Rahm Emanuel: National Media and Politicians Rushed to Judgement on Smollett

IAN HANCHETT

On Thursday’s “CNN Tonight,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that national media and politicians should “take a step back,” and think about how they should handle stories like the Jussie Smollett story in the future and that “before we rush to judgment, we should take a pause, get the facts.”

Emanuel began by talking about what a “welcoming city” Chicago is, adding, “I’m upset about what he said about the city and the way he used the city. But more importantly — and every city has challenges to work on, let me say something about our city, that is, our police officers took this as a very serious hate crime, and they dedicated the resources to deal with it as a hate crime. But then you literally put doubt, not only about the city, and also, in addition, what about the person that’s in the workplace facing discrimination? What about the young man who’s dealing with his own sexual orientation and is attacked for it in high school or in some school, who’s now going to doubt whether people are going to believe him? You have put all those real stories at risk for your fake story. That is not right. That is not right for Chicago. That is not right for what kind of city we are.”

He later added, “I think the national media, I think national politicians, they need to take a step back, and they need to think about this moment. They need to think about other moments and think about how we approach stories going forward. Because you and I know that the moment this was said, everybody rushed to judgment about the veracity of it. And my — it didn’t add up to a lot of us that live in Chicago. Our officers pursued it as if it were the truth, and came to the truth — or the facts as they were laid out. I hope one of the things that we all come out of this is learning that before we rush to judgment, we should take a pause, get the facts. And that’s not just on the media. That’s a part of it. That’s also on national politicians that jumped to a conclusion about what was true and not true at the time. Which is also why I’m upset, because at some point, somebody in the future, who is a victim of an attack because of their sexual orientation or a victim…because of their faith or a victim because of their race will not be believed, when they should be heard and trusted for what has happened to them.”

Emanuel also weighed in on President Trump’s tweet on the matter, stating that the president doesn’t have much authority to talk about bigotry given his remarks about Charlottesville.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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