Over the weekend, veteran journalist Joy Reid released a lengthy apology to the LGBTQ community after a batch of homophobic posts were unearthed.
On Saturday (Dec. 2), Mediaite published portions of posts from The Reid Report, the name of Reid’s blog she ran from 2007 to 2011. The posts featured conspiracy theories about then Florida governor Charlie Crist’s sexuality. At the time, Crist was heavily panned for his views against the LGBTQ community. Soon after, rumors began to to spread about Crist’s love life, which Reid mocked in her writings.
Nicknaming him “Miss Charlie,” Reid assumed Chris was gay and hid his sexuality from the public to maintain his conservative image. “Now that he’s married to a girl,” she said that time, “Charlie Crist is being sought out for all KINDS of good stuff… [The GOP] are wooing Miss Charlie to run.”
The posts were originally discovered by a Twitter user Jaime_Maz, who shared screenshots on the site.
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
— Free Britney (@Jamie_Maz) November 30, 2017
The following day, Reid released a detailed apology where she condemned her own language. “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,” she said. “My goal, in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy.”
Crist accepted her apology via Twitter.
Long forgotten, but thank you, Joy. I appreciate you.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) December 4, 2017
Read the full apology 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.