Below is my column in USA Today on the aftermath of the Jussie Smollett verdict and what the case says about our state of both politics and journalism. As discussed yesterday, some figures and groups are still insisting that people need to believe Smollett regardless of the evidence or the verdict. Despite media figures calling his account “beautiful” and “brave,” seventy-five percent of the public believe that he staged the racist attack. The insistence by some that he is innocent shows how our national dialogue has become decoupled from facts. It simply does not matter that Smollett was clearly and inescapably guilty. He has to be innocent to fit a narrative so he is innocent in the view of some. As the editor said in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” it is very simple: “[w]hen the legend becomes fact…print the legend.”
Here is the column:
The guilty verdict in the trial of Jussie Smollett was hardly a surprise to anyone who followed the evidence rather than the coverage of the case. Co-conspirators, videotapes and text messages all showed that his claim of a racist attack by President Donald Trump supporters was a hoax. However, the judgment of the jury was also a judgment of many in our media and our politics who immediately embraced his facially ridiculous claims as true. Once again, jurors showed that they are not taking the race bait that was snapped up by many politicians and reporters.
Let’s be clear. The guilty verdict does not simply mean that Smollett is a liar or someone who engaged in disorderly conduct. He is a race baiter. His lies were to create a false claim of a vicious racist attack where, even in the ultra-liberal city of Chicago, a Black man can be targeted by roaming MAGA-yelling, bleach-pouring white supremacists. It was meant to use our deep and painful racial divisions for personal aggrandizement or advantage.
Another rush to judgment
He was not alone. When Smollett first said that he was left beaten with a noose around his neck, many of us expressed skepticism. However, many did not wait for an investigation or supporting facts before declaring that Smollett was the latest attempted lynching of a Black man in America. Joe Biden denounced “what happened” to Smollett and declared “we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.”
Then-Sen. Kamala Harris immediately denounced what happened as an “attempted modern-day lynching.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared a “racist, homophobic attack” and “an affront to our humanity” as a fact. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted that “the racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett” was “a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country. We must come together to eradicate all forms of bigotry and violence.”
On Jan. 29, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tweeted “the vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe.” He then used the alleged attack to criticize those “who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime – I urge you to pay attention.”
Celebrities also rushed to use the alleged attack to attack others. Director Rob Reiner decried the attack while using it to attack Trump, saying in a now-deleted tweet: “The horrific attack on Jussie Smollett has no place in a decent human loving society. Homophobia existed before Trump, but there is no question that since he has injected his hatred into the American bloodstream, we are less decent, less human, & less loving. No intolerance! No DT!”
Inadequate, naïve advocacy journalism
While politicians and celebrities can be dismissed as transparently opportunistic or shallow figures, one would hope that the media would “pay attention” to the actual facts. In today’s “advocacy journalism,” that was equally naïve.
ABC’s Robin Roberts gave Smollett an interview that was breathtaking in its lack of substantive questions or even curiosity about glaring red flags in his account. Roberts described Smollett as “bruised but not broken” and nodded as he described his narrow escape from being lynched in America. She concluded the interview with “Beautiful, thank you, Jussie.”
The account was immediately embraced as true by many while any questions raised about the account were denounced as racist in itself. ABC’s “The Talk” host Sara Gilbert was irate: “I find so personally offensive that a gay Black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief.”
If Smollett is a race baiter, what are those who did not wait for the evidence and promulgated his sensational lies?
Our jurors have shown more responsibility from their leaders. In the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, a jury of 11 white jurors and one racial minority rejected wildly inaccurate accounts and voted for acquittal – a result viewed by many legal experts as correct under Wisconsin law. In the trial over the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a jury of 11 white jurors and one Black juror convicted all three defendants. Now a jury of six men and six women (including an African American) voted to convict Smollett on all but one count.
They showed the integrity missing in state’s attorney Kim Foxx whose office suddenly decided to drop all charges against him in exchange for Smollett performing community service. It was a move that not only protected Smollett but many Democratic leaders from the embarrassment of any conviction. Foxx would later recuse herself due to conflicts of interest but was later accused of pressuring subordinates to go easy on Smollett.
The jury followed the law without any political or personal inducement. Unlike Foxx (who was later reelected), they did it because it was their job. The question is why 12 people selected at random can show such integrity when our leaders, including our president and vice president, cannot muster the same sense of responsibility.
As for Smollett, by repeating his bizarre tale on the stand, he will lose any advantage on sentencing due to remorse or acceptance of responsibility. Given the gravity of his conduct and his failure to accept such responsibility, he should be given jail time. He faces up to three years if the counts (as expected) run concurrently.
The Smollett case shows how the jury is still a revolutionary institution capable of standing up to both privilege and power. As George Orwell is often quoted, “in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.
128 thoughts on “Jussie Smollett and the “Time of Deceit””
Gingerbread men are a way to introduce children to the idea of cannibalism.
What the hey? When Juicy Smollet gets out of jail (if he goes to jail) he will be on every left wing talk show. He will probably get out early after serving time where he gets to do what he likes to do. Millions of dollars for maybe a year in jail. Sounds like not a bad deal. Give him credit, he knew that either way it was going to turn out that the money was still going to be in the bank. A folk hero was born. Someone who’s example you can hold up to your kids if you think it will screw “The Man.” C’mon little fishy here’s the bait.
What if the constant conditioning of the public to accept the media narrative eventually produces a jury that will ignore facts in order to reach a verdict that supports their preconceived bias?
With the current indoctrination going on at colleges and universities, I fear that is exactly what we are going to get.
An entire generation who bases their reality on their feelings and not the facts.
