comScore
opinion

When Will the News Media and Liberal Establishment Admit They Got Duped by Jussie Smollett?

Imagine, if you will, if very pro-Trump C-list actor James Woods had recently claimed, to police and the media, that he had been brutally attacked by two black men, who had clearly targeted him because of his race and political beliefs. Imagine if this charge got so much publicity that the entire leadership of the Republican Party, including President Donald Trump, along with most of the conservative media, rushed to his defense and unambiguously condemned what they universally called a hate crime.

Imagine if the circumstances surrounding such an attack were extremely odd and, a couple of weeks later, still could not be substantiated by police despite hundreds of man hours accessing voluminous amounts of camera footage from the very conservative area surrounding the attack. Imagine further that Woods claimed that he was on his cell phone with his manager during the very late-night attack, but refused to hand over that phone, and eventually only provided a very incomplete record of his calls.

Imagine, if after the police started to quietly question his story, Woods went on Fox and Friends and, in a softball interview with Steve Doocy, confirmed that a blurry photo of two “persons of interest” contained the images of the two men who did this to him. Imagine then that the police, apparently knowing all along who those two blurry figures really were, suddenly take those two men in for questioning and eventually arrest them as suspects in the case.

Oh, and those two men turn out to be brothers, Trump supporters, unambiguously white, and with at least one of them having appeared in the same show as Woods, with evidence that they are friends. Then the police, suddenly, citing “new evidence,” release the two brothers without charging them, all while Woods quickly hires a high-priced lawyer to add to a new PR firm.

If that set of facts existed, I would submit to you that the mainstream media and the political left would have already turned Woods into at least Harvey Weinstein, if not Ted Bundy. There would be no hesitancy whatsoever to put, even before an arrest, all these dots together and create the picture that Woods’ story was false, that he had duped the nation, and that he needed to be severely punished for having committed what they would see as one of the largest cultural crimes in modern history.

Those are the exact set of circumstances surrounding Empire actor Jussie Smollett, only in reverse, and the mainstream media and political left are, at least so far, doing their very best to pretend that maybe nothing at all unusual has really happened here. I am all for NOT rushing to judgement (something the news media usually is far too vulnerable to doing when it suits their agenda), but we have now reached the point in this story where it is finally time for the official narrative to take a dramatic change.

The identity of the brothers, who are body-builders from Nigeria and could not possibly be mistaken for being white (something TMZ has reported Smollett claimed, at least at first, was the case) really is the proof that Smollett’s story is not true. There is just no way that these two guys, at least one of whom was apparently friends with Smollett and worked on Empire, attacked him because he was black, gay, and anti-Trump.

So, using just basic logic (an exercise all-too-often beyond the ability of the average media person), if the two Nigerians were his “attackers,” or at least the guys in the released surveillance video, that is game, set, match for Smollett’s hate crime allegation. Given what we know about how the police detained them, and how long they held them for questioning while under “arrest,” it would be nearly inconceivable for them not to be the two people Smollett himself identified as his attackers on GMA (back when he clearly mistakenly thought there was no way that the police would ever find them, when, in reality, they apparently already had them ID’d from almost the beginning of the story).

But what are we to make of the police releasing them without charges? Well, the authorities citing “new evidence” and “more investigation” to be completed, along with Smollett suddenly lawyering up in a big way, makes it about as obvious as could be that the brothers have “flipped” on Smollett, and that they are not currently being charged because they are no longer law enforcement’s primary target.

While these conclusions require some speculation, they do not necessitate anything close to a real leap. Perhaps more importantly, this is the only scenario consistent with everything we think we currently know. Admittedly, to be fair, our knowledge of the incident is still rather spotty.

To be clear, none of this tells us what actually DID happen that night. I honestly am still torn between this being some sort of premeditated “hoax,” a hate-crime concocted as a cover story in a panic after a violent dispute between the three of them, or, perhaps, some really bizarre hybrid of those two possibilities. We may find out the truth any day now, or maybe we will never know for sure.

But, at this point, there is one thing that every thinking and objective person who cares about the truth should be able to comfortably and publicly conclude: Jussie Smollett was almost certainly not the victim of a random pro-Trump hate crime because of his race, sexuality, and politics. It is time for the news media and the liberal political establishment to, at the very least, make the public aware that this is what the facts, as we currently know them, indicate.

The reality that they very likely won’t do this is exactly why Trump fans don’t trust a damn thing they say, and after this story and the Covington Catholic fiasco coming back-to-back, probably never will again.

[featured photo via Getty Images]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

Filed Under:
  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. SportsGrid
  6. AmboTV
  7. Gossip Cop