Daily Beast to ‘hit pause’ on Joy Reid columns; MSNBC host backs off speaking event

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The Daily Beast is “going to hit pause” on Joy Reid’s columns while its reporters investigate the MSNBC host’s claims that her old blog was hacked and that homophobic comments found on it were “fabricated.”

“Reid claims that she was hacked, that new blog posts aren’t really hers,” said Noah Shachtman, the publication’s executive editor, in a note to Daily Beast staff on Wednesday.

“Kevin Poulsen — our top cybersecurity reporter and a no-shit authority in the field — is investigating those claims. Our media reporter Max Tani is examining Reid’s history, in part to see if the tone of her alleged blog posts matches the tone she took offline at the time.”

“In the meantime, we’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns until we’re satisfied that Kevin and Max’s reporting has run its course,” Shachtman added.

The decision to pause Reid’s column comes after The Internet Archive said earlier this week it could find no evidence to back up her claim of hacking.

Reid apologized for other homophobic comments found on the same blog, “The Reid Report,” in December.

BuzzFeed also reported on Wednesday that Reid backed out of a scheduled panel discussion event in New York organized by CAFE, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s media venture.

Reid was set to moderate a panel with several political participants, including Pete Buttigieg (D), the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Reid’s lawyer, John Reichman, also said on Wednesday that the FBI confirmed an it had launched an investigation “into potential criminal activities” of several online accounts, which includes Reid’s old blog.

“We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” Reichman said in a statement.

“Our own investigation and monitoring of the situation will continue in parallel, and we are cooperating with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds,” he added.

On Tuesday, a leading LGBT advocacy group, PFLAG National, rescinded an award given to Reid amid the controversy surrounding newly unearthed homophobic comments made on a decade-old blog post.

Reid will continue to stay on the air, an MSNBC spokesperson confirmed to The Hill. She currently hosts a two-hour program on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Reid apologized for the offending posts that originally emerged in December and again did so on Monday when another batch was unearthed.

“In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology,” Reid said in the statement on Monday.

“I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach. The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago,” she continued.

“Now that the site has been compromised I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries. I hope that whoever corrupted the site recognizes the pain they have caused, not just to me, but to my family and communities that I care deeply about: LGBTQ, immigrants, people of color and other marginalized groups,” Reid concluded.

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