Robby Soave at Reason posted a huge scoop on this developing story earlier today:
“According to the victim, the offenders’ faces were concealed,” a police spokesperson told Reason. “We have no record indicating that [they shouted ‘MAGA’], we only have record of them shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.”
Chicago police have also released a statement contradicting claims that Smollett identified his attackers’ race and heard them shout “MAGA.”
“We have no record of The MAGA Country comment,” said the police in a statement. “We have racial and homophobic comments documented.”
Even without a MAGA shouting/white guys component to this story, what Smollett – who has reportedly already been discharged from the hospital – said happened to him is absolutely horrific. If the story is accurate, the perps should absolutely be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
However, in the mad dash to get to the bottom of the allegations in order find out what happened and who committed the alleged acts, the national press needs to keep itself in check on this and have all their facts in order before rushing to social media to report on what they’ve found out.
Hence, the 48 Hour Rule: “So, the Covington Kerfuffle erupting over Saturday evening and Sunday morning initially earned one of those ‘meh’ reactions: another pearl-clutching media reaction over something simple and stupid, if not actually fraudulent… So – IAW (in accordance with) sensible practice, I deferred any interest, personal reaction or comment for at least 48 hours. The first reports about anything are usually wrong, misleading, inaccurate; SOMETHING has happened, and it usually takes at least that long for reporters to put out the fire in their hair and come up with some sensible reportage. Such was, I assumed (over considerable evidence to the contrary, gleaned through sad experience over the years) the common practice also among the more responsible news-gathering organizations. It seems that I am doomed to disappointment again, on this front.”
Not in the era of clickbait and Twitter, sadly. But then, the DNC-MSM has long described itself as “the first draft of history.” But as any writer can tell you, first drafts invariably suck. That’s why, in a more cautious era, they got edited, polished, and fact checked before publication.