Many believe, after so much damning evidence has been revealed, that “Empire” actor and musician Jussie Smollett orchestrated a fake “hate crime” against himself while trying to pin it on supporters of President Donald Trump.
While talking about the situation, CNN’s Don Lemon and his panel addressed the issue from the standpoint of Smollett being guilty. But something Lemon said about Smollett was so ridiculous that even one of his CNN-employed panelists refused to let it slide by.
“In the court of public opinion, Jussie has lost. He’s lost the fight in the court of public opinion. And that’s where his battle is,” Lemon said.
“Legally, if he has to go, whatever he has to serve, if it’s jail time, if he has to do probation, if he has to pay, whatever,” Lemon continued. “But in the court of public opinion, it matters.”
“And he lost that because of how, and not his fault, maybe people were, I don’t know what they were saying to him, maybe because of his representatives, who knows, it was handled poorly,” Lemon said.
Wait, what? Not Smollett’s fault?
CNN Legal analyst Joey Jackson caught that, too, and immediately set Lemon straight.
“I don’t know if it’s ‘not his fault,’ Don.” Lemon interrupted Jackson, questioning that statement, but Jackson persisted.
“The fact is, well, he went out and he gave the interview (with ABC’s Robin Roberts of ‘Good Morning America’),” Jackson said.
“Understand this, now let’s talk from a defense perspective,” Jackson said. “There’s two things to think about.”
“Number one is the law. Whether it makes sense legally to be out there, speaking and everything else.”
“From that perspective, it’s damning,” Jackson said. “All those things you heard him say on TV are going to be played in a courtroom and the event this goes to trial it’s going to crush him.”
“Now (number two), from a public relation’s imperative, your people say, ‘oh, get in front of the cameras, express what happened, show some, you know, some real anger, and show some this, that, the other.’ The fact is that works from a public relations perspective, but it doesn’t work in this (inaudible),” he said.
As Jackson pointed out, it was Smollett who went on television and told his story. But that isn’t all of it.
Smollett reportedly contacted ABC about doing the interview, not the other way around. And he specifically requested Roberts conduct the interview because she had appeared on “Empire,” so he knew her, AOL reported.
And, in his first concert since the alleged attack, Smollett addressed the matter with the crowd at the 400-capacity club.
“I had to be here tonight, y’all. I can’t let (them) win,” Smollet said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I have so many words in my heart,” he continued. “The most important thing I have to say is thank you so much and that I’m okay.”
“I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. And I’m gonna stand strong with y’all… l will always stand for love,” he said.
“I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love.”
“And I hope that you all will stand with me. So now … let’s do it,” Smollett said.
He said all of those words. If Smollett is lying about the alleged attack and he did perpetrate a crime, losing in the court of public opinion is his fault and his fault alone.
That loss began when he committed a crime and blamed others for it. It continued when he kept playing for sympathy, even though he knew better.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.