Daily Beast Suspends Joy Reid Column Over ‘Serious’ Accusations About Past Homophobic Blog Posts

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The Daily Beast will suspend future columns from Joy Reid due to the fallout over comments she made on an old blog a decade ago, the website’s executive editor Noah Shachtman told staff in an internal memo on Wednesday.

“We’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns,” said Shachtman in an email reviewed by TheWrap. “As you’re well aware, support for LGBTQ rights and respect for human dignity are core to Daily Beast. So we’re taking seriously the new allegations that one of our columnists, Joy Reid, previously wrote homophobic blog posts during her stint as a radio host.”

“Obviously, this is a difficult situation,” Shachtman added. “We’ve all said and done things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done. We deserve the room to grow beyond our past. But these allegations are serious enough that they deserve a full examination”

The email was first reported by Twitter by CNN’s Oliver Darcy.

Also Read: Media Matters Says No Boycott for Joy Reid, Blasts ‘Right-Wing Chicanery’

Daily Beast exec editor @NoahShachtman sent this note out to staff today regarding the @JoyAnnReid situation. He says reporters @kpoulsen and @maxwelltani are investigating her claims and examining her history: “In the meantime, we’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns…” pic.twitter.com/eJwwFeHSCn

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 25, 2018

Though she apologized for content on her old blog “The Reid Report” back in December, the MSNBC host has denied the latest revelations reported by Mediaite, saying that her the long defunct website was hacked. Shachtman told Beast employees that the company was investigating and would produce their own story on the issue.

Reid has been a longtime opinion columnist at the Daily Beast. Her last column for the website was published just days before her latest scandal.

Things continued to spiral for Reid — and MSNBC — over the story, which has now moved beyond the revelations reported by Mediaite to whether Reid was being honest about claims of hacking. On Wednesday evening, Reid’s lawyer John H. Reichman told TheWrap that the FBI has opened an investigation into the issue.

“We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” he said.  “Our own investigation and monitoring of the situation will continue in parallel, and we are cooperating with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds.”

Reid’s claims of hacking have been met with skepticism by reporters across the political spectrum and from the Internet Archive, whose Wayback Machine is the source of the incriminating material on Reid. In his own statement, Chris Butler, the Director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive, said they found no evidence to substantiate Reid’s claims.

“When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions. At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities,” said Chris Butler, the Director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive.”

 

Related stories from TheWrap:

FBI Will Investigate Joy Reid’s Claim That Old Blog Posts Were Hacked, Her Lawyer Says

Media Matters Says No Boycott for Joy Reid, Blasts ‘Right-Wing Chicanery’

Ann Coulter Fires Back at Joy Reid for Old Tweets About ‘That Coulter Dude,’ Questions Her African American Roots

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‘Fox & Friends’ Tells Trump to Watch Less TV in Live Interview (Video)

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The set of ‘Fox & Friends’ had some blunt advice for Donald Trump after the president phoned into the show for a 30 minutes diatribe: watch less television.

After Trump spoke at length about “fake news CNN” and complaints about “sleepy eyes” Chuck Todd, show co-host Brian Kilmeade urged Trump to turn it off.

“I’m not your doctor, Mr. President,” said Kilmeade as his fellow co-hosts sat stone-faced. “But I would recommend you watch less of them.”

Also Read: Sean Hannity Smacks Down Stormy Daniels Lawyer’s Offer to Come on Show: ‘Old News’

“I don’t watch them at all,” said Trump before immediately contradicting himself. “I watched leaking lying Comey last night. I did. I hated to do it.”

“I don’t watch NBC anymore. They’re as bad as CNN and by the way, I made them a fortune with ‘The Apprentice,’” he added. “You would think that these guys would treat me great. I made them a fortune. They treat me horribly and they treat me falsely.”

The cast on set sat mostly silent as Trump thundered from one subject to another. The president also addressed North Korea, the withdrawal of his Veterans Affairs nominee, Dr. Ronny Jackson, the FBI raid into his former attorney/fixer Michael Cohen and Kanye West — who he said had “good taste.”

Also Read: Trump Thanks Kanye West for ‘Dragon Energy’ Shout-Out: ‘Very Cool!’

The interview was a vintage Trump performance on the show that gave him his first regular national platform years before he ran for office. During the Obama years, Trump would regularly call into the program to promote false rumors that his predecessor was not born in the United States.

The cast on set said producers had been angling for a classic Trump phoner for a year. The president revealed he finally consented to the call in honor of first lady Melania Trump’s birthday — which is today.

