February 24, 2019

IF THERE'S ONE THING WE CAN LEARN...:

The Jussie Smollett Smokescreen: Several major stories this week revealed deep truths about this political moment in America. None pertained to the TV actor. (MATT FORD, February 22, 2019, New Republic)

[O]ne story received more media coverage than either of those, or any other this week: the arrest of Empire actor Jussie Smollett for filing a false police report in Chicago. Smollett, who is black and gay, told police earlier this month that he had been attacked by two white men who shouted "This is MAGA country," used racial and homophobic slurs, poured an unidentified liquid on him, and tied a noose around his neck. Investigators now say that Smollett paid two other men to help stage the apparent hate crime, potentially out of frustration with his salary and screen time on the popular Fox drama. Smollett denies the allegations.

Critics seized on the Smollett episode to make broad pronouncements about the American left and the journalists that covered his story. There's a certain irony about this, as the frenzy of coverage has obscured other news stories that tell deeper truths about the current political moment. For all the ways in which conservatives claim that mainstream news outlets are biased toward liberals, the last week shows how conservative narratives still get privileged in mainstream political discourse.


...when a gay black man fakes a hate/identity crime because he knows it makes him more marketable in the media capital of the world, it's what's wrong with conservatism.

Posted by at February 24, 2019 4:33 PM

  

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