The Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax has once again brought the double standard of the liberal media and their role as propagandists into full view. His ridiculous tale of conservatives beating him up, yelling horrible racial and homophobic slurs, hanging a noose around his neck, and throwing bleach on his body was originally called “far right America’s endgame” by GQ Magazine. Of course, it later had to issue an embarrassing correction.
Across the country, media outlets reported his implausible allegations as fact, and even attacked the few conservatives who put their reputations on the line to call out his nonsensical story. According to Media Matters, questioning his lies was a “right wing smear.” But when the narrative went south, the response from mainstream media journalists was predictably defensive. CNN host Brian Stelter said “random websites” were trying to weaponize the hoax. MSNBC even went multiple days without mentioning the updates on the developing story during its primetime cable coverage.
But compare how the same outlets reported the politically motivated assault on White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Christie says Trump, Meadows should have warned him of positive COVID-19 test MORE. There is a good chance you probably have not even heard the story of a deranged liberal screaming about President TrumpDonald TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report MORE before allegedly grabbing Conway and shaking her as she tried to get a table at a restaurant because it never got a fraction of the media attention that was devoted to the staged and politically motivated attack that Smollett falsely reported to the police.
The general lack of coverage, however, is not even the real issue. What is striking is how differently the two stories were reported. The allegations made by Conway were much further along in the legal process than those of Smollett, with a suspect not only arrested and charged, but awaiting trial. Almost every news outlet, however, mimicked the Associated Press headline that Conway “claims” a woman assaulted her at the restaurant.
But that is not how they reported on the completely unsupported claims by the actor. “Jussie Smollett, star of Empire, attacked in what police call a possible hate crime,” read the New York Times headline, a theme that was echoed by other liberal media sites and further backed up by dozens of editorial pieces about how racist and homophobic Americans really are.
Or just look at the dearth of media coverage about the recent politically motivated assault against a campus conservative activist at the University of California at Berkeley. That attack was caught on video and involved injuries much more substantial than what Smollett sustained in his fake attack. Many liberal media outlets have not even bothered to cover the story of a young conservative getting punched in the face for his views.
The double standard makes sense when you recall that the mainstream media largely functions as a beacon of liberal thought. The story told by Smollett was perfectly aligned with the negative Trump coverage of many national reporters. They were incapable of exercising the same rational skepticism as normal people because it fit into their narrative too well.
It was only thanks to the intrepidity of local reporters and the excellent investigative work by the Chicago Police Department that we found out the truth behind the absurd false claims of Smollett. His hate crime hoax reminds us that partisanship can blind people to the truth, making this a destructive vice for those tasked with providing information to the public.
Madison Gesiotto is an attorney and commentator who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was an inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio. She is on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.