After weeks of investigations, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has gone from being the alleged victim of a terrible hate crime to being charged with filing a false police report in what looks to be a massive hoax — one that members of the media and many elected officials uncritically accepted at face value at first.
But though some have already defended Smollett from the trouble he brought upon himself by suggesting he may be struggling with mental health issues, British pundit Piers Morgan says the whole thing boils down to Smollett’s “greedy” desire for more attention — not to mention the chance to smear President Donald Trump and his supporters.
A Perfect Storm
Morgan appeared Thursday on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s program, where he was asked directly why so many members of the media had unquestioningly accepted Smollett’s concocted tale of an attempted lynching.
“It was a perfect storm, wasn’t it, Tucker? This is where the victimhood culture you so brilliantly articulated there meets Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Morgan replied. “This disease that has afflicted so many, particularly liberal celebrities.”
Morgan went on: “I think in Jussie Smollett you had greed as a motivation, but you also had he wanted to be a celebrity victim, and as you said, he wanted people to feel sorry for him, to like him, to retweet him.”
But it wasn’t just attention that Smollett was seeking, according to the former America’s Got Talent judge.
“But also [Smollett] wanted to use the prism of his hatred for Donald Trump, and all things Trump, as the bedrock for this,” Morgan said. “There had to be two white Trump supporters in Make America Great Again caps who attacked him, because he knew that that would be the perfect vehicle to turn him into an American hero.”
Take a look at Morgan’s full interview:
Lynching the Truth
Morgan went on to tout his own restraint in responding to the Smollett controversy; despite his vocal Twitter presence, Morgan refrained from weighing in on the issue until recently because, he says, the story “stank” from the very start.
“This guy had completely invented the whole attack, he staged it, he roped in his friends to do it, and I’m sorry, but I’ve already seen people on social media start to feel sorry for this guy, [saying] we should cut him some slack, he’s got mental health issues, that’s always the first refuge of excuse for this kind of behavior,” Morgan said.
But according to the pundit, Smollett is “not mentally ill.”
“He’s greedy, and he’s somebody who was craving attention, and a lot of the media — as I think is very apparent from this story — a lot of the mainstream media in America have gone so full-on anti-Trump that they were prepared to suspend all journalistic integrity and credibility in the way they reported this story, by just believing every word that this guy said,” Morgan said.
Indeed, it seems the mainstream media — and the Twitterverse — has no qualms about waiting for the facts before rushing to judgement.
“Jussie Smollett claimed to be effectively lynched. Everybody followed up with this, all the top Democrats were tweeting — Kamala Harris to Cory Booker — [that] it was a lynching, you know, they were trying to lynch this guy,” Morgan lamented. “But it wasn’t. The only thing that was lynched was the truth.”