Jussie Smollett and the No Good, Very Bad Tale



Always be extremely wary of something that hits all the "right" beats, or makes you feel like you are exactly right about something. These things are often lies.


There is money to be made in victim culture. I can’t see how people faking various attacks should be shocking. And the disgusting part is that fake attacks delegitimizes real hate crimes.


And now his siblings are posting quotes from Malcolm X and claiming it’s all the media’s fault. What the fuck is wrong with these people? https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/02/19/entertainment/jurnee-smollett-bell-jussie/index.html


I follow Joe.My.God every day and I’m ... overwhelmingly older. Ouch.


Katie, you are a Treasure.
Thanks, Stranger.


What about... no default positions?


I had my doubts about his story as well, mostly because I didn't want to believe something so terrible could happen in my state, i'm glad it didn't happen but I hate seeing those smug MAGA nazi bastards coming out of the woodwork to gloat over this(and they never would've believed Smollet even if there was video evidence of him being attacked). This case is going to have disastrous ripple effects, R Kelly is supposed to be going on trial soon, and this case is going to sow a lot of doubt on whether his alleged victims were telling the truth and might lead to him going free.

I don't blame people for buying into this story one bit, the Chicago PD has only itself to blame as they've done so many blatantly racist things(the McDonald case being a prime example) that people had very good reason to doubt their version of events.

I don't hate Smollet for this, i'll still watch Empire and i'm sure he'll still have a decent career(if Mel Gibson can still have a career, ANYONE can) but he does have a lot to answer for and it's only going to make things harder for real victims.


I called bullshit day one. Way too hard to believe that MAGA bros were roaming the streets of Chicago with bleach and nooses searching for a minor tv celebrity who most MAGA bros would never have heard from a tv show most MAGA bros would never have watched.

Hell, I watched season one, and my first reaction was “Smollett who???” and my second reaction was “is that show still on the air???”


In Twitter Newsland you aren't allowed to wait to have an opinion about anything. Stand your ground now and hope the facts pan out to support you in the end.


"What about... no default positions?"

That's racist!


Nowadays you can’t walk the streets of Chicago at 2am without getting assaulted by roving gangs of Nigerian white supremacists. Welcome to TRUMP’S AMERIKKKA!


I knew this was hogwash when I heard he wore the noose around for 45 minutes. If someone puts a noose around your neck you rip that fucker off the first chance you get. Even a drama queen would take that hateful thing off ASAP. Poor dumb SOB. He has stepped in it now.


"From the Kavanaugh hearings... "

And how 'BOUT that that phony FBI "investigation" that interviewed literally no one essential to the cases involved in Republicans' stuffing good ole frat boy Brett down our collective throats for a lifetime appointment . . . I'd be damn hesitant in bringing up Kavanaugh (likewise "justice" Clarence 'Uncle' Thomas / Anita Hill) when searching for prime examples of "fake news."

He's there primarily as "president" Trumpfy's Get-Outta-Jail-Scot-FREE card, and they did whatever was Necessary to seat his entitled/bigoted ass on OUR Supreme Court. What a fucking Scam that was on America.


I’m guessing the sourcing for this story is random angry people on twitter because ‘whoa if true’ is a perfectly acceptable response to a shocking but unconfirmed story and what i heard almost exclusively from the commies in my social circle. These so-called “off the record”* discussions you speak of (*do journalists treat every conversation they have irl as though it might be quoted for an article??) sound like normal conversations about normal reservations that normal people have about abnormal events.

What happens on twitter isn’t real. If you leave it you won’t even know this is happening but then what else would you write about.


"Some messed up people see the attention others get from being the victim ... and they want some of that for themselves"



I've crossed paths with too many people willing to orchestrate attention-getting drama. His story didn't pass my smell test, but I'm apparently old-fashioned, I'd rather see what the evidence says. At this point it's looking pretty bad (understatement, I know) for his version, but I also don't consider the Chicago P.D. to be the fount of all things true and perfect. It'll eventually all settle out, or be shoved under a rug along with Smollett's career.


Hi Katie,
Another excellent piece. Agree, completely. I'm from Chicago and had my doubts from the get go.

Smollett will go down as a damn fool. I'm glad he wasn't attacked/hurt. Like you, I believe it's GOOD that it's a hoax.



Well, if that's the case, they learned it from the Far-Right, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Matt Drudge, Karl Rove, Steve Bannon, and FOX News...


I'd heard nothing whatsoever about this story until I read this slog post (I don't get out much). No idea who the dude is... Never heard of his show either.

