Americans have seem a lot of reasons to question CNN reporting, especially since President Donald Trump has taken office.
But the first reactions by CNN’s Brian Stelter to the news that the charges against Jussie Smollett had been dropped really jumped the shark.
Stelter immediately treated the dropping of the charges as an exoneration of Smollett and that this was a reaffirmation that he was now a “victim” again.
From Free Beacon:
CNN media reporter Brian Stelter said “we may never know what happened” to actor Jussie Smollett on a January night in Chicago, saying the “narrative had once again changed” and he was now a “victim” with the decision by Illinois prosecutors to drop the disorderly conduct charges against him.
Stelter recounted that a friend of Smollett’s had told him he wanted to get back to work, following Empire‘s decision to drop him from the final two episodes of the season when he was indicted.
“I do think we will see Smollett get back to work,” Stelter said. “The narrative has once again changed, from victim to villain back to victim. It’s been very confusing … People don’t know what to believe, and we may never really know what happened on the street that night in Chicago.”
“For his fans, for his friends, this is a triumphant moment that he can now get back to what he wants to do, which is work,” he added.
Is he kidding? We may never know the truth? That in itself is false.
And not only did Stelter jump the gun on that, he seemed to try to distance the MAGA connection made by Smollett himself.
“It’s a collision of race and celebrity and all these factors,” Stelter said.
“And politics,” host Kate Bolduan said.
“And so messy as a result,” Stelter said. “It was because an anonymous source said to TMZ that Smollett said they were wearing MAGA hats, and this was a Trump supporter attack against a black man. It became political within a few minutes, and that’s what made this even harder to get to the truth about.”
Stelter pins the story getting political on … TMZ, for reporting Smollett said attackers had MAGA hats.
Smollett told police and the world the attackers said this is MAGA country and explicitly charged he was targeted because he is anti-Trump. pic.twitter.com/6oQrjiHTIn
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) March 26, 2019
No, Smollett himself made it political by claiming to police directly in a second report (after not noting it in a first report) that the ‘attackers’ supposedly said “This is MAGA country.” While the TMZ story did first make the MAGA connection, it wasn’t just from an anonymous source, Jussie Smollett did claim it was true.
Once again, CNN spins a story in the direction they’d like it to go, without waiting for the reality and truth to catch up to it.