Establishment media journalists and pundits uncritically accepted and promoted Jussie Smollett’s elaborate “hate crime” story, just one week after the mainstream media fostered the false narrative surrounding the Covington Catholic students, resulting in a laundry list of impending defamation lawsuits.
Here’s 12 establishment media commentators and journalists who fueled the Jussie Smollett flames with impassioned and uncritical reactions to the Empire actor’s imaginative account of his supposed run-in with Trump supporters in “MAGA country” Chicago.
1. Eugene Scott – Washington Post‘s The Fix reporter
“To many, the Smollett incident — and the political nature of the assault — is yet another reminder for many black gay Americans that this president’s vision of a ‘great America’ does not appear to include them,” wrote Eugene Scott for Washington Post‘s The Fix.
2. Don Lemon – CNN journalist
CNN’s Don Lemon told Red Table Talk that he wasn’t shocked when he heard Smollett’s story, adding that he was concerned about the actor’s “well-being” in having to deal with being black, gay, and famous.
“One, he has to deal with discrimination as a black man,” said Lemon, “then, on top of that, he has to be gay — and then, fame — fame is not natural — When something happens to you and it’s controversial, everyone is coming for you, and so I knew everyone would be picking apart his story.”
3. Yamiche Alcindor – PBS NewsHour White House correspondent
“We have to do better as a country. This is disgusting,” said PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, in a tweet referring to the alleged attackers shouting “This is MAGA country,” which was then retweeted by CNN commentator Sally Kohn.
4. Joyce Vance – MSNBC contributor
“If someone commits this kind of act under your banner, you should have the decency to publicly condemn them and say it’s not what you stand for. But I doubt Trump will,” tweeted MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance in response to Alcindor.
5. Jamil Smith – Rolling Stone journalist
“The brutal attack on him in Chicago appears to be yet another example not just of further moral decay, but of the brand of terrorism that still doesn’t seem to spark enough response by Americans,” tweeted Rolling Stone journalist Jamil Smith.
6. April Ryan – CNN analyst
“This attack on @JussieSmollett is a hate crime and should be treated as such!” affirmed CNN’s April Ryan, in response to the NAACP’s Derrick Johnson, who claimed the actor had been a victim of a “racist, homophobic attack” and that “divisive, hateful rhetoric” is putting “lives at risk.”
7. Jemele Hill – The Atlantic journalist
“I’ve met @JussieSmollett a few times at social events and he emanates warmth and joy. I’m just disgusted and appalled that he has suffered the unimaginable,” tweeted an uncritical Jemele Hill.
8. Zerlina Maxwell – MSNBC analyst
“The media is broken. If they can’t call the attack on Jussie racist straight up then they need to find alternative employment,” argued the MSNBC analyst, scrutinizing any media that had been referring to the incident as an “apparent hate crime.”
“Apparent HATE CRIME?” continued Maxwell, “Sure bc that has a legal definition. But to be clear pouring bleach on a Black person while you are yelling about MAGA = RACIST”
9. Joy Reid – MSNBC correspondent
“Nooses never really disappeared as messages of a very specific kind of terror,” said MSNBC’s Joy Reid, “but every time they’re used, my God, it’s chilling. Praying for Jussie’s full recovery. And for us all.”
10. Karen Attiah – Washington Post editor
“Regarding the heinous attack on @JussieSmollett, yet another reminder that Trump’s ascendance and the resulting climate of hate has meant that lives have been increasingly at stake since 2015. Smollett could have been killed by those thugs screaming MAGA. Let that sink in,” tweeted Washington Post editor Karen Attiah.
11. Amy Siskind – Huffington Post contributor
“Can we get anyone in the Trump orbit to condemn the 2 MAGA men who brutally attacked Jussie Smollett, a gay black man, and put his head in a noose while saying ‘This is MAGA country,’ so others don’t feel like your silence is legitimizing hate? How about you @realDonaldTrump?” tweeted Huffington Post contributor Amy Siskind.
“Confirmed. Trump needs to address this attack publicly and condemn it!” continued Siskind in another tweet, which included a Huffington Post article that did not confirm anything, other than the fact that Smollett had spoken to the police.
12. Brooke Baldwin – CNN journalist and news anchor
“Absolutely despicable,” said CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on CNN Newsroom, “and this is America in 2019.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.
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