I like not being outraged by stuff like this


The only part of the skepticism that I entirely, 100% disagree with is that "Chicago, really?". It was (in theory) two dudes - they could come from quite literally anywhere, even in liberal Chicago.


Jussie Smollett fatal mistake, he should of gone with the "I'm a human trafficking victim" shtick instead of ""I'm a hate crime victim."
With hate crimes claims journalists often eventually follow up and fact check inconsistent claims by the victim. Not so with a human traffic claim. Not only will no standard journalistic questions be asked or ridiculous claims challenged, but you can depend on a few rent seeking NGOs perpetually groveling for additional funding to "raise awareness" would have gladly promoted his lie in the media.


The only person happy about this is Sean Young, whose bid to boost her own career by donning a homemade Catwoman costume and stalking Tim Burton now seems quaintly charming.


@23 You've seen those stupid human trafficking posters at airports too? Images of what looks like a dad walking with his daughter .... but.....trafficking!


A partial list of references in The Stranger/SLOG unrelated to "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day":

• The Snowman: Michael Fassbender and the No Good, Very Bad Murder Investigation Day
• The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Books Festival
• Max Blumenthal And The No Good, Very Bad Crackers
• Live-Slogging Mitt Romney's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
• In light of all the terrible, no good, very bad shit happening right now in the U.S., you may be tempted to seek refuge in Canada yourself
• Charles Mudede recommends drinking at the movies to survive the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Seattle winter
• ... and cut way back on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad PIV intercourse
• Trump has had many terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weeks
• Overbuilding is one way developers—evil, rotten, no-good, very-bad developers —help create more affordable housing
• Ahh. Just what I needed after a long, awful, terrible, no-good, very-bad flight
• And it's yet another addition to the car-wreckish glory that is Newt Blingrich's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week
• Oh my god. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad plan for limiting abortions
• In the midst of this no good, very bad, nuclear disaster of a year
• some practical/obvious advice intended to deliver SAD's marriage safely through the final weeks/days of this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad election
• Somehow that disgusting abhorrent no good very very bad ad
• Stranger Says: A Japanese schoolgirl's no good, very bad day includes bouts of body swapping, waves of heavily armed teachers, and a marriage proposal
• this film proposes an easy way to avoid a no good, very bad day
• Thomas's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad (and career-ending) interview
• That line is sometimes cited as evidence of my terrible, no good, very bad sexism

This media entity could use a Kurt Andersen-style "Words We Don't Say" list, with that at the top.

In the absence of that: please just don't.


25, my favorite airport trafficking posters are those where a black hand in placed over the mouth of a little white girl. Really harks back to the "White Slavery" panic of the early 1900s that police and abolitionists ginned up over the past few years.

That along with regularly stopping mixed race couples in airports based on the assumption that people of different races falling on love is one of the "10 signs" of human trafficking. We always knew there was a deep racist streak within society and our police departments simply based own who people call the cops on and who the cops so consistently arrest. Good to see abolitionist and police really getting our their and celebrating their xenophobic bigotry.


This is an extremely well written story and I commend you for being honest. I also think Trump should give a shout out to Smollet when he wins a 2nd term.


First off, nicely done Katie.

Second, I am thinking some weird version of Münchhausen syndrome is at play here. In which case I hope Jussie Smollett gets the help he needs.


I was one of the commenters on JoeMyGod who expressed skepticism. I didn't receive any negative response from other commenters.

"If Smollett did make this story up, his lie will be used to dismiss the actual victims of hate crimes going forth."

Only stupid people would use this Smollett moron to dismiss actual victims. I don't spend my time worrying about what stupid people say or do, but perhaps KayKay does.

There have been actual, documented cases of LGBTQ people being targeted but those stories didn't receive national attention because they didn't involve a famous person. It's sad that ordinary people can be targeted and nobody really cares. Welcome to America.


If the allegations of orchestrating this attack are true, and with every passing day they seem increasingly irrefutable, then Jussie Smollett has one honorable course left to him: admit everything, apologize, donate ($3,500 ?) to a reputable charity, and promise to seek help. He might not escape prosecution, but he would regain some of his lost credibility. And how sad and regrettable so many people crave attention, pity, and fame, and will do almost anything for it. Our president epitomizes this problem, but he apparently has much company on both the right and left. Here's to all those people who speak honesty, behave honorably, and don't get credit for it. Here's to integrity, not fame.


I guess nobody remembers all the faked “hate” crimes on conservatives. Like remember Ashley Todd? You know. The Republican staffer who claimed she was beaten by black Obama supporters. Fox News and Brietbart went on about that for WEEKS even after she was arrested for false reporting.




