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Right-Wing Media Melts Down After All Charges Dropped Against Black Actor

The Jussie Smollet saga just took another bizarre turn. Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming two men attacked him, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. Today, the State Attorney’s office announced it was dropping the charges, expunging Smollett’s record, and sealing the records of the case. In return, Smollett has agreed to perform community service and has forfeited his $10,000 in bail.

Assistant State Attorney Joseph Magats, appointed by State Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself, announced the decision. According to Magats, the decision to drop the charges was a combination of a cost/benefit analysis and the fact that Jussie Smollett wasn’t deemed a public threat.

But because we live in an ever-shifting hellscape of never-ending culture wars, Republican media “personalities” who had invested so much rage in the saga were freshly pissed.

Some blamed Obama:

Some used the news to attack the very idea of white privilege:

And some used it to advance another anti-Semitic Soros conspiracy theory:

The twist had conservatives—who seem to have had their faith in the dreaded “Deep State” newly restored—calling for investigations into the whole affair:

But most people used the news to advance Trump’s lie that Democrats are somehow treated differently by the justice system:

Never mind the fact that Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel condemned the decision, calling it a “whitewash of justice.”

And yes, there were comparisons to Hillary Clinton, who many elected GOP officials are still demanding be investigated:

But there’s another glaring comparison that’s more apt and definitely more topical—Donald Trump claiming Mueller’s report cleared him of collusion and obstruction of justice based on a brief summary by his own Attorney General:

It’s tough to know what to make of this news. On the one hand, Smollett certainly seems guilty. On the other hand, it’s tough to see how rolling the dice on a trial is the best use of public resources. Smollett was (allegedly!) a first-time offender and judges tend to go easier on sentencing in those cases, so a prison term may have been unlikely. Smollett also could have been acquitted completely.

During the 2008 election, a John McCain volunteer manufactured a similar hate crime, claiming Obama supporters had carved a (backward) B into her face. The woman (also a first-time offender) pleaded guilty to filing a false police report, served a few days in jail, and was released on probation. Because Democrats are not unhinged rage-baiters, no one made a fuss about her light treatment.

The justice system is not currently tilted against members of either party, but it’s pretty clear from the right-wing reaction that several prominent Republicans—including the president—want that to change.

h/t: Associated Press, Right Wing Watch