UPDATE: 7:54AM, February 19
While the national news media have stepped on more rakes than Sideshow Bob in the past month, give credit where it’s due: many local reporters are genuine professionals who work hard to dig up the facts and bring the public real news. For instance, while national media figures were unquestioningly repeating the Jussie Smollett attack story and using it as a weapon to attack President Trump and his supporters, some local Chicago reporters were burning shoe leather to get to the truth. Kudos to them for showing their overpaid coastal colleagues how the job is supposed to be done.
Speaking of the Smollett story, there have been a number of new developments. For instance, the two brothers police described as “persons of interest” released a statement claiming that contrary to previous press reports, they are from America, not Nigeria, and they are not anti-Trump. Also, Smollett has reportedly fired the attorney who represented Michael Cohen and hired new attorneys and a “crisis management team” (i.e., spin doctors).
Also, according to the local news site CWBChicago.com, federal authorities are looking into connections between an alleged threatening letter sent to Smollett and the alleged attack a week later. It would be cool if this bizarre case were solved by the US Postal police.
This story also reveals that there might have been a witness to the alleged attack, a woman who was looking down from her apartment window. But what she claims she saw doesn’t sound like what Smollett described. Of course, she probably wouldn’t make for a good witness in court since she admits she was smoking pot at the time. But then, this entire story sounds like something someone would come up with after smoking a lot of pot. Details at the link.
UPDATE, 8:54PM Feb. 18: “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is still denying that the alleged racist attack on him by Trump supporters in Chicago was a hoax. But TMZ.com quotes unnamed law enforcement sources as saying that a grand jury will examine the claim next week, and they want Smollett to testify. This link has more details as well as new info on why the police started to become more skeptical about his story. If it was a hoax, it wasted tremendous amounts of police time in a city where resources for dealing with real crimes such as murder are stretched to the limit, and it not only slandered innocent people but it could have sparked race riots (with the aid of all the politicians, media figures and celebrities who rushed to pour rhetorical kerosene on the fire.)
There’s also speculation that if this is a hoax, it might have been done not only to smear Trump and his supporters but also to boost support for a federal anti-lynching bill passed by the Senate and still awaiting a House vote. For the record, a reminder from Wikipedia:
“From 1882 to 1968, ‘...nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, and three passed the House. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 asked Congress to pass a federal law.’ Not one bill was approved by the Senate because of the powerful opposition of the Southern Democratic voting bloc.”
Finally, once again, Facebook proves that its war on “fake news” does not extend to potential hoaxes from the left, but if you’re a conservative who questions a potential hoax from the left, you’re OUTTA HERE!
When the alleged attack in Chicago on gay, black actor Jussie Smollett of the TV show “Empire” was first reported, I strongly condemned such attacks, as did President Trump. I pointed out that there were some questionable details of his account, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Even as the media used the story to batter Trump and his supporters for creating this “atmosphere” of hate, violence and bigotry, I held my tongue and pen. I even kept quiet as each new detail that emerged made Smollett’s story seem ever more fantastic:
Two racist Trump supporters just happened to be in an upscale neighborhood of one of the most liberal cities in America, a place that one skeptical resident described as being “half black and half gay,” yelling "This is MAGA country"…they just happened to be wondering around at 2 a.m. on one of the coldest nights in history…they just happened to recognize an obscure actor from a TV show with an almost entirely black audience…they just happened to know enough about him to know he is gay and has been rabidly anti-Trump for years before Trump even ran for President…they just happened to be carrying a bottle of bleach and a rope…they just happened to attack him in one of the few places anywhere around that had no surveillance cameras…Smollett just happened to be able to fight them off in less than a minute without dropping his Subway sandwich…and he just happened to still be wearing the rope around his neck when the cops came to talk to him. That’s a lot of unlikely stuff to have “just happened.”
Well, it now seems safe to report that it likely didn’t just happen, it was carefully planned…and not by the “attackers.” Although (disclaimer!) this has yet to be officially confirmed, media source say the police tracked down two brothers from Nigeria, one of whom worked as an extra on “Empire,” and both of whom are also strongly anti-Trump. It’s suspected that they rehearsed and staged the attack, and that they were paid $3500 before leaving for Nigeria right after the attack and were promised $500 more on their return. The sources say Smollett paid for the rope, which came from a Chicago area hardware store. Police found ropes, bleach, masks and a red hat in their apartment. They are reportedly cooperating with police, who want to re-interview Smollett.
For his part, Smollett denies he orchestrated a fake attack and says he’s “angered and devastated” by the claims. He’s hired the same attorney who defended Michael Cohen, and his lawyer says he’s been victimized a second time by this story. But if he did file a hoax report, and wasted the time and manpower of the police in a city with a huge caseload of real murders to deal with, he could face a stiff fine and up to three years in jail.
Since he’s still denying it, I won’t pass judgement on whether his highly unlikely story is actually true or false until the police issue their findings. I only wish that same standard had been upheld by our esteemed media, political and show business figures, who have spent the past two weeks trumpeting this story as absolute proof that Trump supporters are violent, racist thugs and this shows us “what’s wrong with America in 2019.”
Well, they’re sort of right about that last part. It’s the same thing that was wrong when self-righteous liberals used social media and mass media to falsely attack a group of innocent Catholic school kids as violent bigots with zero evidence, just because they happened to be wearing MAGA caps. That fell apart just a couple of weeks ago, and the leftist Twitter mobs obviously learned absolutely nothing from it.
(Well, Sen. Cory Booker is now “withholding judgment,” which would have been more impressive if he’d done it when this story first surfaced.)’
Before the Smollett attack has even been officially ruled a hoax, some on the left are already deleting their angry tweets about violent, racist Trump supporters, while others are trying to blame it somehow on Trump (he “created the climate” where racist lynchings are possible, even if they didn’t really happen) or scolding Republicans for “gloating” by pointing out the holes in the story and the hysterical credulousness of the left. I’m sure there will be few if any apologies for their rush to judgement.
All of this is a smokescreen to avoid dealing with what’s really wrong in America in 2019 – actually, since 2016. Absolutely convinced that they are right about everything and that they have some divine claim on the Presidency, those on the left were devastated when the voters said otherwise.
A wise and mature party would have looked at this unexpected rejection as a signal to reflect on why so many people thought their policies don’t work and why their candidate was so unliked that people were willing to take a chance on a wild card like Trump. Instead, they lashed out with blind rage at the voters for not giving them the power they crave like a heroin fix.
For two years, they’ve blamed everything for their loss except themselves. They’re torn the nation apart trying to tar Trump voters as what Hillary dismissively called them: racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic deplorables. In fact, worse than that: white supremacists! No, even worse: Nazis! When you have that attitude, it’s easy to fall for lies that fit your preconceived notions, no matter how implausible they may be.
All this to avoid taking a long look in the mirror and asking, “What did I do wrong?”
I lived through a time when America really was torn by racism and violent attacks on black people by white supremacists, and there was no need to create hoaxes. I have no wish to return to that ugly time. Liberals are fond of accusing others of wanting to “turn back the clock to the days of Jim Crow, the KKK and segregation.” No Republican I know wants to go back to the era of those racist Democrat creations. I wish today’s liberals would quit trying to revive the concept of politically-inspired violence, both for real and as political theater to slander their opponents.
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