This best course of action for Jussie is to come clean and tell the truth ASAP. He has a chance of being forgiven, by some, if he apologies to everyone now. If he waits to be charged and his attorneys make some sort of insanity plea then that will feed the Right's old myth that homosexuality is a mental illness and causes personality disorders. That would be sad.


those bastards made Ellen cry...

Ellen Page Rips Pence and Trump,
Linking Hateful Leadership to the Attack on Jussie Smollett:
‘This Needs to Fucking Stop!!!’

"Actress Ellen Page sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, her eyes welling with emotion as she ripped the president and vice president for facilitating hate against LGBTQ people.

" Page ripped into Trump and Mike Pence, linking their hateful leadership to the hate crime on Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

"Said Page: “Sorry, I’m like really fired up tonight. But it feels impossible to not feel this way right now, with the president and the vice president"

"Added Page: “Connect the dots. This is what happens. If you are in a position of power and you hate people, and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused and they’re gonna kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street. I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you can meet. I am lucky to have this time and the privilege to say this. This needs to f**king stop.”


Move over Tawana Brawley, Crystal Mangum, and Jackie Coakley. Make room for Jussie Smollett.


As a former Chicagoan who lived through 3 brutally cold Winters in the windy city, the strangest detail to me was taking the el at night. Even us regular, everyday people never take the el train home at 2 am, especially after a night of drinking. Not even in the Summer, but for sure never in the winter. Living paycheck to paycheck, but never have I ever taken the el train home after drinking. Not even once. Can only take the el sober, early in the evening, making your way to the party, but be damned sure to have cab fare or a ride home. Mainly because it's not safe to take the el so late, but also it's a rough ride- all that alcohol in your system and you would immediately be sick while desperately waiting for the next stop. At least a cab can pull over, and also is a safer way to get home.


@36 don’t forget Azalea Cooley, that one was a classic.

“Lesbian. Black. Wheelchair-bound. Suffering from brain cancer. It was hard to imagine a more vulnerable target.

In May 1992, when a 40-year-old former corrections officer named Azalea Cooley said that vandals had spray-painted a swastika and "Burn, Nigger, Burn" on her house, Portlanders reacted with a reflexive kick of outrage.


By mid-September, the Portland police had gone from baffled to suspicious. Without telling anyone--not even then-Police Chief Tom Potter--investigators set up cameras in a neighbor's apartment.

On Nov. 1, supporters held a rally to "Take a Stand Against Hate," which began with a spiritual "wombing," after which Azalea, in her wheelchair, led a throng of 500 protesters in a march across the Hawthorne Bridge to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Those protesters had no idea that a secret police videotape from that very morning showed a woman with close-cropped hair step past her wheelchair, stick a wooden cross in a flower pot on her back porch, and set it alight.

It was Azalea.

When detectives confronted her with the evidence, she slashed her wrists and was hospitalized. A week later, she penned a handwritten note, confessing that the incidents had been staged, and admitting that she didn't have cancer or need a wheelchair.

The news stunned her supporters. "You don't know, 'til you've met someone like this, how bizarre it is," one friend recently told WW, recalling how Azalea shaved her arms and dyed her eyebrows to simulate the effects of chemotherapy, and earned extra fem cred by claiming that her cancer was being treated with black-market RU-486. "That woman's agony was real. She was really lonely--in some deeper sense than just not having friends."



"SJW are always very quick to find a reason to be OUTRAGED!
A white teen stands still, says and does nothing... "
--sargent Big horn, above

Not all of us SJWs gotta pull the trigger on contact.
Generally, I like to ease into my outrage.


@38 in more recent news: There is the actor who self-amputated himself (something major, hand/foot or maybe even most of an arm or leg) to pass himself off as a wounded-veteran turned actor. Like Cooley, depression (or mental condition causing depression) played a major role in their decision-making.


When I read stuff like this, or the Jazmine Barnes shooting, or the Duke Lacrosse Team trial, or the guy who accused George Takei of sexual assault, I wonder about the people who suggest that nobody ever lies when they say they have been attacked.

Its clearly bullshit, people DO lie when they say they've been attacked, much as people lie about many other things, for many different reasons. You can't say that out loud, though. If you do, you'll instantly be branded the worst kind of bigot there is.

That's why I think so many people voted for Trump. They saw Hillary running on a platform suggesting that the only humans capable of evil are by definition white, male, and working class. Unfortunately, thats most of the country. If you run around calling the majority of the electorate evil and stupid, you can't seriously expect to win an election. Deploarble baskets, you see.

