Buzzfeed, CNN: Say, does anyone remember Joy Reid's Truther posts?

Those time-traveling hackers sure do get around. Fresh off renewed scrutiny of her hostile comments about LGBT issues on her old blog, MSNBC host Joy Reid faces new questions about her encouragement of 9/11 Truther claims in 2006. Buzzfeed dug up an endorsement of the viral web video Loose Change, putting her on the same side as InfoWars’ Alex Jones:

March 22, 2006, post to her weblog, Reidblog, archived by the Wayback Machine and titled “The official story,” links to Loose Change 9/11, a viral 80-minute web video originally released in 2005. Loose Change, which was produced in part by Infowars’ Alex Jones, alleged that the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were in fact planned by the US government. The central claims in Loose Change have been widely debunked.

“The fundamental question is: do you believe the official story of 9/11?” the post reads. “If you do, great. If you don’t, then everything that happened after that is called into serious question. Even if you’re agnostic, or you tend to believe that al-Qaida attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon and that the government had no warning such a thing could happen, it’s worth taking a second look.”

As Voltaire is said to have remarked, try something once and you’re a philosopher. Twice, and … well …

In a March 2006 post titled “Flashback: September 30, 2001,” Reid’s blog notes that the US government identified the plotters suspiciously soon. It then repeats common truther questions about the collapse of the WTC 7 building, which was not hit by an airplane.

“For that matter, why did any of the WTV [sic] buildings fall…?” Reidblog states. “Somehow I think it will be a generation before we get the full story on what happened on 9/11?”

CNN, oddly, seems mighty happy to report on this new development in Reid’s career. Ah, the joys of competition:

MSNBC host Joy Reid is once again facing scrutiny over a years old blog posts, this time for her promotion of a documentary asserting that 9/11 was an inside job. …

Last month, Reid claimed that a number of old posts containing homophobic sentiments were in fact placed on her blog by hackers.

Reid hired a cybersecurity expert to investigate the matter and her attorney said the FBI had opened its own probe into the alleged hacking. But the claim simply did not add up, and Reid ultimately acknowledged that she could not prove that she had been hacked. She apologized last month after the hacking claim fizzled. …

The newly unearthed posts about the September 11 attacks marks the third time Reid came under fire in the last six months for past writings on her blog. In December, she admitted to and apologized for other posts that likewise contained anti-gay remarks.

I’m sure this has nothing to do with it, but it’s worth noting that CNN came in third behind Fox News and MSNBC in the latest ratings. After a strong 2017, MSNBC has fallen off the pace this year, shedding 21% of its 25-54YO audience, but CNN lost 34% of the demo at the same time. Fox News has resumed its years-long position as cable-net juggernaut, with ten of the top 15 shows in cable news. CNN barely shows up, which might be a motivating factor for highlighting Reid’s woes.

Fox News is probably doing it just for fun, though, noting the “eerily silent” networks that employ Reid. They also dug up some dirt on Reid that belies her current progressive politics, on immigration at least:

MSNBC is remaining stone silent as as old blog posts that seem to fly in the face of star Joy Reid’s alleged progressive values continue to pile up, one after another. …

Shortly after the BuzzFeed bombshell was published, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” revealed that Reid used to tout “American First” immigration policies. Carlson revealed that Reid’s blog argued that, among other things, native-born Americans, not “low-paid Mexican workers” should rebuild New Orleans, agreed with Lou Dobbs on immigration, and even criticized flying the Mexican flag on U.S. soil.

BuzzFeed and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” both noted that MSNBC didn’t bother to respond to a request for comment. MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment for this report and has not responded to numerous emails regarding Reid.

NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast did not immediately respond to a series of questions, including whether or not the company investigated Reid’s hacker claims and why MSNBC is ignoring reporters who ask about the blog.

The issue of Reid’s positions on issues should be fairly easy to explain, if Reid can be convinced to do so forthrightly. I’ve evolved is about the easiest explanation to make, especially in the media for those who evolve towards progressive positions. People are allowed to change their minds on issues, but they do have to admit holding thoughtcrime positions in the past in order to make it work.

Granted, the endorsement of Alex Jones’ work and the flirtation with Trutherism will be a little harder to explain away, but let’s not forget just how many Democrats at the time were willing to believe Bush knew about the attacks in advance. A Rasmussen poll the year after Reid’s blog posts showed a dead heat between the Truther position and the normals among Democrats (35/39), and a plurality that thought the CIA knew about it in advance (37/30). Far from being fringe at the time, Reid’s flirtation with Trutherism was mainstream among Democrats in the final two years of the Bush administration, even if it was more fringy overall (22/55).

The real problem for NBC/MSNBC is that Reid hasn’t been honest about her earlier remarks. Telling preposterous whoppers about time-traveling hackers doesn’t do much for Reid’s credibility, on evolving or anything else, and it erodes the credibility of the networks that keep her employed. If they didn’t fire Reid for that, a little Trutherism isn’t going to do much.