet to issue its own statement on the controversy surrounding her old blog posts, and Reid to further address the matter. Neither Reid nor MSNBC, however, mentioned her original claim that hackers infiltrated her blog to insert anti-gay posts, an allegation the host has failed to substantiate.
Reid directly addressed the McCain post, saying, “I have the highest respect for Sen. McCain as a public servant and patriot and wish him and his family the best.” The host added that she had reached out to Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter and a fellow TV host, “and will continue to do so.”
The host added, “There is no question in my mind that Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.”
Reid apologized in December “to all who are disappointed by the content of blogs I wrote a decade ago” for posts critical of former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, which were widely panned as homophobic.
But in April when news outlets surfaced more anti-gay posts from the mid-to-late 2000s, Reid claimed that her blog had been hacked.
Despite the controversy, Reid has remained on the air for MSNBC, continuing to host her weekend program, “AM Joy.”
On Tuesday, Reid co-hosted a high-profile town hall style event on race for the network, during which she chided Roseanne Barr over her racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an African-American aide to former President Barack Obama, that led to the cancellation of her popular ABC sitcom.
“If you’re able to think of people as somehow less a person than me, it makes it a lot easier to then take that next step and say this person shouldn’t be in this space,” Reid said at the event.
The analysis drew backlash from conservative commentators, who accused the left-leaning host of not being held to the same standard as the Donald Trump-supporting Barr.