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ASHAMED: ABC Hosts Wants You to Forget Their Embarrassing Smollett Reporting

ashamed:-abc-hosts-wants-you-to-forget-their-embarrassing-smollett-reporting

It seems as though ABC News journalists are still capable of feeling shame. How else to explain the network’s attempt to make everyone forget their initial (and very excited) coverage of Jussie Smollett’s claims that a MAGA-loving mob assaulted him on a frigid Chicago night? In 2021, ABC is attempting to bury the story. 

The actor’s elaborate 2018 accusations — and thus ABC’s reporting —  quickly unraveled and the Empire actor is now on trial for lying. On Monday, Smollett offered convoluted testimony in his own defense. Usually, a celebrity criminal trial would be of interest to the tabloid-loving ABC. But on Monday night, ABC’s World News Tonight completely skipped it. On Tuesday morning, Good Morning America avoided it as well. 

As I noted in a NewsBusters study on Monday, ABC managed a scant 22 seconds total to the trial, which started over a week ago. Good Morning America has allowed NO coverage. However, on February 14, 2019, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts devoted a whopping 17 minutes and 52 seconds to her “exclusive” interview of Smollett recounting his claims about MAGA terrorists, who happened to have a noose ready. 

CBS on Monday night and Tuesday morning finally reported on the hoax trial. Before last night, they had not. By Tuesday morning, the network total was now at 5 minutes and 10 seconds. 

Now that they’ve discovered it, CBS reporters are skeptical of Smollett. On Tuesday’s CBS Mornings, analyst Rikki Klieman warned, “It a terribly high risk for Jussie Smollett to take the witness stand in his own defense.” The co-hosts were unimpressed with Smollett’s testimony: 

NATE BURLESON: Introducing new facts, just causes a little bit more confusion. 

VLAD DUTHIERS: Always curious when a defendant takes the witness stand. 

BURLESON: Right. 

GAYLE KING: And they say always risky. Listen, he’s sticking with his story. The Nigerian brothers are sticking with their story. Somebody ain’t telling the truth.

NBC has offered the most coverage: Eight minutes and eight seconds since the trial started on November 29th. Nightly News reporter Ron Allen on Monday night actually brought up the Trump connection Smollett initially made of the attackers: “After yelling slurs, beating him, throwing bleach on him and saying, ‘This is MAGA country.’” 

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

Partial transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more. 

CBS Mornings

12/7/2021

RIKKI KLIEMAN (CBS legal analyst): It a terribly high risk for Jussie Smollett to take the witness stand in his own defense. 

CHARLIE DE MAR: CBS legal analyst Rikki Klieman says Smollett created an unnecessary burden of proof testifying in his own defense. 

KLIEMAN: What happens psychologically is the jury forget about the prosecution witnesses and when they go out, what they assess is, do they believe Jussie Smollett or don’t they? 

DE MAR: Today prosecutes will finish cross-examining Smollett. This case could be in the jury’s hands as soon as tonight. Now, Smollett pleaded not guilty to six counts and if convicted could serve up to three years in prison. Nate? 

NATE BURLESON: Charlie, thank you. High-profile actor, high-profile trial. Introducing new facts, just causes a little bit more confusion. 

VLAD DUTHIERS: Always curious when a defendant takes the witness stand. 

BURLESON: Right. 

GAYLE KING: And they say always risky. Listen, he’s sticking with his story. The Nigerian brothers are sticking with their story. Somebody ain’t telling the truth. So it will be up to the jury to decide. 

Today

12/7/2021

7:15

RON ALLEN: Both sides have given conflicting accounts of what they say happened that day. Smollett continues to insist that he was the victim of a real hate crime and prosecutors continue to say that he staged the episode and lied to police about it. On the witness stand on Monday, Smollett under oath finally gave his account of what he says happened. Jussie smollett taking the witness stand in his own defense, testifying there was no hoax and pushing back against prosecutors who say he staged a 2019 attack to look like a hate crime to get publicity and lied to police about it. Smollett, who is black and openly gay told police he was attacked by two masked men saying they used racist and homophobic slurs, poured a chemicalsubstance on him and put a noose around his neck, which he is seen wearing in this police body cam footage. 

POLICE OFFICER: Do you want to take it off or anything? 

ALLEN: On the stands, Smollett said it felt like something out of Looney Tunes Adventures, someone that just felt massive, coming up to me, not enough to think. Telling a very different story, the O brothers, aspiring actors and associates of Smollett who said smollett paid them $3,500 and orchestrated the attack himself. Abimbola testified he wanted me to beat him up. On the stand Monday, Smollett insisting he wrote his friend, a personal trainer, a check for nutrition and workout advice and nothing else. Smollett testified that he and Abimbola did drugs and engaged in sexual activity together which Abimbola says he does not recall. 

NBC Nightly News 

12/6/2021

RON ALLEN: Smollett telling the jury there was no hoax. Smollett seen in this video wearing the noose he told investigators the attackers put around his neck. 

POLICE OFFICER: Do you want to take it off or anything? 

ALLEN: After yelling slurs, beating him, throwing bleach on him and saying, “This is MAGA country.” 

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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