Over the weekend, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah defended his reporting on the hate hoax seemingly perpetrated by Empire star Jussie Smollett. A black Christian producer and actress asked him whether or not he would let up on Smollett since the charges were dropped, but Noah insisted the Empire star had not been exonerated.
“Hello, I am LaCora with the Yes Show, it’s a Christian outlet, so that means we forgive people,” LaCora Stephens, a producer, actress, and star of “The Yes! Show,” began. She asked him her question at the NAACP Image Awards, where Smollett was nominated for an award but did not win. It seems he did not even attend the event. “Now Trevor, you were so bad with Jussie Smollett…”
Noah cut her off, saying, “I feel like one of the Ten Commandments is ‘Thou shalt not lie.’ But carry on.”
“But listen, all charges were dropped, so what say you in the matter now?” Stephens asked.
“Charges were dropped, but I don’t think somebody was exonerated,” Noah responded. He warned against jumping to conclusions, and asked Stephens to refrain from judging him. “We look to the Bible, where it says, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ ‘Judge not lest you be judged first.'”
While Trevor Noah is extremely liberal, he could not refrain from reporting the facts about Smollett and the evidence pointing to his orchestration of the hate hoax.
Smollett continues to claim that on January 29, masked white attackers wearing MAGA hats had screamed, “This is MAGA country!” before seizing him, putting a noose around his neck, and pouring an unknown bleach-scented liquid on him.
Last month, police announced that they had turned against Smollett upon discovering evidence that suggested the Empire actor had paid Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and his brother Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo to attack him. Unearthed evidence included receipts showing the brothers buying the rope used in the attack and a check Smollett gave them.
After police turned on Smollett, prosecutors charged him with 16 felony counts. Mysteriously on Tuesday, the prosecutors dropped all 16 counts. Smollett and his attorneys insisted he had been telling the truth from the beginning, but the police and even Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not buy it. Emanuel called the dropping of the charges a “whitewash of justice.”
Last month, Noah led a segment attacking Smollett for the hoax. While the story is bad, Noah found a silver lining: “When this started out, it was a story about people who hated Jussie Smollett because he was black and gay. But now, people hate him because he’s an a**hole. In other words, they’re judging him on the content of his character and not the color of his skin, and that is progress,” he said.
This past week, after the 16 felony charges against Smollett were dropped, Noah insisted that the Empire star was not exonerated. “Okay, wait. So Jussie was set free. But he’s not innocent. But he’s also not guilty. What?!” He jokingly suggested that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should jump on the case.
I don’t often agree with Trevor Noah, but in this case he has been telling the truth, and he shouldn’t have to apologize for it.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.