Celebrity news site TMZ is reporting that Empire star Jussie Smollett was attacked by two masked men in Chicago early this morning.
According to TMZ’s sources Jussie Smollet had arrived in Chicago late Monday. Smollett decided to go to a Subway to grab a bite to eat around 2:00 AM. While he was exiting the restaurant Smollett was evidently accosted by two masked men who appeared to recognize him.
TMZ has the details of Smollet’s attack:
Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when shortly after he walked out, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”
The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
Jussie took himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.
Thatgrapejuice.net had also reported that Jussie Smollet had received threatening letters delivered to Fox Studios in the Chicago area. They suggested that the attack appears to be premeditated.
Jussie Smollett came out as gay during an interview with Ellen Degeneres in 2015. The Chicago PD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Smollett was contacted by CNN’s Don Lemon, and confirmed that the attack did indeed take place.
We know few details about who the attackers actually were, other than those provided by Smollett himself through his sources. That hasn’t stopped Leftists from condemning all Trump supporters, and even President Trump himself, for the attack.
I saw what happened to Jussie Smollett.
I’m not going to say white people things like “That’s not our America!” bc obviously it *fucking well is*, just not, you know, my insulated experience of it.
I am so sorry.
I will fight MAGA dicks until my last breath, you have my word.
— Caitlin the Crone #SqueeAF (@squeevening) January 29, 2019
Your MAGA bottom-feeders just brutally attacked actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago. Resign, you beast. Resign. You make this country a horrible place.
— Michael Foley (@MichaelFoley1) January 29, 2019
@realdonaldtrump @flotus You may not have done this, but you give racism the big thumbs up. Could you have made America any more horrible????
‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett attacked in possible hate crime @CNN https://t.co/ZZW0lN50zQ
— JAMMarch (@JamMarchant00) January 29, 2019
Sharpay Evans says what happened to jussie smollett is so heartbreaking. MAGA supporters have the same energy as the KKK. The hat is the same as the hood. It symbolises pure hatred and I’m not here for it
— Sharpay Evans Bot 2 (@sharpaybot2) January 29, 2019
On the surface the attack on Jussie Smollett seems to confirm the Left’s deeply, almost religiously held beliefs that Trump supporters are vile, hateful bigots who want nothing more than to herd all brown and LGBTQ people into concentration camps.
I have a few questions about this incident, however.
First and foremost are the circumstances surrounding this story. Chicago is currently in the icy grip of the dreaded polar vortex. This weather condition has led to record low temperatures across the Midwest, and Chicago has been no exception. Smollet’s assault took place at or around 2:00 AM according to TMZ.
These are the average, hourly temperatures in Chicago last night according to Weather Underground:
The highlighted portion shows just how cold it was on the streets of Chicago last night around the time that Smollett says he was attacked. We’re looking at 7 degrees between 2-3 AM, with a slight uptick in temperatures from 3-4 AM. After that, it only gets colder.
We have no indication as to how Smollett arrived at the Subway at which he was attacked. It seems unlikely that a star of his caliber would take public transportation, especially after receiving threats via mail. We don’t know where Smollett is staying while he is in Chicago, however we can probably assume he didn’t walk there. Did he have a car or did he take an Uber? Those are questions to which the answers have not been provided.
Regarding the low temperatures, TMZ’s sources reported that the attackers poured bleach on Smollett. Conservative writer Carmine Sabia pointed out an interesting little factoid.
Bleach freezes at around 19 degrees. Jussie Smollett was attacked with bleach in Chicago at – 17 degrees. How?
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) January 29, 2019
Mr. Sabia’s estimate of the temperature at that time is off, but that may have been including the wind chill factor. It is true, however, that bleach does freeze at 18-19 degrees.The men were also ready with ski masks and a rope noose (or nooses, it’s unclear if there was more than one). Evidently they were prepared and the available evidence suggests that the attack was premeditated.
How did these men know where Smollett was going to be? Did they follow him on his way to the Subway? If they did, how did they know where he was staying?
Next we have to consider the description of the attack itself. These two men wore ski masks at 2 AM, and yet we know they were white men. How do we know that? Because TMZ’s sources (and presumably Smollett) said so.
Additionally, the “fact” that at least one of these two men screamed “this is MAGA country” bothers me. TMZ is reporting this as gospel, and Leftists are treating it as an established fact. Yet the Chicago PD told the Daily Beast that there were no reports that this was ever said. The Daily Beast is hardly a right-wing news outlet, and would surely jump at the chance to smear MAGA supporters as racist homophobes. The fact that they are questioning this part of the narrative, at least, is very telling.
The official statement put out by the Chicago PD also fails to mention the attackers screaming “this is MAGA country.”
Chicago Police Department just sent out this statement re:
Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/DxQswZn8xd
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 29, 2019
According to the narrative provided by TMZ through it’s “sources close to Smollett” we have two men who approached Jussie Smollet outside of a local Subway restaurant at 2:00 AM, dumped bleach on him (in temperatures that were well below where bleach would freeze), wrapped him with a noose, and screamed “this is MAGA country.” Yet the “fact” that this was shouted seems not to have made it into the police report or the official statement.
Either it was left out of the report, which seems unlikely, or it was reported to TMZ, but not to the police.
The timing of this attack is suspect as well. Keep in mind that this racist attack by MAGA supporters comes just a few days after the Left’s attacks on the MAGA hat-wearing teens of Covington Catholic High School blew up in their faces. President Trump’s State of the Union address is also just a few days away. It seems rather convenient that in the midst of all of this we have a Hollywood actor being assaulted and taunted with a slur that specifically identifies the attackers as Trump supporters.
Finally, there’s the issue of ratings for Empire as well. Season 5 experienced lower ratings than Season 4. In fact, Season 5’s ratings were over 10% lower than Season 4. I’m not so cynical as to suggest that this attack may have been orchestrated in order to boost ratings for Season 6, but the timing of this attack is curious.
The purpose of all of this analysis is not to dispute that Jussie Smollett was attacked. Evidently something happened that was severe enough for Smollett to spend a few hours in a hospital. The Chicago PD also seems to think the situation was severe enough to be investigated as a hate crime.
What I am questioning is the narrative that the media has given us about the nature of the attack. I haven’t spoken with any of the actors involved, and I don’t know exactly what happened. What I do know, however, is that there are enough alarm bells about this incident that something smells off. Keep in mind this incident has already been used by the Left to once again tar and feather all Trump supporters as hateful racists.
We need to ask questions at the very least.
Some in media erroneously reporting claims that Jussie Smollett said attackers were white and shouted “MAGA country!” I just spoke with Chicago PD; they deny this. https://t.co/2SRudifVpM
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) January 29, 2019
Robby Soave reports that, not only are the cops denying that “MAGA country” was ever uttered, they’re also denying any concrete information about the race of the attackers.
Several media outlets referenced claims that appeared in TMZ‘s coverage of this matter, most notably that the perpetrators were white and yelled “this is MAGA country,” as they attacked Smollett. But a spokesperson for the Chicago police denied having any information about the race and political views of the attackers.
“According to the victim, the offenders’ faces were concealed,” a police spokesperson told Reason. “We have no record indicating that [they shouted ‘MAGA’], we only have record of them shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.”
Chicago police have also released a statement contradicting claims that Smollett identified his attackers’ race and heard them shout “MAGA.”
“We have no record of The MAGA Country comment,” said the police in a statement. “We have racial and homophobic comments documented.”