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FINALLY: 666 Days Later, GMA Returns to the Smollett Hoax Scandal

finally:-666-days-later,-gma-returns-to-the-smollett-hoax-scandal

Finally. It only took 666 days (insert your own joke about that specific number), but the hosts and journalists at Good Morning America have returned to Jussie Smollett and the hoax controversy surrounding him.

Before Friday, you have to go back to February 12, 2020 to find the last time GMA covered Smollett’s crumbling 2019 claims of a MAGA mob with a noose attacking him. On February 14, 2019, co-host Robin Roberts devoted almost 18 minutes to Smollett (and how “credible” he seemed) for an exclusive interview. Yet she mysteriously took Thursday and Friday off and wasn’t there for a verdict.

Instead, guest host TJ Holmes alerted GMA viewers: “Jussie Smollett guilty. The Empire star convicted on five of six counts for lying to police and staging a hate crime against himself. Will the actor serve time behind bars?” 

Reporter Alex Perez (who also covered the story the last time GMA mentioned in back in 2020), offered Friday’s 2 minute and 6 second report: 

Prosecutors accused the former Empire actor of staging an anti-gay and racist attack on himself almost three years ago with the aid of two brothers who he alleged paid to assault him, douse him in bleach and leave a noose around his neck, seen here in body camera video after he called police. Officials grew suspicious after they say he refused to fully cooperate with the investigation. But Smollett has always denied orchestrating the attack. 

All three network newscasts on Thursday night highlighted the breaking verdict. Perez offered a misleadingly worded analysis for ABC’s World News Tonight: “That jury deliberating here at the Cook County courthouse for nine hours over the course of two days, delivering a split verdict just moments ago.” Split verdict? Smollett was convicted of five out of six charges. That’s hardly “split.” 

Though the reporting on Thursday night and Friday morning covered the claims now declared false, they didn’t focus on how the whole effort was designed to show MAGA supporters as violent terrorists. 

Here’s the final totals for the Smollett hoax trial. ABC allowed the least amount of coverage. From November 29 through the morning of December 10, that amounted to 4 minutes and 31 seconds. The CBS and NBC morning and evening shows did better with CBS totaling 12 minutes and 38 seconds and NBC at 12 minutes and 46 seconds. 

ABC’s long-term attempt to bury their credulous initial coverage of Smollett was sponsored by Macy’s and Ford. Clock on the link to let them know what you think.

A transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.  

Good Morning America

12/10/2021

7am tease

TJ HOLMES: Jussie Smollett guilty. The Empire star convicted on five of six counts for lying to police and staging a hate crime against himself. Will the actor serve time behind bars? 

7:05 AM 

HOLMES: We want to turn to Empire actor Jussie Smollett found guilty of filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime back in 2019. Our Alex Perez joins us now from Chicago with these details. Alex, good morning to you. 

ALEX PEREZ: Hey, good morning, T.J. Next month it’ll be three years since this whole ordeal began. Smollett showed no reaction as the verdict was read. This morning, Jussie Smollett facing up to three years behind bars after being convicted on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for lying to police about an alleged attack back in 2019. 

DAN WEBB (Special prosecutor): The evidence was overwhelming that, in fact, Mr. Smollett had faked a hate crime and then lied to the police about it and then compounded his crimes by lying to the jury during the course of this trial and insulting their intelligence. 

PEREZ: Prosecutors accused the former Empire actor of staging an anti-gay and racist attack on himself almost three years ago with the aid of two brothers who he alleged paid to assault him, douse him in bleach and leave a noose around his neck, seen here in body camera video after he called police. Officials grew suspicious after they say he refused to fully cooperate with the investigation. But Smollett has always denied orchestrating the attack. 

JUSSIE SMOLLETT: I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. 

PEREZ: The jury finding him guilty on all but one charge after just nine hours of deliberation. 

NENYE UCHE (Defense attorney for Jussie Smollett): We’re obviously very disappointed. We obviously respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict. 

PEREZ: In several hours on the stand Smollett told the jury there was no hoax accusing the brothers of trying to extort $2 million from him, but later revealing the brothers never directly contacted him for the money. Now Smollett’s defense vowing to appeal. And because Smollett has no previous criminal record he’ll likely just face probation or community service rather than jail time. A sentencing date has not yet been set. George? 

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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