Accuracy in Media

CNN anchor Don Lemon said Jussie Smollett has no free will and it was “not his fault,” rather “maybe because of his representatives” that the actor went on national TV and claimed he was assaulted by racist supporters of President Trump. Now that Chicago police have arrested Smollett for allegedly paying two men $3,500 to stage the violent attack, Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, a felony in the state of Illinois.

Mediaite reporter Julio Rosas, who is also a contributor to, reported on how Lemon said on the air that Smollett is not to be faulted for losing in the “court of public opinion,” for broadcasting the alleged hoax to the world.

“In the court of public of opinion, Jussie has lost,” Lemon said. “He has lost in the court of public opinion and that’s where his battle is, legally if he has to go whatever he has to serve, if it’s jail time, if he has to do probation, if he has to pay whatever, but in the court of public opinion, it matters … And he lost that because of how, and not his fault, maybe people were, I don’t know what they were saying to him, maybe because of his representatives. Who knows? But it was handled poorly.”

But CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson pushed back on Lemon’s assertion.

“I don’t know if it’s not his fault,” Jackson said.“The fact is, well he went out and did the interview.”

Smollett reportedly surrendered police early today and is expected to appear in a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

But according to The Root, “On Wednesday morning, a 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment provided an official statement to The Root: ‘Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show.’”

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