Tucker: How did anyone fall for Jussie Smollett’s hoax?
‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host reviews the evidence of the actors case.
Actor Jussie Smollett finally went on trial this week for faking a hate crime in Chicago way back in 2019. Let’s put a little bow on that news story, which you probably remember well.
Smollett faces six felony charges for what he did. He could spend three years in prison if he’s convicted on all of them. Smollett’s lawyers have argued hilariously that he is “the real victim in this story.” But of course, no sober person on the planet believes that. Jussie Smollett definitely faked a hate crime.
The question is – how did anyone, anywhere, ever fall for this story, even for a moment? Looking back, in retrospect, it was maybe the most obvious hoax ever perpetrated. And in case you’ve forgotten the details of them, I’d like to savor them tonight.
Smollett claimed that he left his apartment in Chicago alone one freezing January night at 2 a.m. to pick up a Subway sandwich, something that no one who isn’t homeless has ever done. As he walked down the street, two White men approached him and began screaming in his face for being Black and gay. Because of course, you’re not allowed to be either one of those things in the city of Chicago. They called him the N-word. They punched him in the face. They poured a chemical onto his body. Then, needless to say, they wrapped a noose around his neck because, you know, Chicago. They didn’t bother to rob him. Their motives were purely political: “This is MAGA country,” they screamed about a city that voted more than 83% for Hillary Clinton.
Actor Jussie Smollett arrives with his mother Janet, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for day two of his trial in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
So that’s the story that Jussie Smollett told the police that night, a noose still hanging around his neck. The police, it’s fair to say were highly skeptical. The leaders of the Democratic Party, however, were not skeptical at all. In fact, the story he told was the story they were already telling.
That same year, several Democratic senators, including notably Kamala Harris of California, a personal friend of Jussie Smollett, sent a letter to the Justice Department. The letter claimed that attacks from White supremacist Trump voters were among this country’s greatest threats. Attacks by Black supremacists, by contrast, were not even real. In fact, Harris lectured the DOJ, saying the very term Black supremacist is a “fabricated term based on a faulty assessment of a small number of isolated incidents.” In other words, only Trump voters commit hate crimes.
And of course, the media has been telling us that ever since. Here’s one recent headline from CNN: “Hate crime reports in the U.S. surged to the highest level in 12 years, FBI says.” Where’s all this hate coming from all? Well, according to CNN, it’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. NPR covered it at your expense, it’s National Public Radio. In their coverage, they came out and blamed people who voted for Donald Trump. All these White supremacists NPR explained, are mad about COVID, so they’re beating up Asians in the streets of San Francisco and New York. Just as Kamala Harris told us – White supremacy is the problem.
So where did these numbers come from? The numbers upon which all these stories are hung and all these political points are made and all these lies are told? Well, here’s how the Department of Justice under Joe Biden concluded that we have “more hate crimes than we’ve had in 12 years.”
First, they change the definition of hate crime. Now a hate crime, by the way, is that even a real category of crime? How is it different from a crime? But it is, apparently, and it now includes something called discrimination based on gender identity. Well, no one can quite agree on what that is, but it’s a crime. Then the FBI noticed that nearly 90% of law enforcement agencies across the country had been reporting no hate crimes within their jurisdictions because actually, there’s not a lot of hate in the country because it’s a pretty nice country. Most people are not racist at all, most people are really kind. They’re Americans.
But that’s not the conclusion we can sell to CNN or NPR or get elected on in the midterm. So the Biden Justice Department badgered an additional 600 federal law enforcement agencies and local police departments into reporting hate crimes under this new expanded definition of the term hate crime. So if you’re following this, hate crimes, whatever those are, didn’t actually rise in frequency. The number of agencies that were commanded to report hate crimes went up quite dramatically. Then the FBI encouraged law enforcement agencies to report any possible hate crime, even if the crime derived from an obviously false report. And that’s why more than 80% of the hate crimes suspects investigated by the feds from 2005 to 2019 were never prosecuted.
