Yes, you’ve heard the joke already: Jussie Smollett isn’t just incarcerated, he’s being forced to share a cell with his attacker! A good laugh, I agree. However, there’s a greater irony to be found in the fact Smollett will now get the one thing he craved on the night he was “assaulted.”
As the New York Post noted in its coverage of Smollett’s sentencing, he’ll spend the next 150 days in a facility where he’ll be on camera 24/7.
Those who’ve followed the case will recall that when the convicted hate hoaxer was interviewed by authorities after he was ever-so-slightly tousled by the Osundairo brothers on a frigid Chicago night in January of 2019, he was “upset” that cameras didn’t catch the knocking-about.
And yet, without waiting for the investigation to play out, much of the mainstream media credulously believed Smollett. So did many Democratic politicians, who turned the “Empire” actor into a cause célèbre — and one of those Democrats is now in the White House.
(It’s worth noting that here at The Western Journal, we were skeptical of Smollett’s hate-crime hoax from the beginning, and we’ve been providing news and analysis ever since it was clear just how fishy Smollett’s story sounded. We’ll never lose our skepticism when the establishment media jumps to conclusions too quickly. You can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.)
There were few, if any, politicians tweeting support to Smollett after he was sentenced last week.
Roughly the first five months of the actor’s sentence will be spent in the Cook County Jail, which isn’t a pleasant place. The Post’s Mary K. Jacob noted it’s “faced hundreds of lawsuits over the years, with inmates alleging overcrowding, violent treatment and not enough protection against other inmates.”
“In the past few months alone, a person behind bars accused the jail of forcing him to share a cell with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus.”
That last part won’t be a problem for Smollett. As the Post noted, Smollett will have his own cell thanks to being in protective custody.
While Smollett’s legal team requested it, according to a TMZ report, I’m sure Cook County officials had no qualms with the arrangement after the actor’s bizarre, courtroom diatribe at his sentencing, in which he insisted that “I did not do this and I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself and you must all know that.”
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office noted in a statement to the Post that Smollett “is not being held in solitary confinement,” but “is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.”
“As with all detained persons, Mr. Smollett is entitled to have substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed, where he is able to use the telephone, watch television, and interact with staff,” the statement noted.
“During such times out of cell, other detainees will not be present in the common areas. These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession or their noteworthy status.”
Or because they suffer under the misapprehension they’re still important enough to be Epsteined. Whatever. The point is, Jussie will now be on camera all the time.
To paraphrase Alanis Morrisette on the issue of irony, it’s like getting a thousand spoons in 2022 when all you thought you needed was a knife back in 2019.
In case you need a refresher, let’s go back to Smollett’s harebrained scheme. To increase his visibility and/or paycheck, Smollett came up with the ingenious, foolproof notion that he’d pay two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to assault him on the street in the early hours of the morning while screaming racial and homophobic slurs.
To up the ante a bit, he had them don “Make America Great Again” caps and scream “this is MAGA country” during the faked assault, the first sign something was amiss in a county where roughly 75 percent of registered voters cast their ballot for Joe Biden in 2020 (including a whopping 100 percent of the previously alive demographic).
Just to make this scheme even more watertight, Smollett paid the Osundairo brothers with a check. Because that’s the last thing anyone would expect if everyone involved were really guilty of a hoax, right?
Things didn’t really go according to plan. For one, the camera on the street where Smollett was attacked wasn’t pointed at him.
According to WMAQ-TV, Chicago police Detective Kimberly Murray recounted interviewing the “Empire” actor on the morning of the attack.
“Murray also said Smollett told her he had received a threatening phone call days earlier, but he refused to hand over his cellphone, which the detective said could help police piece together a timeline of what happened, and he wouldn’t consent to giving medical records or a DNA swab,” WMAQ reported in December.
“She also said Smollett was ‘upset’ when she told him a surveillance camera in the area didn’t capture the alleged attack because it was pointed away from the scene. Murray said she explained to the actor that the cover on the pod camera makes it impossible to know which way it is pointing.”
As it turned out, lack of video wasn’t any impediment to catching the attackers, which — well, be careful what you wish for, I suppose. The Brothers Osundairo aren’t white and aren’t exactly “MAGA-country” types, either. Oh, and they had the check to prove Smollett had paid them for their services, although the actor insisted it was for “training sessions.”
The jury found this about as believable as I did.
In short, don’t feel too frightened for Jussie. He may be sharing a cell with a man who instigated an attack on him, but it’ll be on video — all 150 days, all 9,600 hours of it. Even Alanis might think that’s a little too ironic.