Nobody came away from that learning anything. They just said the reason whys he lost is not because she was mistaken, that all humans are capable of evil, but rather that she was correct and the only people capable fo evil are the above mentioned electoral majorities. Which is why we'll lose again in 2020. Bernie will do his best in the primary, only to get laughed out in favor of Kristin Gillibrand or someone else who ticks all the boxes and runs around crying wolf all the time, and we'll lose in the general.


Oops, Smollett officially a suspect in criminal investigation for filing false police report, police say.


Maybe they could CG Kevin Spacey into his part for the final season.

A good punishment would be to sentence him to a year with Ellen Page.


The prison term for malicious false reporting of a hate crime should mirror the similarly enhanced prison term for people who commit them. False reports are a crime against us all, as they remove one more block from the Jenga puzzle of our national goodwill.

No probation for Smollett. This MFer should do hard time for the crime he perpetrated against the public.


"... Smollett. This MFer should do hard time for the crime he perpetrated against the public." --herrbrahms

Oh, goody! He has't yet been Convicted, but we're already sentencing him. Brilliant.

We've come fool circle.


@45 kinda like your masters in the fake news media saying all white men are evil for doing this to the poor bipolar efed up lefty. Well actually all leftists are efed up.



It's okay, lillmisssocialism, you can 'say fucked' up here.
You can even say FUCKED UP here.
Please, be Dan's Guest.
(feel free -- he cusses like a Sailor when he gets warmed up proper).

My 'Masters'?
Oh, I see -- you think because you need Masters, I/WE need masters.
There's a term for thinking that other people think just like you do. It's called...
Sorry. I can't find the term for it. But I usta do it all the time -- thinking that other people think in the same way as I do; they don't, and I've since (mostly) grown out of thinking they do.

So, yeah, we don't need no stinkin' Masters.

But -- IF you wanna know where I get my Information,
I'd be Happy to share that with you:

Democracy Now!
TheThom Hartmann Program
The New York Times -- probably more from the Comments than the articles themselves, but it's a great place to get a decent look at the Planet that isn't usally mostly pro-business; although that is pretty debatable (see: Judith Miller and the NYT's promotion of an IIlegal War).

Check out also (if you wanna see what I see) Truthdig; Rolling Stone; The Guardian; Mother Jones; the New Yorker. Much of this shit'll take the top of your head off, if you've never before been exposed to it. Plus (and this is Required Reading): A People's History of the United States

Oh, and The Stranger! Duh.
These places can take you where you never been before.
(I know -- Scary)

Multinational Corporations, faceless bureaucracies -- correction -- top-down-rule, faceless SOULless Corporate bureaucracies, they just wanna rule the World; and they're getting closer every fucking day. And, as I see it, you're either with them, or you're again' 'em.

Whatchya think, lms?


Soooooo, is Jussie gonna get that salary raise he purportedly was scheming for? Hahahaha I couldn't help myself. I once worked with a lady, going through a divorce, her car got trashed, there was something indicating her soon-to-be-ex was behind it. He got charged, she got a lawyer. He didn't bother with a lawyer because he was adamant he didn't do anything. He lost and had to cover all damages and legal fees for her. Turns out, she drunkenly admitted to another coworker that she trashed her own car. and pinned it on him to inflict pain and suffering like she felt. Dude got bent over hard for something he always said he knew nothing about. Lady later quit after it was deduced that it was her that had racked up $1600 of calls to the psychic network.


@45 Of course he hasn't been convicted. He hasn't even been arraigned. But it certainly does seem that he will end up pleading or being found guilty.

Thanks for failing to understand that.


Well, I (along with many others) smelled a rat from the beginning -- guys yelling "Make America Great Again" and the putting a noose around his neck just reeked of a set-up -- so it came as no surprise to me that the stinking rat was caught. What a disgusting asshole.

I'm glad to see he's been charged -- with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report -- and faces up to three years in prison (although, of course, if convicted, he'll probably do very little time.)

I'd like to meet this lying race-hoaxer and show him what my face looks like right now after getting punched very hard in the right side of my face on Tuesday night in front of my house by one of Seattle's numerous thugs (he and his thug buddy had previously broken into my car and had returned, just as I got home, to retrieve the cell phone they thought they left in my car.) I have three facial fractures, a hugely swollen cheek and a displaced bite that is going to require surgery to correct. That's what a REAL assault looks like, Jessie...you lying sack of shit.


@50 -- No, no. I DO understand:
"No probation for Smollett. This MFer should do
hard time for the crime he perpetrated against the public."
"it certainly does seem that he will end up pleading or being found guilty."

You want it to be just like Alice Wonderland:
Start the trial with the sentencing.

Isn't that right back wheretf we started this debacle?