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MSNBC host Joy Reid sorry for anti-gay posts, ABC News' Brian Ross suspended for Trump report

MSNBC host Joy Reid apologized for old blog posts that surfaced on Twitter, while ABC News' Brian Ross is "being held accountable" over a misleading report about President Trump.

MSNBC host Joy Reid (left) apologized for old blog posts that surfaced on Twitter, while ABC News’ Brian Ross (right) says he agrees “with being held accountable myself.
MSNBC host Joy Reid (left) apologized for old blog posts that surfaced on Twitter, while ABC News’ Brian Ross (right) says he agrees “with being held accountable myself.Read moreMSNBC / ABC

Joy Reid, the host of MSNBC's AM Joy, apologized on Sunday for "insensitive, tone deaf and dumb" blog posts that contained homophobic insults and jokes targeting then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

"At no time have I intentionally sought to demean or harm the LGBT community, which includes people whom I deeply love," Reid said in a statement released on Sunday, "My goal, in my ham-handed way, was to call out potential hypocrisy."

In the posts, which appeared on a blog associated with her now-defunct Florida radio show The Reid Report from 2007 to 2009 and recently resurfaced on Twitter, Reid repeatedly mocked Crist as a closeted gay man nicknamed "Miss Charlie" and tagged posts about him under "gay politicians." She also suggested that the Republican governor refused to come out as gay because he thought it would hurt his political career, and joked about him having sex with Sen. John McCain.

Crist, who has been married and divorced twice, has long denied claims that he is gay and called allegations that he paid two men to conceal gay affairs in 2012 "a bunch of delusional lies."

"Re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself. I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me. Life can be humbling. It often is. But I hope that you know where my heart is, and that I will always strive to use my words for good," Reid wrote. "I know better and I will do better."

Crist, now a representative in Florida's 13th congressional district, thanked Reid for her apology.

"Long forgotten, but thank you, Joy. I appreciate you," Crist wrote.

Longtime ABC News reporter Brian Ross suspended over erroneous Trump report

Veteran ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross has been suspended for four weeks without pay after he inaccurately reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump "directed him to make contact with the Russians."

During an appearance on World News Tonight on Friday, Ross walked back the report, noting that the directive occurred while Trump was president-elect and centered on improving relations with Russia in order to enlist its aide to fight ISIS in Syria.

"It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience — these are our core principles," ABC News said in a statement, later calling the report a "serious error" and admitting it "had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process"

The report, citing a single anonymous source, was picked up widely by media outlets and led to a fast, sharp decline in the stock market.

ABC News was also criticized for letting the report stand for a large portion of Friday before retracting it, and then initially referring to the update on World News Tonight as a "clarification" instead of a "correction."

"My job is to hold people accountable and that's why I agree with being held accountable myself," Ross wrote on Twitter.

Trump reveled in the mistake, offering his "congratulations" to ABC for swiftly suspending Ross for "his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt."

“Fake News” being adopted by totalitarian regimes

Trump's repeated use of the term "fake news" to undermine and delegitimize unfavorable reporting is being adopted by leaders of totalitarian regimes.

In Buddhist-majority Myanmar, the government has been accused of ethnic cleansing against a Muslim minority group known as the Rohingya. But U Kyaw San Hla, a security ministry officer in in the Myanmar state of Rakhine, echoed Trump in his denial of such allegations.

"There is no such thing as Rohingya," Hla told the New York Times. "It is fake news."

The United States has declared the military's campaign against the Rakhine to be ethnic cleansing, and free-press advocates fear Trump's harsh, anti-press rhetoric will continue to be adopted by leaders looking to obscure the truth. In Egypt, a spokesman for the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called CNN's coverage of his country "deplorable" following Trump's criticism of CNN International.

"The gravity of an American president's favorite catch phrase being used to justify ethnic cleansing will probably be lost in the noise this weekend, but it shouldn't be," journalist Sulome Anderson wrote on Twitter. "The truth has a big, red target on it now."