10 times MSNBC's Joy Reid spread conspiracy theories or misinformation

Reid again passed along faulty info with Miami Beach Spring Break photo

MSNBC far-left host Joy Reid once again spread misinformation on her Twitter account Monday, sharing a 2019 picture of a crowded Miami Beach in an attempt to shame vacationers for flouting coronavirus distancing guidelines.

It wasn't the first time, however, that Reid has spread conspiracy theories or other misinformation to her viewers and millions of Twitter followers.

Here are 10 other times the MSNBC star has been caught disseminating fake news.

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March 4, 2021

Reid referred to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., as a conspiracy senator "by way of Moscow," strangely insinuating that he was a Kremlin plant. 

The remark drew derision from liberal journalist and corporate media critic Glenn Greenwald, who said it was "bats--t crazy and as much conspiratorial derangement as anything from QAnon." This followed Reid saying in January that President Donald Trump was "servile" to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Reid is not the only MSNBC personality to draw connections between Johnson and Russia. MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace, one of the network's most enthusiastic proponents of Russia election conspiracy theories, asked if Johnson and Russia were "in cahoots" last year because both were trying to damage Joe Biden.

Nov. 9, 2020

In a single, error-laden tweet, Reid informed followers that the data website FiveThirtyEight was named for George W. Bush's 2000 election margin of victory over Al Gore in Florida, and that the "Republican SCOTUS reversed the 2000 election."

That was all incorrect.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Journalist Joy Reid speaks during the Apple Store Soho Presents: Apple Store Soho Presents:Meet the Creator: John Ridley, "American Crime" at the Apple Store Soho on February 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Journalist Joy Reid speaks during the Apple Store Soho Presents: Apple Store Soho Presents:Meet the Creator: John Ridley, "American Crime" at the Apple Store Soho on February 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)

FiveThirtyEight is named after the 538 electoral votes up for grabs in a presidential election, while Bush's official victory total over Gore in Florida was 537 votes out of more than six million cast, leading to a recount. The Supreme Court also did not reverse the 2000 election result; the Bush v. Gore decision reversed a lower court's order to recount thousands of votes in the state. 

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Later analyses showed Bush would have won the state even if the recount had gone forward.

Reid lived in Florida at the time of the 2000 election.

Aug. 5, 2020

Reid asked what Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was doing in Russia in 2018 and "whether he divulged any secrets to any Russian official."

As the Washington Examiner noted at the time, Reid could have merely done a Google search and found out Kennedy had traveled there as part of a congressional delegation that warned Russia against further election interference.

Aug. 10, 2019

Reid suggested then-Attorney General William Barr bore responsibility for the death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, whose 2019 suicide while in federal custody has been the subject of rampant speculation in the media and popular culture.

"This Department of Justice does not exactly inspire confidence. Let's just be blunt. William Barr's Justice Department is not one you can readily simply rely upon and feel confident in," Reid said on her show. "What do we make of all of this now that in this federal facility this person was allowed to be alone long enough to either harm himself or be killed by some—we don't know what happened. We just don't know."

Jan. 24, 2019

Reid was hardly alone in pushing one of the most infamous fictional media narratives of the Trump era: that a group of Covington Catholic students harassed a Native American man in Washington, D.C., when nothing of the sort occurred.

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Still, she did, interviewing Nathan Phillips on her weekend show "AM Joy" over a chyron that read, "Viral video shows high school students wearing 'MAGA' hats and mocking Native Americans."

After an initial viral video purported to show the students surrounding and harassing Phillips, a subsequent investigation showed the students were the ones actually harassed by a group of radical Black Hebrew Israelites, and Phillips approached the students, not the other way around.

July 1, 2018

Reid falsely accused a Trump supporter of shouting racial slurs at a 14-year-old during a City Council meeting in Simi Valley, insinuating she had called him a "dirty Mexican."

In another post, Reid added, "Make the picture black and white and it could be the 1950s and the desegregation of a school. Hate is real, y’all. It hasn’t even really gone away."