The call also conveniently stepped on a “Morning Joe” interview with Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti that also aired at 8:00 a.m Eastern.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Media Matters Says No Boycott for Joy Reid, Blasts ‘Right-Wing Chicanery’

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Media Matters for America will not launch any advertiser boycott against Joy Reid. The non-profit watchdog group’s president Angelo Carusone told TheWrap on Wednesday his group will not target the MSNBC host after mounting pressure from those who have called out an old blog post of hers as being bigoted toward the LGBT community.

In a public Twitter conversation on Wednesday, Carusone answered a question from TheWrap, saying that Reid’s past post will not trigger a Twitter boycott from his group. He called the effort to draw attention to Media Matters on the topic of Reid “bulls–t” and “right wing chicanery.”

“I hope people can separate, especially media figures, can separate out difference,” said Carusone. “There’s no corrective action they seek here. Just revenge.”

Also Read: Ann Coulter Fires Back at Joy Reid for Old Tweets About ‘That Coulter Dude,’ Questions Her African American Roots

“Further, those leading the charge on this issue are actually terrible on LGBT issues. If we accept the standard they are putting forward, then by extension doesn’t that mean many of their own media figures should be punished too?” he added in a series of Twitter replies.

That standard isn’t really met here. And, what we have here is right-wing chicanery and revenge not based on a pattern of behavior but on a random thing plucked from time and space. There’s no corrective action they seek here. Just revenge.

– Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) April 25, 2018

Further, those leading the charge on this issue are actually terrible on lgbt issues. If we accept the standard they are putting forward, then by extension doesn’t that mean *many* of their own media figures should be punished too?

– Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) April 25, 2018

Media Matters has led boycotts against prominent Fox News personalities including Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

The group also provided assistance to Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg during his own campaign against Laura Ingraham’s sponsors. That effort has so far resulted in the departure of more than two dozen advertiser from the embattled Fox News host.

MSNBC’s Reid is facing questions over numerous old tweets and posts from her former blog “The Reid Report,” which said among other things that:

“Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing,” and that “Most straight people had a hard time being convinced to watch ‘Broke Back Mountain.’ (I admit that I couldn’t go see the movie either, despite my sister’s ringing endorsement, because I didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex.) Does that make me homophobic? Probably.”

Reid has denied writing many of the old posts and said the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine — which documented Reid’s old blog — had been compromised.

The posts were first brought to light by Mediaite reporter Caleb Ecarma, who also dug up several old tweets from Reid joking about Ann Coulter being a man.

while @JoyAnnReid denied writing the anti-gay posts published on her blog that I reported earlier today (https://t.co/HUHSgS5e9N), here are 4 tweets that are still up in which Reid makes transgender jokes about Ann Coulter pic.twitter.com/UaYCzorGGl

— Caleb Ecarma (@calebecarma) April 23, 2018

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Fox News Should Fire Sean Hannity, Media Matters Head Says: ‘Uniquely Destructive’

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David Hogg Boycotts Against Vanguard and BlackRock Fall Flat So Far

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Lighting appears not to have struck twice with David Hogg’s call for a boycott of investment management companies Vanguard Group and BlackRock over their investment in gun manufacturers.

Unlike his call to boycott sponsors of Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, which quickly went viral and led to more than two dozen companies to withdraw ads from “The Ingraham Angle,” the Parkland school shooting survivor and student activist hasn’t gained nearly as much traction at either firm since his tweet last Wednesday.

“No high-profile clients that I can think of left BlackRock as a result of it,” one BlackRock employee told TheWrap. “It’s definitely not water-cooler talk.”

Also Read: Laura Ingraham Gets Trolled by Her Own Guest: ‘Where’s Your Sponsors?’

At Vanguard, one company employee told TheWrap, the situation “remains kind of the same as what it has been in previous months.”

And while Vanguard has noted that its investment options include an FTSE Social Index Fund that specifically “excludes gun manufacturers,” the company insider said there had been no noticeable increase in requests for that fund in the last week.

In a client update sent days before Hogg’s boycott, BlackRock said it was reevaluating its holdings in firearm makers and “meeting with the leaders of gun manufacturers and distributors” in response to customer interest in the wake of the Parkland massacre.

Reps for BlackRock and Vanguard did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheWrap. Hogg also has not responded to requests for comment.

Also Read: David Hogg and His Sister Lauren Score a Book Deal

As of Wednesday morning, Hogg’s Vanguard/BlackRock boycott tweet last Wednesday had received approximately 3,600 retweets and 6,800 comments. In Internet parlance, the tweet was ratioed — a widely used measure of internet disapproval which occurs when the number of comments on a tweet exceeds the number of retweets.