What if the constant conditioning of white non college educated Trump supporters who believe that a “landslide victory” was stolen could be whipped up into a frenzy and attack the Capitol, attempting to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified and threatening to lynch the Vice President because he refused to reject certified ballots declaring Biden the winner of the 2020 Presidential election? What if they ignore the fact: 1. that Trump cheated to get into office in 2016 with the help of Russian hackers who spread lies about his opponent; 2. that Trump never even broke a 50% approval rating in 4 years’ time, which is a record in the history of presidential polling; 3. that every single poll predicted Trumo would lose in 2020; 4. that Trump’s incompetence and downplaying of the risk of COVID would allow the pandemic to get out of control, resulting in the worst recession since the Great Depression; 5. that despite all 50 states certifying Biden’s victory, including 26 states with Republican Secretaries of State, and despite Krebs, the head of cybersecurity, saying that 2020 was the most-secure election in US history, and despite Bill Barr saying that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and despite multiple recounts and re-recounts, THE DISCIPLES STILL BELIEVE THAT TRUMP WON BY A LANDSLIDE BASED ON NOTHING BUT HIS FANTASIES? What kind of country do we have with people so devoted to so incomptent and unqualified person that they would believe the lie about Trump winning by a landslide in the face of such facts?
What if it was the undercover Feds who “whipped it up into a frenzy”?
We the People know what happened. Pelosi knows too. Put her under oath.
Gee, why don’t Hannity, Ingraham, Kilmeade and Jr. agree with you? They all know Trump did it, and were begging Meadows to get him to stop it. Why are you immune to facts?
Gee, how many Democrats told BLM rioters to stop rioting while they destroyed small businesses, looted property, burned cities to the ground?
NONE. Kamala Harris led the charge as Dems encouraged, incited, and bailed them out so they could destroy even more!
An undercover fed named Ray Epps is ON VIDEO riling up the rally going protestors to get IN the Capitol, and yet to this date neither he nor his phone, texts, messages, videos have been seized by police officials.
Hmmm. Why oh why could that be???
Why is Ray Epps NOT sitting in the DC gulag with all the other J6 political prisoners?
Hmmmm. Think real hard.
Natacha — Speaking of “facts”…..did you see this?
Facebook admitted in court filings this week that its “fact checks” are actually just opinions.
Same playbook with the Washington Post, NYT, NBC, ABC, etc etc etc……
The media IS the virus. Both social media and the Fake News media. They lie all day long.
“ What if the constant conditioning of the public to accept the media narrative eventually produces a jury that will ignore facts in order to reach a verdict that supports their preconceived bias?”
Are you referring to ALL media?
What if the constant conditioning of the public to accept the media narrative eventually produces a jury that will ignore facts in order to reach a verdict that supports their preconceived bias?
There has been lots of conditioning going on for a while.
That’s why many people support the government punishing speech (hate crimes). That’s why SCOTUS supports takings, (Kelo) That’s why suspension of habeus being suspended by a city is A-OK (J6 no-violant participants indicted still in jail awaiting trial). Government spying on citizens using a secret court (FISA warrants)
There’s been lots of conditioning going on for awhile
“What if the constant conditioning of the public to accept the media narrative eventually produces a jury that will ignore facts in order to reach a verdict that supports their preconceived bias?”
I suppose you will pretend that Trump does not do this too! Ever hear of the Big Lie?
Perhaps the reason why we still have “deep and painful racial divisions” is because the media, activists, and certain politicians keep pushing the false narrative that America is an irredeemably racist country. The narrative is that nothing has changed. The US is still at pre-1865 levels of racism. A black person bears no personal responsibility for the outcome of his own life, or his kids. Stay in school, study hard, stay out of trouble, get good grades, be responsible, don’t have kids out of wedlock, make something of yourself, focus on your kids’ education…that’s all deemed “white”, even though Asians rather excel at it, on average, better than whites. It’s a formula that statistically leads to success no matter what color the person who follows it. Blacks are fed a narrative of victimhood, and in some cases, blatantly encouraged to fail. It is a terrible disservice to black kids, most of all. They’re full of potential that ends up wasted in way too many cases.
We need more black role models like Ben Carson, Candace Owens, Condoleeza Rice, Brandon Tatum, Professor Carol Swain, Thomas Sowell, Denzel Washington, Misty Copeland, the Obamas…rather than lionizing black criminals. The latter is not “black culture”. You don’t see people like the Obamas or Denzel engaging in looting or rioting. But it’s the criminals who seem to get all the airtime.
There is one way to get the whole truth out of Smollett, however we are no longer allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques.
The media does a disservice to our country when it covers a narrative instead of evidence.
So says the Fox News maven. Don’t you know that Fox News hosts were begging Mark Meadows during the insurrection to get Trump to call off the disciples? Does this sound like the conduct of independent journalists or partisan hacks? It proves that Fox News hosts KNEW Trump was the instigator and that they were lying later on when they tried to blame ANTIFA, the FBI and others for the Insurrection.
Name one “independent journalist” that isn’t a total and complete partisan activist hack with their own show on CNN or MSNBC. Name just one.
All of the prime time shows on cable are opinion shows. Keep whining.
Natacha — Do you know why all the media want to talk about now is some people texting on 1/6?
Why? Because they do not want to talk about the Cuomo brothers, the CNN sex crimes, the Wisconsin Christmas parade massacre, Biden’s failings, Biden’s sh*tty policies causing through the roof gas pirces and inflation, or the takeover by the far Left of the Democrat Party. Or the fact that Biden is a demented lying pervert.
Nope, they do NOT want to talk about ANY of that. So J6 24/7 it is. Liz gonna save Democracy! Liz for President! Save the GOP Liz!
Guess what? Not gonna fly.
Only 75% of the public believe Jussie Smollett staged a hate crime hoax? What do the other 25% think that dry practice run was?
“Only” 75%? That’s a majority of the public. It means the majority of the public didn’t buy his story.
