Nikki Haley on Jussie Smollett Media Coverage: "He Played All of Them for Fools." But Did He?

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley blasted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for orchestrating a fake hate crime, and she also took the mainstream media to task for falling for the hoax.


“Thoughts on Jussie Smollett case: He must be held accountable in the strictest way,” she said in a tweet. “He must repay resources used to investigate and serve time for the division he caused. The media should be the most outraged. He played all of them for fools. He knew they would cover it.”

She’s absolutely right that Smollett needs to be held accountable and serve time for what he did. As others have been quick to point out, Smollett – a gay black man – did an extreme disservice to those who truly are victims. Though he is one of many who have falsely reported a hate crime attack, his platform as a popular actor elevates his profile, and the damage from what he’s done will last for a long time.

Where I disagree with Haley is when she wrote that Smollett “played all of them for fools.” Did he? I don’t think so.


The mainstream media lives for stories like Smollett’s. We saw it play out with the Covington kids story, too.

There was no restraint in their reporting. They chose not to wait for all the facts. They took an edited news clip which did not tell the full story, ran with it, and it spread like wildfire across social media, news sites, and broadcast networks.

By the time the full story was known, it was too late. Nathan Phillips was falsely portrayed as a free speech hero who was attacked by “racist MAGA hat kids” because he was a Native American.

The MSM never learns their lesson because they are rarely punished for getting it wrong. They also live in a world where confirmation bias clouds every bit of their reporting. Most of them are left-leaning and anti-Trump, so as soon as a tweet comes cross their Twitter stream about an “abusive MAGA hat wearer”, they jump on it, scream “Aha! Told ya so” and shelve their investigative instincts in a mad rush to judgment.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Contrast their full-court press journalisming with how they report on claims that conservatives and Republicans make. “Without evidence” has become the standard line in their tweets and news coverage. They’re very careful to make sure you know that whatever claim is being made by the person is just an assertion, not necessarily a substantiated fact.


If the media treated both sides this way, perhaps they wouldn’t be as distrusted as they are. But they don’t, so here we are.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–



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