When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett first claimed that he had been a victim of a “hate crime” attack based on his race, sexual orientation and political leanings, dozens of celebrities, elected Democrats and media figures wasted no time in accepting his evidence-free claims and issuing statements of support for him and condemnation for his alleged Trump-supporting attackers.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also immediately rushed to judgment and posted a sympathetic tweet about the “attack” on Twitter. Now more than two weeks later, as evidence has emerged that suggests the “hate crime” was nothing more than a hoax, Pelosi has deleted her initial tweet.
The Daily Caller reported that mere hours after the story about Smollett initially broke, Pelosi tweeted, “The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love.”
Pelosi’s tweet added, “I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.”
Smollett claimed that he was physically and verbally assaulted by two men wearing ski masks around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 as he walked home from a nearby Subway restaurant in the middle of the recent sub-zero “polar vortex” weather event.
He further claimed the alleged assailants had berated him with homophobic and racist insults, tied a rope noose around his neck and doused him in some sort of chemical while shouting “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
The Chicago Police Department immediately launched a full investigation of the alleged hate crime and began reviewing surveillance camera footage in the area and searching for witnesses to the attack. Police eventually settled in on two Nigerian brothers as the prime suspects in the assault and arrested them.
However, when faced with evidence of their involvement in the alleged crime, the brothers reportedly cooperated with investigators and told them that Smollett — who had befriended the brothers when they appeared as extras on “Empire” — had paid them to help him stage the attack on himself.
They have since been released with no charges filed against them, and the police have announced that Smollett is no longer being viewed as a “victim” in their continuing investigation.
As noted, Pelosi was just one of a number of prominent figures who rushed to pass judgment on a dubious story that fit the left’s prevailing “Trump is bad and his supporters are racists” narrative — a narrative that has now been undermined by new information that suggests the whole incident was a staged hoax designed to garner sympathy and attention for Smollett.
Whether Pelosi deleted her initial take on the Smollett claims or had left them up unchanged — like many others who immediately weighed in have done — is really beside the point. What actually matters is what Pelosi has to say about the situation now that it has been revealed as most likely being a hoax.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though the speaker has offered up a new or revised view of the incident, and it is unlikely that the liberal media — many of whom also uncritically accepted Smollett’s initial claims at face value — will ask her about her now-deleted tweet or how she feels about the fabricated hate crime that only stirred up more racial controversy in an already sharply divided nation.
We will nevertheless patiently wait for an updated tweet from Pelosi or a response to reporters’ questions about the current developments, though we certainly won’t hold our breath.
In the meantime, the fact that Pelosi deleted her tweet supporting Smollett signals bad news for Smollett, as he is now left twirling in the wind with no support as Chicago authorities weigh whether to press charges against him for filing a false report and wasting valuable law enforcement resources on his crime.
It would be nice if Pelosi, among many others, would publicly own up to her mistaken rush to judgment, rather than just ignore the dramatic shift in this controversial story that will only highlight the left’s overtly partisan hackery when it comes to smearing President Trump and his supporters at any given opportunity.