Late on Thursday, The Washington Free Beacon‘s Alex Griswold uncovered yet another set of blog posts by MSNBC host Joy Reid from 2006.
Reid claimed earlier posts that appeared to be from her blog were hacked and the posts fabricated. The new posts were allegedly discovered on the Wayback Machine, a project of the Internet Archive and posted to social media last week by the same Twitter user who published posts by Reid last year.
These posts, from 2006, feature gay jokes about, among others, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and then yet-to-be-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
“Oh, look, Orrin Hatch is putting on his Supreme Court knee pads to save Alito,” the author wrote during Alito’s Senate hearing. “‘Golly, you’re really a swell guy. Can I be on top next time…?’ Jeez…”
A half hour later, the author wrote: “Would somebody please get Orrin Hatch some mouthwash and a $20 bill…? He’s got to be exhausted.”
…Other blog posts unearthed by Griswold tout offensive stereotypes of Muslims, claim that Islam is inherently unable to coexist with Western democratic values, and link to the Gateway Pundit, a far-right conspiracy website.
The Daily Beast reported late on Thursday that claims by Reid’s cybersecurity expert are not holding up:
…that consultant, Jonathan Nichols, had trouble producing the promised evidence. And what he did produce failed to withstand scrutiny, according to a Daily Beast analysis. Blog posts that Nichols claimed do not appear on the Internet Archive are, in fact, there. The indicators of hacked posts don’t bear out.
The Daily Beast says that when asked to produce evidence of fraudulent posts and evidence of screenshot manipulation, Nichols pointed to several images:
Nichols said those six posts are nowhere to be found in the Internet Archive. But that is not true.
Further searching on the Internet Archive turned up the posts for all six of the screenshots Nichols described as fakes, including the one about Eddie Murphy. The Internet Archive’s records indicate they were retrieved and stored between 2006 and 2009. And all six are exactly as they appear in the screenshots. A random check of other screenshots attributed to the blog produced the same result: None of the images are faked or doctored.
Nichols then acknowledged issues in the methodology of his verification to TDB. Nichols was also unable to provide, when asked, evidence of forensic clues which probe that Reid did not pen the entries, and provided two small examples of inconclusive evidence regarding timestamps on the posts, arguing that Reid could not have written the posts because she was on her show at the time.
Today Nichols says Reid and her team no longer believe the archive was hacked, and the Internet Archive has denied any such manipulation could have occurred. “We found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions,” an archiver for the site said in a statement.
That means the supposed hacker was posting alongside Reid for years. According to Reichmann, that even included inserting updates in Reid’s live blog of the Alito hearing in January 2006. Reichmann claimed that the hacker was responsible for two consecutive updates sandwiched between Reid’s legitimate ones. The updates report that Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch was using his questioning time to metaphorically fellate the judge. “Oh, look, Orrin Hatch is putting on his Supreme Court knee pads to save Alito,” one line read. The post’s title, which Reichmann says the hacker changed, was “Brokeback Committee Room,” another reference to the film about gay lovers. All the contested material in the post is present in the earliest archived copy, which was captured the day after the hearing.
All of this alleged hacking apparently went unnoticed at the time by Reid.
Mediaite also reported that internet archive records reveal that Nichols bragged about affiliations with neo-Nazis.
Yesterday, TDB said it had “hit pause” on Reid’s columns, and the FBI was reportedly brought in to investigate.