25% may have not have cared or even smaller a part of that 25% believed him.
There’s always going to be a gullible bunch. Just look at some of Trump’s own supporters. They still believe he is president and not Biden.
Smollet is not the only race baiter in this saga who is trying to further his career. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden were just saying what they needed to say to keep black voters on the plantation. We can only hope that those black people who knew it was a hoax will stop voting for the people who are dangling the race bait. They will do what ever is necessary to entice you with the twisting worm to distract you from their failed policies in the places they have controlled for the last 50 years. You know what happens to the fish that takes the bait.
Germany and Japan stopped being perpetual thorns in our sides when they were bombed into the Stone Age. The same should be done with Russia and China.
I do not think Smollett is a race baiter.
IIRC he did it thinking boost in ratings for the TV show and more money for him.
Regardless, the news coverage by MSM is not objective reporting based on the facts as proven in a court of law.
That is the real danger.
He was helping Kamala and Corey Booker. Their Anti Lynching bill became relevant when “Jussie was lynched”. It was a “Modern day Lynching” they both were happily exclaiming…and then their bill passes. YAY for Jussie!!!
That was my snark of the day!
I read an interesting assessment of Smollett, that he is a grandiose narcissist. This makes him a bit delusiona, and arrogant: grandiose.. When it became clear early on that the investigation was going to blow his story up, he doubled down on it. When he walked into court for trial, he called it a “dog and pony show.” He repeated his lies under oath on the stand. After he was convicted he said he was going to appeal. What kind of legal advice is he getting? Doesn’t he have friends who care about him?
Dreadful judgement. He should have admitted what he did early on, cut his losses, but because he stuck to the story every step of the way for going on three years the outcome is far worse for him.
Jussie simply is not very bright He’s almost forty years old, not a kid.
…He is a race baiter. Early on the police told him they had two men in custody for the attack. Did he want to press charges? Thinking they were white, he said yes. They the police told him the men they’d arrested were the Nigerian brothers. Then no, he didn’t want to press charges.
On YouTube the four-member Behavior Panel has just posted their analysis of the Robin Roberts interview with Jussie. It’s worth a look.
We can nuke our problems away, for a brighter future.
Turley’s obsession of late about some out of work wanna-be actor who got what he deserved is hideous. Of course Turley’s hiding of information and facts about some out of work, wanna be dictator is par for the course.
His column ironically feeds into the “age of rage” mentality he often decries as a problem. Smollett’s story was so obviously a lie that even the black community didn’t buy it. At the time it became public the black community was strangely silent.
But now Turley focuses on a few individuals within the BLM movement who buy into his story and portrays that minority view into a narrative that feeds the “rage” he himself criticizes. This is either Turley being incredibly naive or disingenuous.
Yep. The truly big story about the lack of journalistic standards that Turley is ignoring today are the e-mails sent from Fox News hosts that were turned over by Meadows to the 1/6 Commission in which they begged Trump to call off the insurrection, some on the grounds that he was destroying his “accomplishments and legacy” (ingraham). There were some from Don, Jr., too, which makes you wonder why he couldn’t reach his own father. This is significant not only because it proves that they aren’t journalists, but that they knew Trump was the instigator, and that they were lying later on when they tried to claim ANTIFA, the FBI or others were really what set off the insurrection, and/or that it was just some tourists or protesters who got out of control. This is huge, but all Turley can do is harp about Jussie Smollett. Turley: when you’ve lost all credibility, you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has no idea who this person is nor would they likely care. He is a legend in his own mind.
Read news from other nations and they are dealing power shortages, wars, economic collapse, life and death issues while the American media is obsessed with dysfunctional celebrities or those who would sell their soul for a few moments of fame.
I didn’t buy Smollett’s story the first time I heard it. This isn’t some “race war” instigation or an attempt to invoke an injustice. This was a stupid actor’s really poor attempt at getting some attention. To add to his fame. Even Dave Chappell mocked his claims mercilessly.
Svelaz, as you must know by now, the right-wing MUST have deflection and that deflection causes outrage and talking points for the right. Turley is just feeding them what they WANT to hear and believe. I take no pleasure in saying so, but facts are facts.
. . . as if the LeftWing doesn’t get fed what THEY want to hear ? WHY does it take a jury in a court of law in order to arrive at the TRUTH ?? ( albeit not YOUR truth I bet )
Bit of a snowflake today huh? I said, he got what he deserved.
The Smollett hoax is fairly typical of the race wars the left insist on fueling with lies. It is not new to those of us paying attention. It is not only tolerated, but encouraged. msnbc gives the King of race liars, Al Sharpton, a show of his own, and gives him endless opportunities to spread race lies.
So not anything to debate about.
But what about the FBI insisting White supremacist groups are THE NUMBER ONE THREAT TO SECURITY in all of the United States?
That’s the big lie the left really believes (they never believed Smollet, they used him).
The FBI, Like Smollet, are just making it all up, and we are supposed to believe them.
The few people who still believe Smollett’s story is true have the same mentality that people who believe Trump’s lie that the election was stolen. There will always be a gullible bunch to exploit.
Not even the majority of the black community bought Smollett’s story. That’s what gets lost in the discussion.
The FBI isn’t wrong that white supremacist groups are indeed a threat. Many of them spearheaded and coaxed the crowds during Jan 6 insurrection attempt. They were Trump’s biggest supporters, until they got betrayed by him for not pardoning them as they expected.
The FBI isn’t wrong that white supremacist groups are indeed a threat.
Exactly the same threat as Parents at school board meetings.
That was the point I was making.
“ Exactly the same threat as Parents at school board meetings.”
