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Reid used offensive language to describe then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

By David Canfield
December 03, 2017 at 04:49 PM EST
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Credit: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

MSNBC host Joy Reid has issued an apology for blog posts she wrote a decade ago that show a pattern of using homophobic and offensive language to attack then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, calling her word choice “insensitive, tone deaf, and dumb.”

Twitter user @Jamie_Maz was the first to resurface articles published on the political commentator’s since-deleted Reid Report from 2007 to 2009. In about a dozen posts, Reid smeared Crist, whom she alleged without proof was gay, by calling him “Miss Charlie.” She tagged the posts “gay politicians” and “not gay politicians,” presumably sarcastically, and claimed that his marriages to two different women were elaborate cover-ups of his sexual orientation.

“Miss Charlie, Miss Charlie. Stop pretending, brother,” she wrote in a 2007 post. “It’s okay that you don’t go for the ladies.”

In her commentary on Crist, Reid would often resort to crass and homophobic descriptions. As she envisioned his honeymoon: “I can just see poor Charlie on the honeymoon, ogling the male waiters and thinking to himself, ‘God, do I actually have to see her naked…?’”

She also put forward several conspiracy theories relating Crist allegedly being gay but married to a woman to his validity as a VP candidate for John McCain in 2008. Among her many comments on the topic: “When a gay politician gets married, it usually indicates that he is highly ambitious, and desires to put himself in a position to move up the power ladder.”

Crist, who served as Florida’s governor as a Republican, has since changed his affiliation to Democrat and is now a U.S. congressman in the state’s 13th District and a vocal critic of his former party and the president. He filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years, Carole Rome, earlier this year.

In a statement provided to EW, Reid apologized for her choice of words while noting her intent to “call out potential hypocrisy” among Republicans. “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,” she wrote. “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.”

Reid currently hosts the weekend morning show AM Joy on MSNBC, which has experienced strong ratings growth in the past year since Donald Trump’s election as president. She has emerged as one of the network’s signature voices, boasting a popular social media presence (with nearly 1 million Twitter followers) and a reputation for fiery, uncompromising debate. In October, a clip of her show went viral, in which she dismantled talking points of the Hillary Clinton-Uranium One conspiracy theory popular among some Republicans.

The Reid Report is no longer online and was accessed through the archive service Wayback Machine. At the time that the blog posts were written, Reid was a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Read Reid’s full apology below:

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