21:00 GMT01 December 2020
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    PFLAG National, an LGBTQ advocacy group, announced on Tuesday that it was rescinding its Straight for Equality in Media Award from MSNBC anchor Joy Reid after more homophobic comments she made on her now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, surfaced this week.

    Though the group was already aware of previous anti-LGBTQ posts, which Reid apologized for in December 2017, PFLAG Director of Communication Liz Owen said in statement that the organization still intended to offer the journalist the award at its 45th anniversary celebration.

    "We appreciated how she stepped up, took ownership, apologized for them and did better — this is the behavior and approach we ask of any ally," Owen stated. "However, in light of new information, and the ongoing investigation of that information, we must at this time rescind our award to Ms. Reid." PFLAG's name is an acronym for "Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays," according to its website.

    The posts that Reid apologized for in 2017 referred to former Florida Governor Charlie Crist as "Miss Charlie" and suggested that the politician was a closeted gay man. Reid's apology stated that she regretted "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."

    The newly revealed posts that have landed Reid in hot water came to light through Mediate, aided by photos provided by Twitter user Jamie Maz via internet archiving service the Wayback Machine. These posts from late 2000s showed that Reid's homophobic comments didn't stop with Crist: the talking head also apparently made listicles speculating which celebrities and Republicans might be in the closet and defended the homophobic comments of other people, including former NBA player Tim Hardaway and now-retired US Marine Corps General Peter Pace.

    Despite having already apologized for the older post, when Mediate contacted Reid about the new comments, she offered an entirely new take on the writings. Reid claimed to Mediate that she found out in December that an "unknown, external party" had somehow gotten access to her old blog and mixed in with her own posts (and homophobic statements) "offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology."

    The nefarious move by hackers, she claims, was "an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago." In her statement to the publication, Reid stressed that she has since been in contact with law enforcement and a cybersecurity expert to identify "the unauthorized activity."

    But the Wayback Machine also had something to say regarding Reid's allegations: in its own statement on Tuesday, the group indicated that it had no evidence to support the 49-year-old New York native's claims that their archives had been hacked in order to paint her in a bad light.

    "Her attorneys stated that they didn't know if the alleged insertion happened on the original site or with our archives (the point at which the manipulation is to have occurred, according to Reid, is still unclear to us)," the statement reads. "When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions. At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities."

    "We let Reid's lawyers know that the information provided was not sufficient for us to verify claims of manipulation. Consequently, and due to Reid's being a journalist (a very high-profile one, at that) and the journalistic nature of the blog archives, we declined to take down the archives," it added.

    But don't expect Reid to step away from the spotlight, folks. An NBC spokesperson, who wished to not be identified, told Politico that Reid will remain on air until the matter is fully investigated by law enforcement officials.

    It's unclear if the broadcast company will be conducting its own investigation of the issue.


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