The Joy Reid “hacking” saga has taken another weird turn.
The MSNBC host now says she’s not so sure shadowy online criminals hacked the Wayback Machine Internet Archive to make it appear as if she published several anti-gay articles on her now-defunct personal blog , The Reid Report, more than 10 years ago.
“Reid and her team no longer believe the archive was hacked, and the Internet Archive has denied any such manipulation could have occurred,” the Daily Beast reported this week, citing the cable news host’s independently contracted cybersecurity “expert” Jonathan Nichols.
I use quotation marks around the word “expert” because everything points to the likelihood that Nichols is a crank-for-hire. After all, he “had trouble producing the promised evidence” of a hack, the Daily Beast noted, adding that, “what he did produce failed to withstand scrutiny. … 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.”
There’s also the fact he says he’s an “Information Operations soldier” whose expertise lies in “military propaganda” and “human intelligence.” He also says he is a “ senior” Psychological Operations operative who could have “influenced the propaganda mission of Libya” but “chose not to.” Lastly, it doesn’t exactly strike confidence in one’s heart to learn he scrubbed his social media accounts following the publication of his supposed findings.
The real takeaway, however, is that Reid and her team of supposed “experts” (who are not official MSNBC employees) are backing away from their earlier suggestion that secretive operatives manipulated the Wayback Machine.
This comes shortly after the people who maintain that archiving website said in no uncertain terms that they could find nothing to substantiate her claims their records were hacked.
This leaves Reid with only a few options. Her supposed detractors could have broken into her site back in 2006, long before she became a semi-famous TV personality, and planted forged blog posts, in the hope that someone would find them 12 years later. Either that or, um, current-day hackers somehow manipulated time and space to make unflattering anti-gay rhetoric appear on Reid’s blog during the Bush era.
This is to say nothing of her Library of Congress problem. Like the Wayback Machine, the Library of Congress also archives Internet content. Their records show that at least one of the aforementioned anti-gay posts is definitely real. Reid hasn’t said whether she believes the Library of Congress has been hacked …