Kevin Poulsen at The Daily Beast dissects Joy Reid’s claim of a conspiracy to hack her defunct blog The Reid Report and frame her as the author of politically incorrect thoughts on gays, concluding that her assertions “have not stood up to scrutiny when they’ve been specific enough to test.”
Jonathan Nichols, the cybersecurity consultant Reid used to “prove” her claim of a hack, responds to cross-examination from the author, conceding that “I’ve become aware of some methodology issues… We’re kind of reevaluating.”
From The Daily Beast:
If there was a hack, it would have taken place years ago. The Internet Archive’s records show the disputed posts were mirrored by the Wayback Machine no later than 2009, and many of them were archived much earlier, some within hours of appearing on Reid’s blog. Reichmann explored the possibility last year that the posts were crafted more recently, and that someone inserted them into the Internet Archive with false dates. Reichmann contacted the nonprofit in December to “demand that you provide us with the information needed to determine how the fraudulent posts came to be included in the archived posts.”
But at least one of the entries was contemporaneously referenced on a completely different website. A Feb. 6, 2007 post containing the line “most straight guys (and women) do react with winces at the sight of two men kissing on the lips” drew a comment on the Democratic Underground forum the same day: “Oh, Reidblog… why, why why…”
Today Nichols says Reid and her team no longer believe the archive was hacked, and the Internet Archive has denied any such manipulation could have occurred. “We found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions,” an archiver for the site said in a statement.
That means the supposed hacker was posting alongside Reid for years. According to Reichmann, that even included inserting updates in Reid’s live blog of the Alito hearing in January 2006. Reichmann claimed that the hacker was responsible for two consecutive updates sandwiched between Reid’s legitimate ones. The updates report that Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch was using his questioning time to metaphorically fellate the judge. “Oh, look, Orrin Hatch is putting on his Supreme Court knee pads to save Alito,” one line read. The post’s title, which Reichmann says the hacker changed, was “Brokeback Committee Room,” another reference to the film about gay lovers. All the contested material in the post is present in the earliest archived copy, which was captured the day after the hearing.
All of this alleged hacking apparently went unnoticed at the time by Reid.
Read the rest of the story here.