However, the boy said his interaction about immigration with the woman was civil and she had made no such comments, leading Reid to delete her posts and apologize.

The woman, Roslyn La Liberte, sued Reid for defamation in 2019. The lawsuit was dismissed by the Eastern District of New York until being revived last year by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which argued that the July 1 post makes Reid "liable for what is insinuated, as well as for what is stated explicitly."

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"I wasn’t really doing anything to him and everyone thought I was and that makes me really sad. It makes me really sad that I’m so vilified," La Liberte said.

April 23, 2018

In one of the most embarrassing media scandals in recent memory, Reid claimed hackers had gained access to her defunct Florida blog, The Reid Report, and planted unearthed offensive posts, such as cringing at gay men kissing and other homophobic items.

"In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology," she wrote in a statement.

MSNBC's Joy Reid once blamed old blog posts on hackers, but that claim quickly fell apart.

MSNBC's Joy Reid once blamed old blog posts on hackers, but that claim quickly fell apart.

"I began working with a cybersecurity expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach. The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago."

Making the far-fetched claim even more strange was Reid had, just months earlier, already admitted to and apologized for writing similar posts on the blog.

After a brief investigation by her cybersecurity expert, Reid admitted to viewers there was nothing to substantiate her hacking claims, although she still said she did not believe she had written the offensive items.

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Later reporting revealed Reid had dabbled in 9/11 conspiracy theories, made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments, and even photoshopped then-Sen. John McCain's head on the Virginia Tech shooter on her old blog.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha said the blog fiasco should have been the end of her career, but instead she was promoted to primetime. MSNBC is the same network that provided refuge to former "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams, who was suspended for six months in 2015 after admitting he made up his oft-told story that he was in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq.

"So now she knows she can literally say whatever she wants regardless of if there's any truth to it, because MSNBC management basically told her without saying it, that's she untouchable," Concha said.

Jan. 17, 2018

Reid had to apologize to conservative writer David French when she bizarrely accused him of making incendiary remarks in an article about minorities.

Reid responded to an article by French about a hypothetical nuclear attack, on the heels of the false alarm that occurred in Hawaii that month. French noted that a "strike would devastate central Honolulu but leave many suburbs intact."

Reid didn't appear to read French’s story in National Review, instead opting for watered-down, misleading pickups that were published by Newsweek and Raw Story that focused on Trump supporters living in rural areas. Despite French making no reference to either, Reid asserted he didn't care if a nuclear bomb killed "Democrats and minorities."

"We have truly entered the age of insanity when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, ‘don't worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities.’ Shame on you @DavidAFrench,’" Reid wrote.

After a bipartisan outcry, Reid deleted the tweet, but the debacle was indicative of Reid's knee-jerk style.

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"MSNBC should know that one of its hosts is making things up. It’s a smear, pure and simple. There is no excuse," French wrote at the time.

August 20, 2017

According to the Daily Caller, Reid spread an unsubstantiated rumor that the Trump campaign was hiring Black actors for an upcoming rally.

Her proof was a left-wing account's eventually deleted Craigslist advertisement soliciting actors.

June 20, 2017

Reid falsely claimed Donald Trump had won Georgia's Sixth Congressional District by more than 20 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, to assuage disappointed followers after Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly lost a special House election there.

In reality, Trump won the metro Atlanta district by less than two points over Clinton. The Sixth District later swung to the Democratic column in 2018 with the election of Rep. Lucy McBath.

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In addition to peddling misinformation, Reid has also made headlines for her racially charged screeds, which include calling Black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "Uncle Clarence," tokenizing Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and claiming all conservatives would trade tax cuts in order to openly use the "n word."

Despite her controversies, her star has only risen at MSNBC in the past five years. After Chris Matthews was forced off the air in 2020, she was picked to take his coveted primetime spot with "The Reid-out." She, along with fellow liberal hosts Rachel Maddow and Nicolle Wallace, led the network's unabashedly pro-Democratic special political coverage throughout 2020.

Fox News' Brian Flood, Bradford Betz contributed to this report.