Former Attorney General Eric Holder came to the defense of MSNBC’s Joy Reid today after the cable news host apologized for the rediscovered blog posts that have been attributed to her which many people described as homophobic and transphobic.
Joy Ann Reid apology. Appropriate. Heartfelt. This unique and compelling voice for tolerance and equality should not be silenced. We learn – and change – from our mistakes. She has.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) April 28, 2018
Holder, who led the Justice Department under President Obama and is rumored to be considering his own presidential bid in 2020, urged people to accept the sincerity of Reid’s apology, despite her initial claims that her blog had been hacked and her continued refusal to admit that she actually wrote the posts.
Reid’s apology came after The Daily Beast severed its relationship with Reid, who had been contributing to the website in addition to her MSNBC duties, according to a report on The Hill.
While the AM Joy host doesn’t recall writing the offensive posts, she nevertheless declared on air that she was “truly sorry” for any of her past behavior that could be characterized as “dumb or cruel or hurtful.”
“Here’s what I know: I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things,” she said, “but I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past why some people don’t believe me,” she added.
Even though Eric Holder accepts Reid’s mea culpa, some journalists have criticized the news anchor for fueling “overall distrust of media, which makes it harder for honest workaday journalists to be viewed as credible,” as Capital & Main reporter David Sirota tweeted.
Left unsaid in the Joy Reid crap: when high-profile media folk appear to blatantly lie & then their media buddies publicly defend them, it fuels overall distrust of media, which makes it harder for honest workaday journalists to be viewed as credible, do their jobs & have impact.
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) April 28, 2018
Of course, the same could be said of the presidency, with much higher stakes, but Sirota’s point is well taken and was retweeted by other journalists including CNN’s Brian Stelter.
In addition to apologizing for her blog posts, Reid singled out right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter for a special apology. In a series of tweets in 2010 and 2011, Reid referred to the conservative author and commentator as “that Coulter dude,” a comment that many in the transgender community took as deeply insulting.
“I want to apologize to the trans community and to Ann. Those tweets were wrong and horrible,” she said on her MSNBC show.
“I’m heartbroken that I didn’t do better back then,” Reid said. “The reality is I have to own the things I’ve written and tweeted and said.”
While her failure to remember her other posts may mean she still has a way to go on that last comment, perhaps we should take Eric Holder’s advice and accept that her positive messages in the present outweigh any past transgressions.
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