In the event you have been in a coma for the past few weeks, I shall explain the headline – but maybe not in the way you think.
The breaking news of January 29 was about a racial/homophobic attack on black comedian/actor Jussie Smollett — star of the television series, “Empire.” According to his report to the police, he was beaten by two men who cursed him with racial slurs and homophobic threats. To emphasize their hatred for blacks, the thugs hung a rope around his neck and splattered him with a toxic liquid. They further warned him that this was “Maga country” – implying that they were Trump supporters.
Smollett had previously reported a threatening letter on January 22 – the kind with all the letters cut out of a magazine. The envelope also contained “suspicious” powder (turned out to be Tylenol). That revelation did not garner a lot of media attention – which may explain the sequel.
What a story! A prominent black entertainer attacked because of his race and sexual preference in the name of President Trump. This had all the elements to get the anti-Trump media into a feeding frenzy – and it did. This was such a good story to play into their anti-Trump narratives that they gave it top of the hour treatment – and significant analyses by their stable of bobble-head panelists.
Democrats pounced on the story like it was an emerging whack-a-mole. Presidential wannabes Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders were quick to tie the event to their narrative of pandemic racism in America and the corruptive influence of the President.
But … even as the story came out, there were some elements that raised questions. Why was the attack not captured on security cameras? Why did the attackers happen to have a rope and some liquid? What did the attackers look like? How did they know Smollett was gay? Normally, the working press would follow up on those questions, but not in this case. In fact, they dismissed the questions out-of-hand – preferring to use the attack as part of their sustained demonization on Trump and anyone who supports him.
Unfortunately for all those self-righteous people who echoed the initial report for political reasons, the story continued to unravel … and unravel … and unravel.
Turns out that the two perpetrators were a couple of Nigerian nationals, brothers – one of whom worked on the set of “Empire.” Hmmmm. They had just purchased the rope and liquid – which turned out to be bleach – at a nearby hardware store. Hmmmm. There are reports that the brothers even said they practiced the attack with Smollett. Hmmmm. Police found rope, a red hat and cut up newspapers in the brothers’ home. Hmmmm. There was a report that Smollett had been in cell phone contact with the Nigerian brothers shortly before the attack. Hmmm and hmmmm.
There are a lot of other discrepancies. One attacker wore a red hat, but not a MAGA hat as Smollett claimed. He must have known that the attackers were black because he first stated that “one wore a mask.” It is also most unlikely that two Nigerian brothers would be crazed Trump supporters. Just saying.
Smollett, through his lawyers, said that he was hurt, pissed and otherwise upset by the very suggestion that he would have staged such a thing. He claimed to now be doubly victimized. (Okay, the lawyer statement did not say he was “pissed,” but Smollett did say it on a later television interview.)
With the mounting evidence against him – and even his hitherto champions falling silent – it does not appear that Smollett can conceal the truth much longer. It appears that the entire action on the streets of Chicago was scripted and rehearsed. And to what purpose? That seems obvious. Publicity and to strike a blow against Trump.
This is reminiscent of another comedian, Steve Rannazzisi, who waxed on eloquently and in great detail how he barely survived the attack on the New York Trade Towers in 2001. “I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place,” he later told an interviewer. Turns out, he was not even in view range.
I am also reminded of how Senator Richard Blumenthal claimed he saw combat in Vietnam, which, he later said was simply a mistake. If you question the relevancy of the Blumenthal lie with the Smollett story, you are right. I just did not want to lose an opportunity to bring the Senator’s disgraceful theft-of-valor to public attention again.
So … why the headline that says it was a racist attack?
Because it was, Smollett used race to try to make a point about America and our politics. The entire production was race-based. Well. Maybe not the entire production. He also wanted to show how homophobic America can be. He wanted to be what the Democrats and media made of him – at least temporarily – a heroic victim of racial and homosexual intolerance with a swipe at Trump and his followers.
Smollet has suffered the worst fate of a comedian – not being funny.
So, there ‘tis.