Even so, there’s no denying the 17-year-old’s reach and influence on social media. Hogg’s first tweet calling for a boycott of Ingraham — prompted by the host’s mocking him for getting rejected by California colleges to which he had applied — has netted around 11,800 retweets and just 3,100 comments.

A followup tweet listing 13 top Ingraham sponsors has generated nearly 56,000 retweets — and prompted nine of the named companies to publicly announce they’d stop advertising on her show, many in the first 24 hours after his first tweet.

In many ways, Hogg’s second boycott was a long shot for Ingraham-size impact because mega-investment companies like Vanguard and BlackRock manage more than $5 trillion in assets and are much harder to influence than TV networks or controversy-averse advertisers.

Also Read: Here Are the 27 Advertisers David Hogg Convinced to Dump Laura Ingraham

In addition, while consumers can phone or email or tweet complaints directly to networks or their sponsors, they often have less direct access or influence over their investment funds — which are often dictated by their employers.

“Fox is a target with a built-in audience of ‘haters,’ people that have been yelling at the TV for years,” former Mediaite and Independent Journal Review managing editor Jon Nicosia told TheWrap. As the instantaneous response to the Ingraham tweet proved, added, “They mobilize quickly when there is a chance to take on Fox.”

Nicosia also noted that CNN and MSNBC had a vested interest in giving oxygen to the Fox News boycott — something that isn’t the case with Vanguard and BlackRock.

Related stories from TheWrap:

David Hogg and His Sister Lauren Score a Book Deal

Parkland Survivor David Hogg Calls for Boycott of Gunmaker Investors BlackRock, Vanguard Group

Parkland Student Activist David Hogg Teases Another Boycott: ‘Stay Tuned’

Here Are the 27 Advertisers David Hogg Convinced to Dump Laura Ingraham

Netflix Partners with BuzzFeed for New Documentary Series

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BuzzFeed will partner with Netflix on a new original documentary series, the website announced in an internal email on Wednesday.

The series, “Follow This,” will chronicle the lives of journalists as they follow a unique story and from the looks of a Netflix press release — those journalists will mostly work at BuzzFeed.

“No platform for shows [is] bigger than Netflix right now,” said Editor in Chief Ben Smith in the internal company memo, a copy of which was obtained by TheWrap. Smith called the partnership “an auspicious sign of things to come.” Smith also revealed that two episodes had already been filmed and “in the can.”

Also Read: BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: ‘I’m Proud We Published’

One of those episodes was teased by NetFlix themselves Wednesday.

“The first episode, The Internet Whisperers, follows BuzzFeed reporter Scaachi Koul, as she explores the curious world of autonomous sensory meridian response — or ASMR — and some of its most enthusiastic proponents,” a press release from Netflix said.

Simply put, ASMR refers to people who enjoy sensory stimulation and ASMR YouTube videos consist of someone or something creating some form of repetitive noise. A preview of the episode on YouTube reveals Koul listening to a lot of ASMR and describing her experience.

“For me when ASMR works it creates this sort of tingling feeling in my spine and my brain. I have a busy life and a hectic job. This is one thing that quiets my brain,” said Koul.

You can watch the preview above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michael Cohen Withdraws Libel Suits Against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS

BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: ‘I’m Proud We Published’

Trump’s Lawyer Sues BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS for ‘Defamation’ Over Russia Dossier

BuzzFeed White House Correspondent Fired Over Inappropriate Text Messages to Colleagues

Kanye West Reaffirms His ‘Love’ for Trump: ‘He Is My Brother’

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Kanye West put to bed any speculation about his feelings for Donald Trump on Wednesday, tweeting out that he has “love” for the president and that he considered him a “brother.”

“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought,” wrote West.

“If your friend jumps off the bridge you don’t have to do the same,” he added in one of several additional clarifications. “For people In my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50 50 split but I don’t tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary. I love Hillary too.”

You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

If your friend jumps off the bridge you don’t have to do the same. Ye being Ye is a fight for you to be you. For people In my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50 50 split but I don’t tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary
I love Hillary too.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

West also confirmed that he was not in “the sunken place” after some earlier cryptic tweets that he might be there — a reference to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”

“And also I’m all the way out the sunken place. And I’m not scared anymore. I’m not scared of the media. I’m not scared of the past and I’m optimistic about the future. This tweet is in love not fear,” said West.

And also I’m all the way out the sunken place. And I’m not scared anymore. I’m not scared of the media. I’m not scared of the past and I’m optimistic about the future. This tweet is in love not fear.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

UPDATE — Kanye tweeted out a bit of a clarification to all this on Wednesday afternoon after receiving a call from his wife Kim Kardashian West.

“My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don’t agree with everything Trump does. I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself,” he said.

my wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don’t agree with everything Trump does. I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

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