If anyone should be able to detect a gigantic hoax, it’s Al Sharpton, who was catapulted into the national spotlight in the 1980s while defending black teenager Tawana Brawley in what turned out to be false claims she was raped by four white men.
When the news broke in the past several days about Jussie Smollett supposedly being attacked by two masked men in Chicago yelling racial and anti-gay slurs, Sharpton immediately voiced support for the gay black actor: “We’re with you, Jussie.”
However, after it was revealed that Smollett and the two other black men had perpetrated a hoax, the MSNBC host responded that the persons involved “ought to face accountability to the maximum.”
That was quite a different tune from an earlier edition of PoliticsNation when he declared: “We can’t make people love each other, but we can sure hold them accountable if they harm each other.”
But on Sunday’s episode, Sharpton attempted to sound much more rational: “Lawyers for Smollett remain adamant that their client was a victim of a hate crime centering on his race and sexual orientation amid some reports that Smollett may have colluded with two former persons of interest to stage the alleged attack.”
He then noted:
I, among many others, when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific, and that we should come with all that we can come with -- in law enforcement -- to find out what happened. And the guilty should suffer the maximum.
I still maintain that. And if it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.
Of course, Sharpton defended people on the political left against accusations that they might be involved in the incident.
“But let's not act like this is some left-wing hoax that some are saying on social media,” he asserted. “President Trump called this horrible, and he is certainly not a left-winger.”
In addition, “many across the spectrum -- because of Smollett’s history as an actor and an activist -- stood and said this needs to be looked into. None of us talked directly with him. We were alarmed at what was reported.”
Nevertheless, the host did single out one person for criticism: the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who “started tweeting yesterday: ‘Well, they just did this to discredit those that wear MAGA hats.’”
In response, Sharpton growled: ”Jussie Smollett went on Good Morning America, Don Jr., and said: ‘It never happened.’ He doesn’t know how that got out. So people like me that were told that were being misled.”
“Let us get to the bottom of it and let justice be done no matter who is right or wrong,” he added. “We cannot not get to the truth here.”
That’s an interesting claim coming from someone who burst onto the national stage in the late 1980s as the spokesman for Tawana Brawley, a black teenager who asserted that she had been raped by four white men in Wappingers Falls, New York, and then left wrapped in a feces-covered plastic bag with racial slurs written on her body.
However, after an extensive investigation filled with twists and turns, a grand jury found the allegations to be an elaborate hoax.
Sharpton and his fellow liberals in the “mainstream media” are having a tough time lately. First, they were wrong about the Covington kids, and now they’ve conveyed false information about Jussie Smollett. Maybe they should actually verify the news before they lose whatever’s left of their credibility.