Why is that? Because they were fake. But they still show up in the statistics, and they still allow NPR to tell you that people who would disagree with Anthony Fauci are beating up Asians on the street in New York.
Right. So it’s a fiction. It’s yet another lie engineered by the Biden administration and carried forth as fact by the media. They did it for political reasons. They’ve been doing it for years. In fact, they’ve done it for so long. They started to believe it was actually true. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they took Jussie Smollett seriously when no normal person would. The story was absurd from the very first day, but they believed it completely. In case you’ve forgotten, here was their response.
MSNBC: We’ve got some breaking news. Actor and musician Jussie Smollett from the hit show Empire was attacked and beaten early this morning in Chicago and police say it could be a hate crime.
MSNBC: There are many indications of a hate crime here. … They are looking for two suspects who were apparently wearing Make America Great Again hats.
CBS: We have a media that’s saying it’s a debate whether or not what just happened to Jussie Smollett is a hate crime. It’s absurd.
CNN: You know, Jussie Smollett had a noose on his neck just this week
ABC: The media has really cast so much doubt on his story, which I find so personally offensive that a gay Black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief.
CNN: He said his attackers hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him. … This is America in 2019.
A lot of talking with the eyes closed. A lot of empathy, a lot of empathy. We should know, by the way, that Jussie Smollett is also, in addition to being an actor, a musician. What instrument? We have no idea, but he’s a musician, too. Anyway, this is America in 2019, we just heard from CNN. And that was true, actually, but not in the way the robot on CNN meant it.
By 2019, in America, it was actually getting pretty difficult for the average Black person to get beaten up on the street for having the wrong skin color. As Jussie Smollett found out, personally, if you wanted to have racists throw bleach in your face and hang a noose around your neck, you had to pay Nigerian bodybuilders to do it. The going rate at the time was $3,500. That’s not cheap, but then violent anti-Black racism was getting extremely hard to find. It was a rare commodity. And yet, somehow ABC News was not aware of any of this. At ABC News, it is always 1958 in Mississippi. So to the geniuses at ABC News, the sounded totally plausible. Jussie Smollett could sense this, and he took full advantage of it.
Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Feb. 24, 2020. Smollett’s trial will boil down to the question of whether the jury believes the actor’s version of what he says was a racist and homophobic attack or that told by two brothers who say they helped the actor fake the attack.
(AP Photo/Matt Marton, file)
SMOLLETT ON ABC: I see the attacker masked, and he said ‘This is MAGA country’ punches me right in the face… I could only go off of their words. I mean, who says … ‘This is MAGA country’ … Ties a noose around your neck and pours bleach on you.
So downtown Chicago, such a seething hotbed of support for Donald Trump, thAT progressive Black actors can no longer walk down the street without risking being lynched. It’s MAGA country in downtown Chicago. Now, who wouldn’t laugh at that? Well, let’s see. Robin Roberts of ABC. She didn’t laugh. It sounded absolutely real to her, so she let Jussie Smollett keep rolling.
ROBERTS ON ABC: Why do you think you were targeted?
SMOLLETT ON ABC: I can just assume, I mean, I come really, really hard against the 45.
It’s the highest-paid woman on television. But as Jussie Smollett explained to her, “I came really, really hard at 45,” meaning Donald Trump.
So if you lived here at the time in America 2019, that makes kind of sense. Back in 2019, very few actors had the bravery to criticize the fascist Trump regime. They were too afraid. So instead, they went along with it like quislings. The Oscars are like a MAGA rally that year to speak out against Donald Trump from Hollywood was to risk your very life. White supremacist thugs were likely to attack you with nooses on your way back from Subway. And that’s why we will remember Jussie Smollett for his unique courage.
Virtually alone in our media landscape, Smollett was willing to take the risk. He publicly admitted that he votes for the Democratic Party. Now his friends pleaded with him to stay quiet about this and to stay safe. That’s the kind of man Jussie Smollett is. He wouldn’t. Some called him a hero for that. His friend, Kamala Harris, did. Harris described what happened to Jussie Smollett as an “attempted modern-day lynching.” Nancy Pelosi said it was a “homophobic attack and an affront to our humanity.” Eric Swalwell of California told us they were countless Jussie Smolletts in this filthy, racist nation of ours, “Hate crimes like this are happening more frequently egged on by careless, hate filled rhetoric.” Notice the redundancy. Senator Cory Booker, meanwhile, demanded anti-lynching legislation as if we didn’t already have that, and so on.