Some of those “parents” were members of the proud boys. They were stoking parents with claims their children were being indoctrinated and called racists and issued threats to school board members and teachers. There was a valid concern due to those threats. The FBI was involved specifically because the proud boys were instigating the allegations that many parents were “hearing” and used the accusations as reason to threaten board members and teachers. The proud boys have been under FBI surveillance because of their encouragement of violence and violent past.
Some of those “parents” were members of the proud boys.
Even if some were, the vast majority simply don’t want schools teaching there kids to be racists or impose the latest non-scientific gender nonsense on them.
With public schools today failing more kids than ever, they shouldn’t be wasting time trying to brainwash kids to their radical ideologies. They should be focused on making them competent in reading, writing, math and history.
“ Even if some were, the vast majority simply don’t want schools teaching there kids to be racists or impose the latest non-scientific gender nonsense on them.”
The problem of that the vast majority are relying on the rhetoric and scaremongering that groups like the proud boys or other racist groups pushing the issue to rile up parents.
Parents don’t have the time or patience to really research the issues they are being “told” by these groups. This is one reason why they are so angry or incensed about what they “think” their kids are being taught. And why they don’t really question the efficacy of what they are hearing or being told. I don’t blame the parents as much. But I do blame these groups or individuals who are misinforming or outright lying to parents who clearly have no time or even the ability to understand what they are arguing against. It’s easier to just take it at the word of those who are being deliberately disingenuous for bigoted or racist intents.
You are sadly underestimating parents and mischaracterizing the situation. Parents are not mad because someone is telling them they should be. They are enraged because they are seeing for themselves what the schools are teaching. They bring examples to the meetings. If “Proud Boys” are involved they are likely mostly hurting the cause. Simply put, parents don’t want their kids be taught to dislike or like people just because of the color of their.
The proud boys have been under FBI surveillance… — Svelaz
The Proud Boys are under FBI leadership, considering their leader is an FBI informant.
“ The Proud Boys are under FBI leadership, considering their leader is an FBI informant.”
WAS an informant. He’s currently in jail awaiting sentencing for his participation in the Jan 6 attempted insurrection.
The proud boys themselves felt betrayed by Trump when they believed he would pardon them after they instigated the breaching of the barriers at the Capitol building.
Some of those “parents” were members of the proud boys.
Stupid lie, not even the other leftists trolls believe that lie
Svelaz wrote, “They [white supremacist] were Trump’s biggest supporters”
That a bigoted signature significant* statement, it directly and indirectly implies that the largest segment of the population that supported and voted for Donald Trump are white supremacist and that is an unsupportable LIE! Parroting such lies makes the parrot a willful liar.
*Signature Significance: posits that a single act can be so remarkable that it has predictive and analytical value, and should not be dismissed as statistically insignificant.
“ That a bigoted signature significant* statement, it directly and indirectly implies that the largest segment of the population that supported and voted for Donald Trump are white supremacist and that is an unsupportable LIE! Parroting such lies makes the parrot a willful liar.”
You seem to be a victim of your own paranoia. I did not say anything that directly or indirectly imply that the largest segment of the population that supported Trump are white supremacists.
Only that white supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters. There’s a distinction. It can’t be a lie since I didn’t even imply what you claim.
Let me clarify for you. White supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters. The word “groups” does not mean or imply that ALL of Trump supporters are white supremacists.
Trump often refused to rebuke white supremacists which made him a hero in their view.
Svelas has always been trollish, but sometimes posted in good faith. No More. Just adhominems and lies now.
Do you believe that white supremacist GROUPS are not staunch Trump supporters?
My statement never implied that all or a majority of trump supporters are white supremacists. There seems to be a over sensitivity in being associated with such groups just because one professes support for Trump.
White Supremacist groups DO exist. The majority of those GROUPS are fervent Trump supporters. Do you believe that is not true?
Do you believe that white supremacist GROUPS are not staunch Trump supporters?
They are as real as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and likely fewer in number.
So why aren’t those groups targets of the FBI?
“ They are as real as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and likely fewer in number.
So why aren’t those groups targets of the FBI?”
What makes you think they are not? You assume they are not, correct?
Antifa is not one monolithic group like the proud boys, bugaloo boys, the three percenters, etc. Antifa is composed of loose groups that are not centrally organized. I’m pretty sure some individuals with a history of violence are under surveillance.
The difference is Antifa individuals only seek to be anarchistic whenever there’s an opportunity such as demonstrations. They use them as an excuse to be destructive or antagonistic. Have you noticed they only do that when protests or large demonstrations are planned?
White supremacist groups ACTIVELY plan violence against government entities or deliberately incite violence to gain attention to their causes for recruitment purposes. They are literally anti government and advocate openly for violence against government. Clearly that is a valid concern for the FBI.
“ They are as real as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and likely fewer in number.
So why aren’t those groups targets of the FBI?”
What makes you think they are not? You assume they are not, correct?”
They maybe, but our elected leaders (including our President), Cabinet Members, and Department Heads aren’t out in the public saying it.
White Supremacist groups DO exist. The majority of those GROUPS are fervent Trump support
Not a single fact exist to support this statement.
Also none of your “narrative touched on my post. You are arguing against yourself, nothing that I posted. So is the intellect of leftist trolls
“ White Supremacist groups DO exist. The majority of those GROUPS are fervent Trump support
Not a single fact exist to support this statement.”
There’s lots of evidence. Here’s one example.
“ Trump has repeatedly been endorsed by white supremacist groups and other far-right extremists, and they’ve looked to him as a source of encouragement”
Funny how the biggest White supremacist endorsed Clinton over Trump though….https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/video-shows-kkk-grand-dragon-endorsing-hillary-clinton
iowan2 — although it’s tempting to correct his many errors of thinking and fact, one has to remember that he’s deliberately trolling this site because Turley’s writings are so effective and logical. He/she and the other two constantly try to detour the discussion from Turley’s actual post to their own OCD narrative about Trump. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were being paid for this “opposition” trolling. Let’s just starve the beast. Today was the last time I comment on his/her fringe and deluded posts.
