On Tuesday morning the left-media exploded with the story that TV actor Jussie Smollett was beaten up by homophobes who yelled out Donald Trump slogans… in downtown Chicago. Yeah. It may all be true. But let’s be very careful about this story, folks. It has all the hallmarks of a hoax.
Firstly, we must note that this could all be true. Maybe two gay bashers recognized a black, gay actor on the streets of Chicago at two AM. And maybe these random gay bashers just happened to have a bottle of bleach, and a noose on them. At two AM In below freezing, snow blanketed Chicago. And maybe they yelled “this is MAGA country” in deep blue, Democrat-run Chicago. Sure. Anything is possible.
But… really. Come on. It sure seems like an awful lot of craziness to be true.
The story began circulating that gay actor Smollett, a cast member of the TV series Empire, supposedly said two white men wearing ski masks attacked him on the streets of Chicago. According to gossip site TMZ, Smollett said that these attackers put a noose around his neck and yelled “this is MAGA country” at him.
Fast as lightening, the entertainment media went wild to come to Smollett’s side to “support” him in this trying time.
His studio, Fox, issued this statement reading: “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
And all sorts of actors and producers decried this “racist” attack.
TMZ also reported that the staff pf Empire held an “emergency meeting.”
“Empire” staff held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning in Chicago to tell everyone what happened to Jussie. We’re told the cast and crew were extremely upset. Several actors were already in their trailers getting ready to shoot when they got the news.
We’re told there was a discussion about getting extra security on set while shooting. They have a handful of episodes left to shoot for the current season.
But we must be careful about this story. Almost nothing about this report rings true.
First of all, this is Chicago we are talking about. Literally nobody is walking around Chicago carrying a noose and yelling MAGA slogans. This isn’t Selma Alabama, via 1962, here.
Secondly, it is freezing in the Windy City this week and the snow is deep. Few people are out of doors, especially those looking to cause trouble. I know. I live here. Indeed, in weather like this the crime rate usually plummets to almost nothing.
Further the Chicago Police statement issued to the press does not mention anything about MAGA slogans. It only says “racist” and “homophobic” taunts. The CPD is also just calling it a “possible hate crime.”
This story may well turn out true. Smollett may be telling the truth about this attack. But, honestly, it has all the hallmarks of a hoax. We all should hold off believing this tale until more facts come in.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.