Jussie Smollett was convicted of five counts of felony disorderly misconduct on Thursday in Chicago for faking a hate crime in January 2019 — when Democratic presidential contenders rushed to declare their sympathy for him as a purported victim.
As Washington Post correspondent Dave Weigel pointed out earlier Thursday, in advance of the verdict, “every major 2020 Dem (not Buttigieg) rushed to comment, credulously, on the Jussie Smollett hoax.”
Some examples were as follows:
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
The racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett is a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country. We must come together to eradicate all forms of bigotry and violence. https://t.co/2accVEJrCG
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 29, 2019
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.
To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
Racism, homophobia, & all forms of bigotry & hate have no place in this country. The fight for equality isn’t over – no one should have to live in fear of being beaten on the street because of who they are. https://t.co/CF0G95CkTc
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 29, 2019
This is so heartbreaking. @JussieSmollett, you are not alone – we are with you. We must stand up and condemn this hate, bigotry & violence wherever it rears its ugly head. No one should live in fear because of the color of their skin or who they love.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 30, 2019
The media rushed to portray Smollett as the victim of a hate crime perpetrated by MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters in Chicago who happened to be strolling by in the wee hours of one of the coldest nights in living memory.
Because Smollett blamed Trump supporters as the perpetrators, his story was all too readily believed by the same press that eagerly promoted a variety of anti-Trump hoaxes, most notably the “Russia collusion” hoax, which would fall apart upon actual investigation.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.