You are a joke. “White supremacist” groups are small potatoes compared to the well-funded and destructive BLM/Antifa network. If a few racist individuals supported Trump, that’s their choice, just as it was the choice of millions of non-racist individuals to support him for reasons ranging from the economy to war — but maybe that’s too complex for your tiny brain. Richard Spencer, the worst of the racist white supremacists, endorsed Biden. Would you like to make the same assumptions about him? As for “Proud Boys” at school board meetings — you’ve been listening to MSNBC too much. It rots your brain. But, despite your efforts, school board meetings are about angry parents who don’t like the fact that their kids are being brainwashed with false history and fake biology lessons. You really need to pay more attention.
Your original statement was “They [white supremacist] were Trump’s biggest supporters” and that statement is NOT equivalent to this statement “Only that white supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters.” You were just caught in the act of trying to move the goalposts like an unethical political hack.
Your first statement is an opinion that is an unsupportable lie (propaganda) the second statement is an opinion that’s relatively supportable based on how you choose to define the word “biggest”.
Here is an example; I’d consider the NRA to be one of the biggest supporters of Donald Trump, one of the biggest in numbers, one of the biggest organization, one of the biggest groups, but I would not consider the NRA to be a white supremacist group. What I’ve seen over time is that actual white supremacist “groups” are usually quite small in numbers in comparison to other advocacy groups. Personally I think you’re unethically using the words “biggest supporters” in conjunction with white supremacist to imply that all Trump supporters as white supremacists which is IMMMORAL! If that’s not what you are trying to do then you need to change your rhetoric.
By the way, the same kind of unethical BS race baiting extrapolating rhetoric that you’re trying to use to smear all Trump supporters can be used against the Democratic Party; there are plenty of anti-black and anti-white racists that support the Democratic Party, deny that and you’re denying fact. These kind of blanket smears are immoral.
Here’s why you’re wrong. Here’s my original statement… in its entirety. I capitalized the key point you are not putting into context.
“ The FBI isn’t wrong that white supremacist GROUPS are indeed a threat. Many of them spearheaded and coaxed the crowds during Jan 6 insurrection attempt. THEY were Trump’s biggest supporters, until they got betrayed by him for not pardoning them as they expected.”
“ Your original statement was “They [white supremacist] were Trump’s biggest supporters” and that statement is NOT equivalent to this statement “Only that white supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters.”
Here’s the entirety of the second statement the you portray out of context,
“ I did not say anything that directly or indirectly imply that the largest segment of the population that supported Trump are white supremacists.
Only that white supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters.”
You’re confusing both statements because you’re detaching them from the context of the discussion as a whole.
I was addressing your false claim that I was implying that ALL of trump supporters are white supremacists. I was telling you no. I was not stating that “only” white supremacist GROUPS are some of Trump’s biggest supporters. The word “only” here is in reference that I was only mentioning the groups themselves. Not that only those groups are ALL of Trump’s supporters.
You conflated two different contexts of the word “only” to have a singular meaning.
If I say that this group of apples are red. I can say, “only this group of apples are red”. The qualifier is the word “group”. Group meaning the specific group of red apples. Not ALL red apples.
Svelaz wrote, “You’re confusing both statements because you’re detaching them from the context of the discussion as a whole.”
I did nothing of the sort! Only a blithering idiot would contend that the overall context of these statements changes anything about the implications the statements make. You’re arguing like an ignorant 8th grader and I’m now applying Hanlon’s Razor to your nonsense claim until proven otherwise.
“ I did nothing of the sort! ”
Yes you did, and I showed you exactly how you did it. What you clearly demonstrated was your inability to keep in mind the context of the discussion. We are talking about white supremacist GROUPS. Not ALL of Trump’s supporters. This basic point is what you are either not fully grasping or are unable to. On the latter I can’t help you other than show you where your failure to comprehend started.
The series of posts in relation to our discussion or argument if you want is in the context of discussing a specific GROUP. At no point did I state or imply that ALL of Trump’s supporters are white supremacists as you falsely accuse me of.
Your frustration stems from the inability to grasp the concept of maintaining context. You jumped at the conclusion that I made two different statements because you are not maintaining the context of the entire discussion.
You should have remembered this “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
“ You’re arguing like an ignorant 8th grader and I’m now applying Hanlon’s Razor to your nonsense claim until proven otherwise.”
An 8th grader would have better reading comprehension skills than what you have so far demonstrated.
At no point did you ever try to refute or point out where I stated that ALL of Trump’s supporters are white supremacists as you claim. Your only “proof” is putting two statements out of context when you can’t show that you understand how context works.
Svelaz wrote, “point out where I stated that ALL of Trump’s supporters are white supremacists as you claim”
That’s because I literally never made that claim, so stop lying and putting words in my mouth that I never wrote.
I can’t fix your obvious comprehension problems but how about you at least try putting your thinking cap on and reread what I actually wrote instead of what you imagine I wrote; if you can’t at least do that then FO and go troll someone else.
Again; “It’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” but nope you just keep ignorantly opening your mouth and removing all doubt.
“ That’s because I literally never made that claim, so stop lying and putting words in my mouth that I never wrote.”
Yes you did. Now you’re backtracking on your false claim.
Here’s YOUR accusation verbatim,
“ That a bigoted signature significant* statement, it directly and indirectly implies that the largest segment of the population that supported and voted for Donald Trump are white supremacist and that is an unsupportable LIE!”
You claim that I directly and indirectly imply that the largest segment of the population that supported and voted for Trump ARE white supremacists.
