Three weeks ago, when I first documented troubling questions, contradictions and doubts about Trump-hating, attention-craving actor Jussie Smollett's absurd hate crime claims, few in the "professional" journalism herd paid heed. Now, with a grand jury investigation on the horizon, everyone's a Johnny-come-lately debunker.
And everyone's making excuses: How could we have known? Why would anyone lie about racism? What could have possibly prepared us for such a scandalous swindle?
I'm especially looking at you, Robin Roberts. You and ABC's "Good Morning America" willingly played public relations agents for Smollett last week while his story was already falling apart and he refused to be fully transparent with investigators. Now, you defend yourselves by hiding behind a veil of ignorance about hate crimes hoaxes.
Listen and learn, addled enablers of fraud. Fake Noose is a sick phenomenon that has run rampant across the country unchecked. I've chronicled the self-victimization pathology in my books, columns and blog posts for years:
—Columbia University, 2007. Remember black psychology professor Madonna Constantine? She made the rounds on none other than ABC's "Good Morning America," claiming she found a "degrading" noose (made of hand-tied twine) hanging from her office door. Constantine led fist-waving protests, decried "systematic racism," and prompted a nationwide uproar, as I reported at the time in the New York Post. Things didn't add up when Columbia initially blocked investigators from obtaining 56 hours of surveillance video. No culprits could be found on the militantly progressive campus obsessed with diversity and multiculturalism. It turned out that Constantine was desperately trying to distract from a brewing internal probe of her serial plagiarism, for which she was eventually fired. The hate crime probe hit a dead end and Constantine faced no criminal charges over the Fake Noose incident.
—Baltimore Fire Department, 2007. Another manufactured outrage erupted when black firefighter-paramedic apprentice Donald Maynard claimed he found a knotted rope and threatening note with a noose drawing on it at his stationhouse. A federal civil rights investigation ensued and the NAACP cried racism — until Maynard confessed to the noose nonsense amid a department-wide cheating scandal. A top official revealed that Maynard admitted "conducting a scheme meant to create the perception that members within our department were acting in a discriminatory and unprofessional manner." Maynard faced no criminal charges over the Fake Noose incident.
—University of Delaware, 2015. Black Lives Matter agitators and campus activists triggered a full alert when a student spotted a "racist display" of three "noose-like objects" hanging from trees. The UD president called it "deplorable;" protesters wept that they were not being taken seriously. After investigating, police discovered the "nooses" were metal "remnants of paper lanterns" hung as decorations during an alumni weekend celebration.
—Salisbury State University, 2016. Students, faculty and administrators were horrified when a stick figure hanging from a noose on a whiteboard was discovered at the school's library. The N-word and hashtag #WhitePower also appeared in the menacing graffiti. Campus authorities immediately launched an investigation, which exposed two black students as the perpetrators. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against the Fake Noosers.
—Kansas State University, 2017. A paroxysm of protest struck K-State after someone reported a noose hanging from a tree on campus. Black students lambasted authorities for not acting quickly enough. They stoked anger online with the hashtag #DontLeaveUsHanging and demanded increased security. But the "noose" was made of cut pieces of nylon parachute cord, which police believed had been discarded by someone who "may have simply been practicing tying different kinds of knots."
—Michigan State University, 2017. When a student reported a noose hanging outside her dorm room, MSU administrators went into full freakout mode over the racial incident. Cops and the Office of Institutional Equity were immediately notified. "A noose is a symbol of intimidation and threat that has a horrendous history in America," the university president bemoaned. But it turned out the "noose" was a "packaged leather shoelace" that someone had dropped accidentally.
—Smithsonian museums, 2017. NPR called the discovery of "nooses" lying on the grounds of two Smithsonian Institute museums the "latest in a string of hate incidents" after Trump's election. The African-American museum director called them a "reminder of America's dark history." But the museums refused to release surveillance video and my public records request filed last November yielded zero corroboration of any hate crime. The Washington Post, New York Times and ABC's "Good Morning America," which all splashed the story front and center, have yet to follow up.
—Mississippi State Capitol, 2018. ABC, CBS, CNN and Yahoo were among the media outlets that blared headlines about seven nooses and "hate signs" found hanging in trees by the capitol building before a special runoff election for U.S. Senate. The stories created an unmistakable impression that the nooses were left by GOP racists intending to intimidate black voters. In truth, the nooses were a publicity stunt perpetrated by Democrats.
In the wake of Smollett's folly, media sensationalists bluster that there's no way they could have known they were being strung along. Thanks for the valuable admission, elite news professionals, that you are not only dumb and blind but incompetent to boot. It doesn't take a fancy journalism degree to learn from the long, sordid history of Fake Noose:
When you've seen one social justice huckster, you've seen 'em all.
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