Accuracy in Media

Bubba Wallace has become the great decider of what constitutes a hate crime, according to Fox News host Sandra Smith.

Smith was asking White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany about President Donald Trump’s tweet asking if Wallace, the NASCAR driver who apparently mistook a pull rope in his garage at Talladega Raceway for a symbol of racist intimidation, had apologized to the drivers and officials who “came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out the whole thing was just another HOAX.”

Smith first said, “There is no evidence that the noose found in Wallace’s garage was a ‘hoax.’”

McEnany responded that the FBI had determined “definitively … that there was no hate crime versus Bubba committed. What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts, before the facts are out, is not acceptable. We saw it with the Covington kids. We saw it with Jussie Smollet. And now we saw it with this case before the …”

Smith interrupted: “Kayleigh, hold on. People are going to quickly point out that that comparison is not fair. To call this a hoax when he stands by that he truly believes that that’s what it was …”

McEnany challenged the reasoning. “Well, the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not stand by that assessment. The president is merely pointing out that we’ve got to let facts come out before we rush to judgment. And there was no hate crime committed against Bubba Wallace at all, as determined by the FBI and as noted in a NASCAR statement.”

McEnany pointed out earlier in the interview that the noose NASCAR first claimed was an act of racial intimidation against the circuit’s only black driver was in fact a pull rope used commonly in garages such as those provided for NASCAR drivers on race week. She also noted that the FBI determined photos from last fall – before anyone had any idea Wallace would be assigned to that garage – showed the pull rope already in place.  


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