My statement made no such implied claim. YOU implied it.
You want off on an assumption that YOU implied. Not I.
I ONLY stated that white supremacist GROUPS. You falsely claimed that I implied that the MAJORITY of Trump supporters were white supremacists.
That’s your false claim.
You can’t bring yourself to admit that you bought into your own false claim that I implied something that I never did. It was you who was trying to put words in my mouth. Jesus. 🤦♂️
If ever I met Turley, the first thing I would ask him is whether he had ever read much of the commentary on his blog. If not, I would read him a few comments to enlighten him, and then ask whether the comments from his followers reflect his own beliefs and values. Finally, I would ask where did he go wrong in his writings that the majority of his readers hold views that are anathema to his own? Why do they believe that your opinions reinforce their belief in Trumpism when you reject Trump and even called for his Congressional censure on account of 1/6?
Then, I would ask him why- if as he believes that 1/6 was a “desecration” of the Capitol- why had he not done what others have, that is, condemn Carlson’s lie in “Patriot Purge” that 1/6 was a false flag operation? Why the silence? Why the silence on ALL matters involving the 1/6 investigation?
Like you said, he does not want to be asked because his silence is indefensible.
You really should have remembered this quote “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” before replying because you effectively removed all doubt.
As George Orwell is often quoted, “in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
We are certainly in a time of deceit and we have been since the irrational 21st century social justice warriors and their anti-logic cancel culture were called to action in 2008 with these words from Presidential candidate Barack Obama, “change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the change that we seek”. The United States is suffering from the irrational childishness of brainwashed anti-tolerant, anti-liberal, anti-Liberty, anti-Constitution and anti-American “progressives”, aka regressive totalitarians, that are assaulting our culture with lies and intimidation and undermining the solid foundation of human commonalities within the United States of America. The actual truth is a direct threat to the ideological beliefs of regressive totalitarians that is why they must lie with their innuendo and propaganda; it’s Orwellian, it’s cultish and it’s dead wrong.
Our culture is doomed if the common folk that believe in the solid foundations that’s made the USA a beacon of Liberty across the world don’t take back the mindset of the masses from the intimidating clutches of the lunatic fringe.
Smollett may suffer short term penalties, but hoaxes do not disqualify individuals from public attention that is positive. Consider Al Sharpton’s involvement with hoax after hoax (starting with Brawley) and his profiting from the race baiting, complete with a national TV show and go to guy as a spokesperson on race issues. Indeed, there seems to be no such thing as bad press for such people. No politician seems to suffer from the lie that Michael Brown was murdered, not Biden, Harris or Warren who all screamed out the misinformation at political rallies. Much of the hoaxes that the press peddles should not even obtain the status of “controversial” much less be repeated as true. And the press and politicians keep doubling down which is not only wrong on the issue but causes a loss of respect from those who consider evidence before rendering judgment, deepening the political partisan divide,. Need a much more responsible press to soften the current hardening of polarized positions. For everybody’s sake.
RD wrote, “Smollett may suffer short term penalties, but hoaxes do not disqualify individuals from public attention that is positive. Consider Al Sharpton’s involvement with hoax after hoax (starting with Brawley) and his profiting from the race baiting, complete with a national TV show and go to guy as a spokesperson on race issues. Indeed, there seems to be no such thing as bad press for such people.”
Unfortunately there is real truth to what RD wrote. Jussie Smollett now has nation-wide notoriety of being an immoral race baiting political hack and those credentials give him what’s needed to walk straight into Al Sharpton’s position at MSNBC when Sharpton dies.
Jussie be welcomed into the White House and the Democrats will be forced to kiss his ring, like they do Sharpton. (Obama had him over quite a bit!!!) They ALL have to go through King Sharpton before they get the okay to run for President. This is why we point and laugh at them all.
Thank you for your courage on speaking out about this, and articulating it so poignantly.
(This comment was directed to “RD.”
The jurors showed principles, but more than a few of the jurors voted for the unprincipled politicians. Until that changes, nothing will change.
I BELIEVE THAT POLITICIANS AND NEWSPERSONS ARE VERY SIMILAR. THEY ARE “SELLING A PRODUCT” . IN THE SMOLLET MATTER THE JURY DECIDED THAT
MR SMOLLET WAS GUILTY. REGARDLESS OF WHAT AN INDIVIDUAL BELIEVES THE JURY SYSTEM PREVAILS.
“If Smollett is a race baiter, what are those who did not wait for the evidence and promulgated his sensational lies?”
You mean like all the Trumpists who swallowed Trump’s lie that the election was stolen in the ABSENCE of ANY evidence of massive fraud? A lie that was advocated by Trump’s lawyers which your Fox network broadcasted to millions for which it is being sued for billions for defaming Dominion and Smartmatic?
You have the unmitigated gall to complain about “advocacy journalism” on the heels of Chris Wallace who just departed your network for this *very* reason:
“Fox News Is Fully Tucker TV Now That Chris Wallace Is Gone”
The article noted:
“Last month, in a long interview with Matthew Garrahan in the Financial Times, Wallace refused to comment on Carlson. Instead, he offered this bromide: “I am only responsible for and only have control over my piece of real estate. I’m proud of what we do… I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to my audience and to the truth. Truth is non-negotiable. There’s no spin to truth. Truth is truth.”
Recall that Wallace invited Liz Cheney on his program to put the lie to Tucker’s 1/6 False Flag narrative. As if Wallace’s sudden departure was not enough of a blow to your reputation as a Fox commentator, one of your colleagues, Lara Logan, said the unthinkable:
“Fox Business anchor Liz Claman blasts fellow network star Lara Logan in scathing Twitter thread for comparing Dr Fauci to infamous Nazi ‘Angel of Death’ torturer Josef Mengele: Jewish host says ‘Dayenu. That’s Hebrew for ENOUGH!”
