What we “know” so far is that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of a horrible racial and homophobic hate crime.
According to Smollett, he was in Chicago and, at 2 a.m., decided he needed a meal. So he headed for a Subway sandwich shop. As Smollett was leaving, he was accosted by two White men wearing masks and gloves who called him a faggot, made racial slurs as well, assaulted him, sprayed him with bleach and put a noose around his neck, while screaming “This is MAGA country”.
Not surprisingly, mainstream media went into an immediate hemorrhage over this beyond-ugly homophobic, racist hate crime.
Except, as detailed in Patrick Poole’s article for pjmedia.com:
-Smollett’s first incarnation of the story to police did not mention anything about his attackers screaming “This is MAGA country”. That materialized in a later version;
-Police have reviewed surveillance tapes and can find no attackers or a getaway car;
-No one seems to have witnessed any of this but Smollette;
-And plenty more (use the link I’ve provided, read the entire article, see for yourself.)
Bottom line? While we do not know for sure, this is starting to smell like another of the increasingly large number of hoaxes by people looking to generate media attention by accusing others of homophobia and/or racism.
Personally, I’m not convinced in either direction. I will wait and see what additional information turns up before deciding whether or not I should believe Mister Smollett.
But as of now, it seems to me mainstream media owe us still another apology for jumping to put out a story without knowing the facts, which may well be untrue.
Add it to the pile.
UPDATE: Now the Chicago Police say they have surveillance footage of “two persons of interest”. However, as you can see, the footage simply shows two people walking – no interaction with Jussie Smollett and no bleach or noose in their possession.
Well, at least they’re trying to find something to back Smollette’s story up. Does this give you any confidence they will?
FURTHER UPDATE: Police now say they have video footage of Smollette in the Subway shop. Alone.
So we are being asked to believe that two potential anti-gay, anti-Black assailants were laying in wait outside a Subway location at 2 in the morning, in sub-zero temperatures, carrying bleach and a noose, on the off-chance that a gay guy would come in to buy some food.
That doesn’t strain credulity, that pulls it from Chicago to Pittsburgh.
This story becomes less believable every time new information emerges.
Did Smollett have some kind of altercation, maybe with the person/people he was staying with, and come up with a story to explain away what happened to him as the result of it?
I have absolutely no evidence of this…but that is as much evidence as I have to back up Smollett’s story as well.
With all the media attention on this incident, and Chicago police making it a top priority, I would think it likely there will be a better picture of things pretty quickly. We’ll see….