Joy Reid Apologizes for Old Homophobic Blog Posts: They Were ‘Insensitive, Tone Deaf and Dumb’

MSNBC host Joy Reid has issued an apology for past comments she made in posts to her blog, The Reid Report, which have been criticized as homophobic.

According to Mediaite, the statements, which were posted between 2007 and 2009 — The Reid Report has been shut down for several years — speculate on the sexuality of then-Florida governor Charlie Crist, who Reid refers to as “Miss Charlie” several times throughout. The posts mock him for supposedly being a closeted gay man, including the conspiracy theory that Crist married his then-wife Carole Rome in order to further his chances of becoming John McCain’s running mate. Crist, at the time a conservative politician, was well-known for holding policy views against same-sex marriage, though he has since switched stances and political parties. Twitter user @Jamie_Maz was the first to call attention the posts after accessing them via an internet service.

“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,” Reid said in a statement provided to Variety. “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.”

Reid continued that the posts were intended to call out Crist for his policy views, writing that his position on same-sex marriage “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.”

“My goal, in my own ham-handed way, was to call out his hypocrisy,” Reid continued. She also directly addressed Crist: “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.”

She finished the statement by adding that she has learned how to craft better critiques in the time since. “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.”

Read the full statement below.

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.

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