The article noted:
“In a conversation with Pete Hegseth, a known critic of coronavirus vaccine mandates and masking policies, Logan accused the Biden administration of overhyping the still largely unknown strain.
‘There’s no justification for putting people out of there jobs or forcing mandates for a disease that’s ultimately very treatable, it’s cheap to treat, medicines are available all over the world, and it has death rates that compare very much to seasonal flu,’ Logan declared during the Monday night discussion. The South African journalist, who joined Fox last year, then set her sights on Fauci, and made the contentious comparison. ‘In that moment, what you see on Dr. Fauci, what people say to me, is that he doesn’t represent science to them.
‘He represents Josef Mengele – the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the second world war and in the concentration camps.’ Logan added: ‘I’m talking about people all across the world who are saying this.’”
Turley, you have no moral standing to complain about “advocacy journalism” when you ignore the likes of Lara Logan! How proud you must be to be associated with a network which employs a reporter who made such an unconscionable comparison.
Will you have anything to say about Wallace’s abrupt departure from your network right on the heels of Stephen Hayes’ and Jonah Goldberg’s departures on account of Carlson’s 1/6 Truther propaganda “Patriot Purge”? Will you not follow the lead of your colleague, Liz Claman, who bravely, honestly and publicly condemned Logan’s despicable comparison of Fauci with Mengele?
If past is prologue, we will hear nothing but crickets….
I’ve got Donald Trump in my head and I can’t get him out. Can someone please help me?
Donald Trump has been living rent free in the obsessed minds of the Trump deranged since 2016 and unless you are a professional psychologist conducting one-on-one sessions with the deranged you can’t deprogram what the TDS cult has programmed with their brainwashing propaganda.
I know what Trump is- a conman- likely to be found civilly guilty if not criminally so. I also know that Turley is NOT a Trumpist. I’m on his side, unlike you. I don’t believe Trump’s lies. You do.
Calm down. Relax. Remember where your head should go!!!
Mike Mike wrote, “Calm down. Relax. Remember where your head should go!!!”
It pays to remember that the head of an internet troll resides in their “safe place” which is tucked nicely behind their own balloon knot where the sun doesn’t shine.
That comment from jeffsilberman is pure unadulterated deflection trolling from a confirmed political hack.
Don’t feed the troll.
Jeff’s post does have a significant point. Turley’s criticisms about advocacy journalism do have a hypocritical stench given the fact that the network he works for does it daily. That’s not a deflection.
Fox News is the Jussie Smollett of the media world.
Svelaz wrote, “Turley’s criticisms about advocacy journalism do have a hypocritical stench given the fact that the network he works for does it daily. That’s not a deflection.”
It’s real clear that you’re looking at the world through industrial strength ideological blinders and trying to rationalize;
First, yes the argument is a deflection and an unethical rationalization, it’s not hypocrisy to point out the advocacy journalism of some media outlets without pointing out the network he is randomly associated with at the exact same time. The implications of the deflection argument is an ad hominem targeting the author not the argument, which is typical trolling argumentation for jeffsilberman.
Second, you should know that the left leaning networks won’t put, or rarely put, Turley on the air because of exactly what I wrote in another of my comments in this thread…
In other words the left leaning media (regressive totalitarians) refuses to put Johnathan Turley’s actual truths on the air because the actual truth contradicts the left’s ideological beliefs and propaganda and doesn’t fit their advocacy journalism, aka propaganda, media model to pander their airtime messages to stupidly blind ideological sheeple.
Jeff’s point is still valid no matter how you try to categorize it. Nobody has been able to refute it.
Turley never mentions Fox News own advocacy journalism which there is plenty of. His criticisms are only focused on left leaning media while clearly ignoring the right. Turley claims to be an objective critic. That would only be true if he actually involved the many instances of obvious advocacy journalism that the network he often appears in or others that are not giving him a paycheck such as OAN and Newsmax.
A deflection would involve criticizing Turley on an entire separate issue completely unrelated to the criticism of advocacy journalism that Turley despises. Jeff mentioning Fox News own obvious advocacy journalism and the lack of ANY criticism from Turley clearly paints his criticism of the left as highly hypocritical and he is right.
Turley has been proven to be loose with his facts or just outright being disingenuous. It’s fair criticism.
The left leaning media is not obligated to put Turley on the air. Their refusal may be valid or it may not. We don’t know if his contract with Fox News prevents him from commenting or appearing in left leaning media. What if it’s Turley who refuses to appear on their networks?
Turley never gives interviews to journalists. He knows he would be put on the spot when questioned about his own hypocrisy or disingenuousness that is fair game.
I don’t think it’s the networks who are refusing to put Turley on. It’s Turley who is refusing to be on because it exposes him to uncomfortable questions that would undermine his “unbiased objectivity” reputation.
Thanks. You said it better than I! I’m glad I’m on your side.
Svelaz: Thank you for quasi-plagiarizing an earlier comment from me-but you instead changed yours to say “Fox News.”
It’s more of a tongue in cheek change rephrase.
“Fox News is the Jussie Smollett of the media world.”
Excellent! I wish I had thought of that!
It’s typical that the Trumpists here don’t want to dispute my contention; instead they engage in insults- Sad.
You can’t handle the truth.
Recycling old posts doesn’t make them any truer or more interesting.
Your crass language does more to show your bile than to make your point.
You are a lost cause. I’m not writing for your ilk, lying Trumpists.
President Trump is hardly the only person claiming there were, at best, widespread irregularities in 2020 that may very well have affected the outcome of the election in a number of states. It’s hardly a “lie,” when there is clearly considerable evidence to the contrary. In any case, Tucker Carlson is a commentator, not a journalist. You don’t like his take on an issue, listen to someone who confirms your bias. Won’t be hard to find.
