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Tue Feb 19, 2019, 05:12 PM

Jussie Smollett and the No Good, Very Bad Tale

Jussie Smollett and the No Good, Very Bad Tale
by Katie Herzog • Feb 19, 2019 at 11:46 am

The news that Empire star Jussie Smollett may have orchestrated his own hate crime certainly came as a shock to much of America. Joe Jervis, however, wasn’t exactly surprised.

Jervis, creator of the news blog Joe.My.God, has been covering LGBTQ-related news and events for 15 years. Several years ago, he decided he would only report on alleged hate crimes if at least one of three criteria were met: There had been an arrest, there was conclusive video evidence, or there were uninvolved eye-witness accounts. The recent assault of a gay man in Salt Lake City, which was captured on film, fits the bill. Jussie Smollett’s alleged assault—with no eye-witnesses, arrests, or video evidence—did not, but because Smollett is famous and the national media was already reporting the story, Jervis made an exception to his own rule. Still, not all his readers—whom, he says, are “overwhelmingly older gay men”—were buying it.

“I didn’t want to weigh in on if it was real or not, but from the comments and the emails I received, a lot of my readers were immediately skeptical,” Jervis told me in a phone interview. And while plenty of the comments on his posts about Smollett are sympathetic—gay men of a certain age tend to have experiences with hate—quite a few commenters anonymously expressed their doubts. "As a Chicagoan—this is odd,” one comment reads. “Certainly, weirder things have happened, but this in downtown Chicago? Color me a Suspicious Susie—but hope Jussie is okay no matter what went down.”
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Privately, though, people expressed skepticism, especially as strange details emerged. According to news reports and police statements, Smollett initially didn’t want to report the attack but he still left the noose around his neck until the officers arrived to take his statement 40 minutes after his manager called the police, because, Smollett said, he wanted to preserve the evidence. But if he didn’t want to report the assault, why in the world would he keep that rope around his neck? It just didn’t make sense.

The same day that the news broke, I started having off-the-record conversations with people—most of whom were some form of queer, none of whom were remotely close to being fans of Donald Trump—about why this story seemed so fishy. It was just too perfect, like a soap opera's version of a hate crime. A famous person was randomly targeted in the middle of a freezing cold night by two racists with a noose screaming, "This is MAGA country" in Chicago? Chicago has certainly had more than its share of racism both today and throughout American history—Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to it as the most segregated city in America—but Hillary Clinton won Chicago in 2016 by nearly 84 percent. Obama won it by even more. While there are undoubtedly both racists and Trump supporters in Chicago, "MAGA country" it’s not.
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Reply Jussie Smollett and the No Good, Very Bad Tale (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2019 OP
3Hotdogs Feb 2019 #1
Runningdawg Feb 2019 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 07:46 PM

1. Reminds me of Morton Downey, Jr.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 01:04 PM

2. This just make me sooo sad and a little angry too

When you need publicity, hire a publicist. No need to further damage civil rights.

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