So in a landscape like this, with the most powerful people in the country cheering him on like a modern Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is it really surprising that Jussie Smollett just pushed it as far as he could? No, it’s not very surprising. What’s surprising is that absolutely nothing Smollett said – no matter how transparently ridiculous or melodramatic or embarrassing or obviously non-factual – no matter what he said, none of it aroused even the slightest hint of skepticism of any kind from a hardened newswoman Robin Roberts of ABC. Jussie Smollett could have claimed absolutely anything: Trump killed my family; Trump and Vladimir Putin burned a cross in my yard. Robin Roberts would have had the same reaction. Awestruck, love.
ROBERTS ON ABC: It’s been two weeks since that night left actor Jussie Smollett bruised but not broken.
SMOLLETT ON ABC: I still want to believe, with everything that has happened, that there’s something called justice. Because if I stop believing that, then what was it all for?
ROBERTS ON ABC: Beautiful, thank you, Jussie.
He’s bruised, not broken. Is there anyone who writes scripts at ABC who doesn’t speak entirely in clichés?
Well, eventually, thank God, the police took over. Robin Roberts had to relinquish control of the story. The cops interviewed the people in the end, who Jussie Smollett had hired to beat him up – the two Black guys. Turns out, Smollett had paid for the noose and the bleach. So you’ve got to ask once the evidence arrived, how did all of his supporters react? How did, for example, his friend Kamala Harris respond to this news? Well, here she is.
REPORTER: Your initial tweet of him, would you like to make an amendment to your original sentiment?
HARRIS: Which Tweet? What Tweet?
REPORTER: About saying that it is a modern day lynching … Jussie Smollett?
HARRIS: OK, so I will say this about that case. I think that the facts are still unfolding, and I’m very, um, concerned about obviously the initial, um, allegation that he made about what might have happened.
So would you like to adjust your hysteria to the facts? Would you like to acknowledge reality? No, I don’t think so. It’s still about White racism, still about MAGA country in downtown Chicago.
So obviously it’s a pretty inconvenient story for the people who bought it hook, line and sinker. Not only the dishonest, but a lot of them are really dumb. That’s their main secret. After this happened, Kamala Harris’ allies got to work making the story go away. A Michelle Obama aide reached out to a partisan D.A. in Chicago, Kim Foxx, and had charges against Jussie Smollett dismissed. Oh, that’s what happens when you have friends. You’re so powerless you can get Michelle Obama to make it go away.
FILE – In this May 20, 2016, file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles.
(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
But now, thankfully, for the sake of the justice Smollett says he wanted, that decision has been reversed. So finally, this week, the Smollett trial is underway. He’s on trial for lying about the attack. And as part of the trial, we’re learning some pretty interesting new information about the extent of the scam. For example, the same day that Jussie Smollett cried in his interview with Robin Roberts – which she described as “beautiful, Jussie beautiful” – he was texting one of the people he claims beat him up because he’s Black and gay.
And here’s what he wrote: “Brother, I love you. I stand with you. I know 100 percent you and your brother did nothing wrong.”
These are the people he paid to put a noose around his neck.
Smollett was also on videotape, conducting a dry run of the attack the day before it happened. Oh, you’re not hearing a ton about this in the media. Why is that? Because it undermines the core claim that they are making, which is people who vote for candidates they don’t like are dangerous. People of a certain color are dangerous. The violence in America is committed by their political enemies, when in fact, that’s a lie. And we know it’s a lie because there are real numbers out there, and you’re welcome to look them up if you like. And they do not tell you that Trump voters are the ones behind the crime wave currently in progress. So once you learn that one thing is a lie, you might start to ask yourself, “What else are they lying about?” And that’s not a process they welcome.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the December 2, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
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