“ It’s hardly a “lie,” when there is clearly considerable evidence to the contrary.”
That evidence is proving to be less certain every day. Wisconsin just finished its THIRD audit showing Trump’s claims to be false.
There is more evidence contradicting Trump’s claims than there is supporting them.
Trump is a chronic and habitual liar. There is no evidence of widespread election irregularities. You are a liar. Unlike you, I don’t watch talk show hosts to hear what I want to hear. Carlson is a liar too. I watch him to keep an eye on his false narratives.
To “Jeffsilberman:” I quote your statement that Chris Wallace “just departed from your [Turley’s] network for this *very* reason.” Really? Did Chris tell you this? Seems to me that he was expressly complimentary toward FOXX for giving him journalistic license to speak, opine, and interview as he saw fit. And now he goes to CNN, -the King of advocacy journalism- that you defend Wallace as despising???? Are YOU telling lies, dear Jeff?..– or has the good professor merely bestowed upon you the benevolent gift of giving you a forum to express your OPINION? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you…
Chris Wallace left to go to CNN which ALL the prime time FOX hosts despise as “fake news.” Proves what Wallace thinks of their opinions! None of them wished Wallace well on his departure….
I appreciate Turley’s blog to express my opinions freely in spite of the many lying Trumpists who wish I would stop telling them what they don’t want to hear. Too bad. This blog is not a safe-space for Trumpists.
Jeff, calling you out, -as well as your silly deflections, does not make us “lying Trumpists.”…. Such a sensitive ego that needs validation and must always try to get the last word in….Just chill out, OK?
Anyone who believes Trump that the election was stolen is a lying Trumpist in my book. Do you believe the election was stolen on account of massive fraud?
Yes or no?
Jeff: THANK YOU for helping me prove my case-in-point. Is this blog about Jussie Smollett or about Trumpists/Trumpism? (Go ahead, I’ll let you get the last word in….)
Since you won’t answer me whether YOU believe the Big Lie is true, I can only assume that you DO, but you don’t want to admit it to me because I will have been vindicated in calling you a lying Trumpist.
I will not cease shaming all Trumpists (followers of Trump of MAGA folk) of being liars unless they state that the election was NOT stolen.
I am willing to acknowledge the Republican contention that Biden is likely suffering from some sort of mental deterioration as well as admit that his son is influence peddling for money as Turley has alleged. And if Joe is benefitting from Hunter’s corruption, impeach him. By all means, investigate Hunter, and I agree with Turley that the MSM has been ignoring Hunter’s doings. I would NEVER call any investigation of Biden a “witch-hunt.”
However, you are not willing to admit that Trump is an inveterate liar. Nor are you willing to concede that there was (and is) no credible evidence that the election was stolen. In addition, I suspect you believe Trump who called the Mueller investigation a “witch-hunt.” Turley NEVER called that investigation a “witch-hunt.”
Correct me if I have misjudged you.
And.Here.We.Go. This is what you should have written
jeffsilberman: You sound like someone who doesn’t like the truth in what Turley is saying so much, you insist on changing the subject to something wholly unrelated.
The only rule on this blog is to speak “civilly.” I follow that rule. I speak truth to power. I know it’s uncomfortable.
WOW! You really are obsessed. You keep wanting to justify bad behavior by pointing out other (unrelated) bad behavior on the other side. Do you ever just debate or judge a particular issue based on the elements of that point alone? When you don’t it seems like you can’t defend your position.
By the way – we get it – you HATE Fox News, Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump. We aren’t learning anything when you repeat that a hundred times. You also aren’t coming across as a critical thinker when you can see no positive in any of the three. You come across as simply another brainwashed ideologue.
The issue Jeff brings up may seem trivial or obsessive, but it doesn’t negate pointing out hypocrisy. Turley is deemed credible to a lot of people INCLUDING Jeff Silberman. However his issue lies in Turley’s claimed principles that are supposed to lend to his credibility. Jeff’s points about Turley’s hypocrisy are not unfounded and they are fair game.
Mentioning it often is his way of reminding others that Turley’s principles are skeptical and therefore be deemed of questionable credibility.
It’s thanks to your comments that I know that I’m not as the Trumpists would have me believe! Without your approval, I might be persuaded that I was afflicted with TDS! Or that I was deflecting, obsessive, etc., etc.
I endeavor to back up my contentions with quotes and links. You are quite correct to note that I don’t disagree with Turley on most matters. It’s because I DO agree with him that I find his hypocrisy maddening. I want him to live up to my high expectations of him. It’s because I respect the man’s intellect and liberal values that I am incensed with his legitimating the bogus advocacy journalism of the Fox prime time hosts on whose shows he graces. I know he does it for the money, and I suppose he rationalizes his employment by only appearing on their shows when their narratives align with his own and remains silent when they are opposed. He is acting as if he were Fox’s attorney, but he is not. He holds himself out as an independent and impartial analyst which he is not.
Your pushback against my detractors is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I don’t hate Trump, Turley, Fox News, or Carlson. I am a lover, not a hater. I do hate lying. I hate the sin; not the sinner. I have not repeated myself 100 times, but I do like to stay on message!
If you don’t like my speech, I suggest you debate my points instead of calling me names.
True enough. But should we not also consider why Smollett’s claims weren’t simply dismissed from the get-go, despite their obvious ludicrousness? As with the Floyd case, the Democrats and the media together were licking their chops at the prospect of another case in which black people could be painted as victims and whites as devils.
People with a functioning brain did dismiss Mr. Smollett’s assertions and did not make a saint of Mr. Floyd.
Anonymous — And as it has been pointed out, they need to jump on any hint of racism, because in the “America is racist” business, there’s more demand than supply.
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