By now, you know where this fiasco stands. Alleged hate crime hoaxer and actor Jussie Smollett has been written off of Empire, based on the credible charges against him -- and that's the least of his worries. Between the crimes he's apparently committed, ranging from lying to police, to filing a false report, to sending threats through the federal mail, Smollett could face years in prison. If he was dissatisfied with his salary on the show (reportedly at least $65,000 per episode) before this hideous stunt, he's really going to detest what comes next. It's as if he believed that as a famous, gay, black "victim," no one would think to question his outlandish story, and even if they did, the authorities wouldn't be able to piece together what actually happened. What a catastrophic miscalculation.
There have been some reactions to these revelations that are somewhat sympathetic to Smollett. He must be "troubled," and his actions are "sad," they say. While that's certainly true on some level, my sympathy runs dry rather quickly, based on a few facts: First, he didn't merely stage an attack on himself for attention career advancement, which is bad enough; he manipulated people's political fears and hatreds by shamelessly and deliberately smearing Trump supporters. Second, he very much seemed willing to imperil totally innocent people's freedom, if it meant propping up his own lie:
Nah bro. He was willing to 'testify' against people he knew to be innocent and attempt to send them to jail, only demurring when he realized, to his chagrin, that CPD had actually caught his fellow conspirators. Mental illness or not, that's wanton cruelty. https://t.co/hPZRbG3kbB— Esoteric Jeff (@EsotericCD) February 20, 2019
Third, the sociopathy displayed in his Good Morning America interview last week was truly galling. The Free Beacon's montage juxtaposing Smollett's profoundly creepy performance with the facts laid out in yesterday's Chicago Police press conference is simply devastating. As you watch this brutal indictment, think about what Associated Press editor decided to frame these lies as "bending" the truth. Watch to the very end for a delicious pay-off:
As I've written previously, bogus hate crimes are extremely harmful to our society, which is why officials must make a painful example out of Jussie Smollett -- whose ham-fisted idiocy is being laid bare. I'll leave you with Charles Barkley and the gang hilariously torching Smollett during a TNT basketball studio show last night:
Charles Barkley teaches America the correct way to commit a crime pic.twitter.com/Y1mMvXx4Fy— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 22, 2019
Jussie Smollett tried to turn himself in a victimhood hero. He's coming out the other side of his odious stunt as a disgraced, unemployed, and possibly prison-bound punch line.