Meghan McCain Slams Joy Reid's Blog After Photoshopped Image Depicts John McCain as School Shooter

Joy-Ann Reid speaks at "Leading Women Defined: Women on Washington" at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 1, 2013. Kris Connor/Getty Images for BET

Meghan McCain, daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain, slammed a photoshopped picture on MSNBC host Joy Reid's blog that depicted her father as the Virginia Tech shooter, calling it beyond "disgusting and disgraceful." It's the latest in a string of offensive posts uncovered on the now-defunct blog, which Reid claimed was hacked.

The manipulated photo, first surfaced by BuzzFeed News, showed John McCain's face atop the body of Virginia Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 33 people at the university in 2007 in one of the deadliest shooting rampages in the country. The title of the October 7 post, which has since been removed along with all other contents of the blog, read "Baghdad John Strikes Again." The picture and its accompanying text can still be viewed via the Internet Archive.

Aside from the clearly photoshopped picture, the post railed against McCain for comments he made while running as the GOP presidential nominee, namely the assertation that he would follow Osama bin Laden "to the gates of hell" and "shoot him." John McCain later backtracked, noting that he didn't intend to personally shoot bin Laden.

Meghan McCain, who took a break on Friday from co-hosting duties at The View to stay in Arizona with her family, blasted the photograph on Twitter. She also retweeted calls for Reid and MSNBC to respond to the blog post. Prior to Friday, both the network and its star had stayed relatively mum on the subject, attributing the numerous offensive posts to an unknown hacker earlier this year. Other incendiary entries from The Reid Report include a spattering of anti-LBGT posts and at least one promoting a 9/11 conspiracy theory.

In a Friday statement, Reid appeared to take responsibility for the posts and did not blame it on the work of hackers. She apologized to the communities targeted in her screeds and specifically said she would be reaching out to John and Meghan McCain.

"While I published my blog, starting in 2005, I wrote thousands of posts in real time on the issues of the day," she said. "There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed.

"To be clear, I have the highest respect for Sen McCain as a public servant and patriot and wish him and his family the best."

The statement marks a turn from her April appeal, when she tacitly denied writing the posts.

"I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me," Reid said on her show AM Joy. "But I can definitely understand, based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people don't believe me. I've not been exempt from being dumb, or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry."

Reid hired a cybersecurity expert to look into a possible hacking, although the expert provided no conclusive evidence to support her claim. MSNBC, meanwhile, has defended Reid, who has stayed on-air while an investigation unfolds. Her lawyer also confirmed in April that the FBI is looking into a possible hacking on her blog, though no mention of that investigation was released with the Friday statement.

"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," her lawyer, John H. Reichman, said in a public statement. "Our own investigation and monitoring of the situation will continue in parallel, and we are cooperating with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds."

Aside from the newly unearthed post about McCain, the controversy surrounding the years-old blog posts resurfaced this week after ABC canceled Roseanne Barr's eponymous sitcom over racist tweets penned by the conservative comedian. Defenders of Barr pointed to Reid and comedian Samantha Bee, also embroiled in a controversy surrounding offensive statements, as an example of a pervasive double standard in the treatment of conservative and more progressive celebrities. Barr, too, attempted to draw a connection between the two cases.

This story has been updated to include a statement Reid released on Friday, apologizing to the McCain family.