Have you ever heard about Tina Tchen? Most of you probably haven't but if you had, a few of you might know that she was the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama. However most of the people who are familiar with her name would have known it because of her prominent role in the Jussie Smolett case this year.
This was why it was extremely odd to watch the hosts of CBS's This Morning gush over Tchen on Monday without even the slightest mention of what she is best known for. It was the elephant in the room that causes one to wonder if Tschen's appearance on This Morning was contingent on the hosts not mentioning the Smollett case.
Here are the This Morning hosts, Gayle King, Anthony Mason, and Tony Dokoupil gushing over Tchen being appointed as CEO of an organization that supports victims of abuse. The irony is that Tchen is best known for helping someone famous, Jussie Smollett, for being a fake victim.
Although Monday's Hollywood Reporter also engaged in its share of gushing over Tchen, at least it was honest enough to reveal the part of her very recent past that This Morning failed to address:
The lawyer, who co-founded the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, has decades of experience working to address issues of sexual harassment and gender inequity and diversity in the workplace. She succeeds former CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned after sexual misconduct allegations were made against her son.
Michelle Obama's former chief of staff Tina Tchen is the new president and CEO of Time's Up, it was announced Monday.
...But Tchen's not without controversy herself. In the days after Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in a hate crime earlier this year, Tchen reached out to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and connected her with a relative of the actor, according to texts and emails obtained by The Chicago Sun-Times.
After Tchen and Foxx communicated, the State's Attorney told Tchen that she had reached out to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI.
When Smollett was later charged with making a false police report about the incident, now widely believed to have been a hoax, Foxx recused herself from the actor's prosecution because she'd spoken with members of his family.
Tchen sought to clarify her involvement in the Smollett scandal in March after felony charges that Smollett faked the hate crime against himself were dropped, saying that her communications with Foxx were not meant to influence the outcome of the case.
“I know members of the Smollett family based on prior work together,” Tchen said in a statement in March. “Shortly after Mr. Smollett reported he was attacked, as a family friend, I contacted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who I also know from prior work together. My sole activity was to put the chief prosecutor in the case in touch with an alleged victim’s family who had concerns about how the investigation was being characterized in public.”
Not mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter was that Tchen actually dodged a subpoena as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times on May 22:
Chicago attorney Tina Tchen — who was in contact with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx before the charges were dropped against former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett — refused to be served with a subpoena on Wednesday, according to the process server.
Tchen, who previously served as former First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, refused to accept a subpoena that was issued by former Illinois Appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien.
Exit question: Will This Morning producers reveal if not asking Tina Tchen about the Smollett Case or her subpoena dodging antics, was a prerequisite for her appearance on the gushy interview?