The Trials of Joy Reid

In recent days, MSNBC commentator Joy Reid has been under fire for “homophobic” blog posts that she did years ago. Full disclosure: I have never seen Ms. Reid on television, and if she has ever written anything, I haven’t read it. My impression is that she is a cookie-cutter leftist and is of no interest. So my knowledge of the controversy is limited to the Associated Press’s account. Still, the story is interesting for the light it sheds on our current cultural moment.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid, under fire for homophobic language in old blog posts, apologized Saturday for any past comments that belittled or mocked the LGBTQ community and says she hasn’t been able to verify her claim that her account was hacked.

Reid has claimed, absurdly, that her “account”–not sure which one–was hacked and she “genuinely [does] not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me.” At the same time, she has inconsistently apologized for the “dumb” and “hurtful” things she has written in the past, and says “[t]he person I am now is not the person I was then.” “Then” being when her account was hacked, apparently.

What I was curious about was, what were the terrible things Reid said that ignited the current controversy?

The posts that came to light in December were written for “The Reid Report,” her blog when she was covering Florida politics a decade ago. In posts, she refers to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as “Miss Charlie” and suggested he was “ogling the male waiters” on his honeymoon after marrying his wife, whom he has since divorced. She questioned whether the marriage was a sham by a gay man who thought it would help him politically.

Such rumors about Crist were common at the time. It is a curious fact that liberals often smear Republicans (as Crist was then) as gays, usually when they are not. This is widely accepted on the Left, even though it seems counter to liberal ideology. But conservative “gay” bashing was common then, and remains common today.

This week, Mediaite revealed a set of other supposed blog posts. In one of these posts, Reid supposedly notes that “most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing”….

That’s true. Most straight people do cringe at the sight of two men kissing. Do those who are now attacking Reid deny this rather obvious fact?

…and that she couldn’t see the movie “Brokeback Mountain” because she didn’t want to watch two male characters having sex.

Amen, sister. I probably wouldn’t have seen the film anyway, but the prospect of watching two male characters having sex definitely would have taken it off my list. I don’t think Ms. Reid and I are alone in this.

Another post says that a lot of heterosexuals find the idea of homosexual sex to be gross…

Well, yeah. Again: does someone claim this isn’t true? A thought experiment–if Ms. Reid had written that a lot of homosexuals find the idea of heterosexual sex to be gross, would she be kicked off MSNBC?

…and that there are concerns that gay men tend to be attracted to young, post-pubescent types and want to bring them “into the lifestyle.”

Yes, those concerns do exist. Again, are Ms. Reid’s critics saying that they don’t?

Reid is a victim of the Left’s changing standards. Even when her own thoughts are pure, she is excommunicated for accurately describing what other people think. Lest, I suppose, the pretense of consensus be shattered.

Reid’s recantation is Stalinist, but it isn’t likely to be enough now, just as it wasn’t then:

“I look back today at some of the ways I’ve talked casually about people and gender identity and sexual orientation, and I wonder who that even was. But the reality, like a lot of people in this country, that person was me.”

After reading her five-minute statement, Reid then led a panel discussion on gender stereotypes and issues facing the LGBT community.

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