Fox News host Tucker Carlson delved into the why behind the alleged actions of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who was charged Thursday for filing a false police report after he claimed he was attacked by two white Trump supporters.
In doing so, the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” namesake called out CNN’s Don Lemon for being a little too eager to share Smollett’s victimhood.
Carlson opened the segment by playing a clip of Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson blasting Smollett.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” Johnson said in a blistering statement. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could you look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?”
Tucker would later point out that Lemon and Smollett know each other — Lemon did a cameo on “Empire” — as he played a clip of Lemon discussing his interactions with Smollett after the incident.
“Here’s Don Lemon over on CNN bragging how he texts his new pal Jussie every single day,” he said. “He has his cell number. That’s how close they are. Really tight!”
In the clip, Lemon said, “You can talk to me, because there aren’t a lot of us out there.”
“Here’s the translation,” Carlson offered. “‘Us’ means people who’ve been oppressed in the ways that Jussie Smollett has been oppressed. Lemon is letting you know that he’s in that group too. Yes, he’s a highly paid news anchor with his own TV show and yet, like Jussie Smollett, Don Lemon is a holy victim.”
(For what it’s worth, Smollett was reportedly set to earn $1.17 million this season.)
Carlson said that amid the “mad scramble over who is the victim,” the real victims in this case are Trump supporters and there are no apologies forthcoming.
“An entire group of people did get slandered by this hoax,” he said. “Regular people from outside the coastal cities. People with the wrong political beliefs and the wrong skin color. Smollett and his many defenders savagely attacked these people and are not apologizing for doing it.”
Attacks Lemon would like to keep up, according to Carlson, because it “allows him to feel oppressed.”
“That is why, when Smollett was finally caught, Lemon reacted in a very puzzling way,” he said. “He didn’t seem especially concerned that his buddy had lied to further divide the country, to hurt America, which he did. No, that wasn’t the real. The real problem, according to Don Lemon, is that Smollett’s arrest might discredit the cult of victimhood.”
As for Smollett motivations, Carlson said “in modern America victimhood is power,” so faking a hate crime was little more than an “entrepreneurial move.”
“Well, the short answer appears to be he wanted a raise at work and he thought this would get him that,” he said. “The broader answer, the one that we should all think about, meditate on is that Smollett was simply responding to the incentives that American society has created for him. Smollett pretended to be a victim because we reward victims, we’ve decided that it’s more heroic to suffer than it is to achieve. That’s the message of our culture, our politics, our workplaces. Jussie Smollett was simply doing his best to get ahead according to the rules that others made.”
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