Yesterday, I wrote about the irony of an MSNBC interviewer in full Roseanne pile-on mode asking the network’s star Joy Reid just what someone has to do on social media to get fired by a TV network. Ms. Reid could have replied, “Funny you should mention that…” Everyone knew about the recent dust-up over some old anti-gay posts unearthed from her defunct blog (remember those?) that she claimed must have been inserted by hackers, an excuse that raised more eyebrows than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. But Joy Reid, being a reliably histrionic anti-Trump liberal, was still on MSNBC (although her column was temporarily suspended by the Daily Beast and it cost her an award she was going to receive from a gay rights group.)
Well, brace yourself for act two. Turns out someone’s dug up some old 2006 blog posts in which Ms. Reid reportedly wrote positive comments about the disgusting crackpot conspiracy “documentary,” “Loose Change 9/11,” that suggested the 9/11 attacks were planned by the US government, not al-Qaida. We’re now waiting to see if endorsing fake news that slanders a Republican President will get you dropped from MSNBC, and if so, will it then get you hired by CNN?
Incidentally, this should also provide two good lessons to everyone who talks about public issues online: 1. Do research from reliable sources and think very carefully about what you write and how you phrase it before you hit “send” (and if a “fact” later turns out to be incorrect, admit it and retract it ASAP). That’s because (2.) the Internet is forever. It’s like knowing that your driver’s license photo may appear on the Jumbotron in Times Square 20 years from now, so you’d better shave and comb your hair every time you visit the DMV.
I feel I’m somewhat qualified to speak on this because I’ve now been doing commentaries on radio, TV and the Internet for nearly a decade, and those are rules I’ve followed from day one. Of course, it also helps to follow my third rule: if trolls call you names on Twitter, simply refuse to give a hoot.