On Thursday, The Daily Beast’s Kevin Poulsen published a piece that suggests that the “pause” on Reid’s column might turn out to be a permanent one. The title of the piece makes clear what the outlet’s investigation into Reid’s allegations has found so far: “Claims by Joy Reid’s Cybersecurity Expert Fall Apart“:
MSNBC host Joy Reid claims that recently unearthed homophobic articles attributed to her are fakes. And she says a cybersecurity consultant has proof that her old blog has been hacked.
But 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.
It only gets worse from there. Poulsen provides a timeline of Reid’s “homophobic blog” scandal, including her apology for her “Miss Charlie” posts about Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, then her pivot to blaming hackers for other similar posts unearthed afterward. “On Wednesday evening, Reid’s attorney announced that the FBI had opened an investigation into ‘potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,'” Poulsen notes.
Nichols’ claims: he found “significant evidence” that some hacker allegedly inserted material without her knowing in her blog. His proof? Some of it didn’t appear in a search on her blog, some of it was supposedly posted while she was on air, and some posts weren’t stylistically consistent with her other posts. In addition, Nichols claimed, some of the posts that have been circulated on Twitter have been altered after the fact. “We have both evidence of fraudulent posts and evidence of screenshot manipulation,” the consultant told The Daily Beast Wednesday.