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News Analysis Dec 10, 2021 11:46 PM EST

CNN complains that ‘dishonest’ conservative media took advantage of Jussie Smollett guilty verdict

"Hannity, and other bad faith media personalities on the right, used Smollett's conviction to (predictably) attack the news media and aim to delegitimize the credibility of the entire press."

CNN complains that ‘dishonest’ conservative media took advantage of Jussie Smollett guilty verdict
Nick Monroe Cleveland, Ohio

CNN’s Oliver Darcy in a late Thursday night newsletter for "Reliable Sources," has the reporter demonizing Sean Hannity for criticizing "left-wing media" coverage of the Jussie Smollett situation from the get-go.

I'd argue the corporate media’s treatment of the Jussie Smollett story from the get go was a legitimate flop. A situation that is allowed to be hoisted up as an example of the mainstream media’s failure.

On the stand at Smollett’s own trial, he made a significant admission.

Don Lemon once did an entire segment openly doubting Jussie Smollett’s story. On the surface that seems good, right? However, at no point did Lemon mention that he communicated to Jussie Smollett that the Chicago Police did not believe Smollett’s claims.

Much like the Chris Cuomo debacle, this nuance in the issue of fuller transparency is what the people crave. In CNN’s own remarks on Cuomo’s firing they stated that lack of disclosure about Chris’s involvement in helping his brother is why they booted him.

That’s in part what Oliver Darcy is failing to understand.

He also has a narrative problem in that Omar Jimenez of the same outlet provided sufficient Jussie Smollett coverage for the CNN network. A skim through some of Jimenez’s write-ups on the Smollett trial shows a sensible baseline.

This is what Darcy’s argument is missing. His late-night Thursday analysis about Sean Hannity’s remarks blurs distinctive lines between news coverage and political commentary. Oliver mentions his colleague Jimenez briefly at the end of his rant, but doesn’t adequately explore the semblance of foundation needed when talking about the state of today’s media establishment.

Show people how to do it better!

Oliver Darcy is only willing to name Sean Hannity as an example in his "right-wing media are making Smollett into propaganda" argument.

Freelancer Drew Holden laid out a fuller case of what the people’s concerns with right-wing media are, with examples throughout to back up his point.

It’s not made clear by Darcy why Sean Hannity bringing up Seth Rich again, after settling a lawsuit with Rich’s family, has any relevance in Hannity’s discussion about the Jussie Smollett story.

In this instance it shows Oliver Darcy exhibiting the very same behaviors he accuses Sean Hannity of doing in the first place.

An excerpt of Darcy’s opinion: "Of course, the Russia probe, insurrection, and Covid are not examples of hoaxes. And propagandists such as Hannity don't mention stories, such as the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, that they peddled to their audiences. But that is besides the point."

When it comes to Russiagate, Darcy glosses over the probe undertaken by Special Counsel John Durham. The findings that implicate a connection between Jake Sullivan of the Biden administration and former DNC lawyer Michael Sussmann highlight reasonable doubt over the Russia issue in the first place.

More to the point, when it comes to "insurrection" claims, it feeds back to the Russia issue in that Democrats in January 2017 objected to electoral college certification on so-called "interference in the election.

Stopping short of accusing those Democrats of "insurrection," it simply goes to show the complicated nature of issues.

What also works against the narrative presented by Darcy is the debasement of credibility when the public witnesses corporate media’s open cooperation with the Biden administration.

But even White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was willing to completely throw Jussie Smollett under the bus at a Friday press conference, in response to acknowledging tweets by both Biden and Harris that initially believed Smollett’s purported situation.

A closer middle ground in contrast to the polarization that Darcy has to offer.

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