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After new evidence surfaced on Saturday that actor Jussie Smollett arranged his own alleged assault in Chicago, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” discussed whether the media was responsible for helping push his story. Liz Plank, correspondent at Vox Media, disputed that it was not journalists, but celebrities, who ran with the attackers’ “This is MAGA country” quote.
“The people who were repeating that quote were not news outlets, were not media outlets. It was repeated by, sure, people who maybe had good intentions of wanting to spread the story, and people who had empathy for what they thought was a real story,” she said. “But we can’t confuse celebrity tweets with the media and the press.”
Fact - News - Outlets - CNN - TMZ
In fact, many news outlets, including CNN, TMZ, USA Today, NBC News, The New York Times, and others, reported that Smollett’s alleged attackers shouted “This is MAGA country.” Media outlets repeated the phrase in their headlines and reports, as a fact and not as an alleged claim by Smollett.
Many journalists, including Plank herself, also rushed to “spread the story” on Twitter.
Plank - Panelist - Kmele - Foster - Partner
Plank also argued with panelist Kmele Foster, a partner at Freethink Media, about whether racism, homophobia, and hate crimes are rising in the United States.
“What we do know is that racism is alive and well in this country. Homophobia is alive and well in this country. 2017 set a record for the number of hate crimes,” Plank said, citing an FBI report that hate crimes rose 17 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Hate - Crimes
“When we talk about hate crimes, we talk about there...
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