Jussie Smollett’s false hate crime report reveals the media’s pitfalls once more.
Not even a full month after the Covington Catholic High incident, the media finds itself making the same mistake again. They must not have learned their lesson to not push a story without all of the facts.
According to Najja Parker from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the facts of the case are this: “In January 2019, Smollett, who is openly gay, alleged he was attacked in Chicago by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him. He also said the attackers tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. Police initially investigated the incident as a hate crime but later said it was a hoax. They believe the actor paid two Nigerian brothers $3,500 to stage the attack in hopes of promoting his career.”
Did the media wait for all of the facts to surface before taking a position, however? No. The media yet again went with the narrative that best fit the position they want to be telling. For days, before all the facts were released, this was investigated as a hate crime. Before ever knowing or having a thought that it could be a hoax, the media decided to take Smollett’s word as fact.
Major politicians got involved including Kamala Harris, who on Twitter said, “This was an attempted modern day lynching.” She proceeded not to walk back her statement when facts arrived.
The problem is that the media is not learning. The press cycle is so fast that the media seems to be learning the information almost as fast as we are. This creates an issue because the people rely on the media for the facts, not opinions. The media took a stance on this almost immediately because it worked in the “racist era of Trump.” The media needs to stop looking for clicks and start looking for facts. For the second time in 2019, the media has led a story that has ended up falling apart.
Furthermore, this is a horrible situation for all future actual hate crimes. People will now be more inclined to question the truth of actual hate crimes, seeing as how false this was when the media seemed to report it as fact. Ann Coulter is now saying that “all hate crimes are hoaxes.” She is wrong. Entirely.
We must not assume that just because one story was false, every story is false. We cannot miss that there are racist people that commit hate crimes in this world. However, painting entire groups with a broad brush accomplishes nothing. Every story must be taken on its own, with its own set of facts; not opinions.
However, none of that excuses the media of pushing a false narrative.
Without so much as a video, the media believed this story of Jussie Smollett and yet around the same time “a conservative student identified as Hayden Williams was attacked on the campus of UC Berkeley today after he was confronted by several people for his political activism,” according to writer Ian Schwartz. This story had actual video evidence and is picking up nowhere near as much news as the Jussie Smollett story. Why?
The media is revealing its agenda. They have an anti-Trump plan. Anything that fits their opinion is being pushed, and everything that does not is barely making the news. Everyone has an opinion, and in fact, everyone should, but it is not appropriate to only represent one side of the coin while ignoring the other. The press needs to rediscover its roots in truth and objectivity. Enough picking sides; the media is supposed to be on the side of the people, not a political party.
The first amendment is one of the greatest things to happen to this country. The freedom of the press ensures that people will always have access to the truth and to the things that people want to be hidden. The media has the hardest job in the world of keeping the truth alive.
So stop crying wolf on crime. Start shedding light on the truth. The media knows no political party. The media should know no political party.