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Hoaxes Tag

The prosecutors in the case against Empire actor Jussie Smollett released their bond proffer, which provides evidence that he filed a false police report. The prosecutors wrote that Smollett instructed brothers Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo to attack him, place a noose around his head, pour bleach on him, and also yell, "This is MAGA country!"

Empire actor Jussie Smollett turned himself into the Chicago Police Department early Thursday morning after the Cook County States Attorney charged him with a class 4 felony on Wednesday for filing a false police report. CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said "Smollett paid $3,500 to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary." Smollett will appear in court at 1:30PM CT.

The Jussie Smollett claim of a racial and homophobic attack in late January in Chicago by two white men wearing MAGA hats is falling apart. The story was suspicious from the start. While not impossible, it was improbable that two white guys were running around Chicago in the middle of the night during a sub-zero Polar Vortex wearing MAGA hats while carrying bleach and a noose and just happened to find a high-profile gay black actor to attack.

The Jussie Smollett story of a racial attack was too politically convenient to be true. And as with investments, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We have covered several dozen hoaxes, including The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013. The Jussie Smollett story had all the indications of a hoax, of seeming too politically convenient and useful to be true.

Will corporations never learn that knee-jerk reactions to online outrage are almost always factually vapid? Apparently not. Fast food chain Chipotle recently fired a manager after a viral video showed her refusing service to a group of young, black men. She also suggested the group of men did not have money to pay for their food, saying the last several times they frequented the restaurant, they didn't have money to pay. "You gotta pay because you’ve never had money when you come in here. We're not gonna make food unless you guys actually have money," she said.
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