By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published February 22, 2019
The rush to judgment in the controversy surrounding “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is based on the left's “willingness” to believe the worst about President Trump and his supporters, Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti argued Thursday.
Smollett was released on $100,000 bond after being charged with a felony for filing a false report when he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime by two men who said “This is MAGA country.”
During Thursday's "Special Report" All-Star panel, Continetti -- along with national security adviser Morgan Ortagus and Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan -- weighed in on the impact of the Smollett controversy.
Continetti began by saying that those who rushed to support Smollett were the same ones who rushed to criticize the Covington Catholic students.
“It’s a willingness to believe the worst of Donald Trump and his supporters and that’s why people rushed to back Smollett, that’s why they rushed to condemn the Covington Catholic boys,” Continetti told the panel.
The Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief acknowledged that while many Republicans also tend to “embrace the worst” in Democrats, the mainstream media “amplifies the liberal critique” of Republicans to a much greater extent.
“This willingness to believe in narratives no matter their truth is very dangerous to democracy, which depends on evidence and patience,” Continetti continued.
Ortagus called Smollett a “great actor” but a “terrible writer” for the way he developed his alleged hate crime.
Meanwhile, Swan pointed out that several Democrats -- like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 2020 candidates Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker -- initially condemned the alleged attack on Smollett but were now “trying to quietly walk it back.”