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Chicago Reporter Relives Finding Out Jussie Smollett Attack Was Fake In Fox Nation Documentary

“The fact that a public information officer went on the record and said we’re not buying it made my jaw hit the floor.”

Ryan Hedrick

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FOX Nation has released a new docuseries titled “Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax” that delves into the elaborate plot to stage a hate crime on the actor in 2019. The five-part series features Emmy award-winning journalist Rafer Weigel, who covered the story while working as an anchor for Chicago’s Fox 32 at the time of the incident. 

In the first episode, Weigel shares his reactions to the news of the alleged attack and how he confirmed with a Chicago police representative that the story was false. 

According to a FOX Nation press release, Smollett claimed in January 2019 that he was attacked on a Chicago Street by two men who shouted, “this is MAGA country,” while beating him and putting a noose around his neck. However, after a thorough investigation, the Chicago police discovered that the attack was staged and that Smollett had hired the Osundairo brothers to carry out the crime.

Weigel recalls when he first heard about the story while at city hall and how reporters reacted skeptically, agreeing that it never happened. He also shares his surprise when a Chicago police representative on the record told him that the story was false, a departure from the usual neutral statements given by public relations officers for various police departments.

“I do my newscast that night, and I go home, I called one of the public information officers in the City of Chicago at 10:45 at night. He answers his phone,” said Weigel. “And I said, what’s the deal with that Jussie Smollett story? “He goes, oh my God; it’s a bunch of bulls—t, it never happened. He told me to tweet that Chicago Police are taking this very seriously but that we’re skeptical.”  

The docuseries further explores the details of the planning and execution of the fake crime, as well as the aftermath and unraveling of the truth. Smollett was later found guilty and sentenced to five months in jail, in addition to paying $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine to Chicago.

“The fact that a public information officer went on the record and said we’re not buying it made my jaw hit the floor,” Weigel said. 

Weigel expresses shock at how many news outlets initially reported the story as truth, despite evidence to the contrary. He also shares his experience of receiving personal attacks and hate speech on social media after tweeting what the police representative had told him on the record. 

“I woke up the following day, and my Twitter was filled with hate speech and personal attacks. Blacks Lives Matter activists, people going after me,” he said.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Clifford D. Clark

    March 15, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Such an intriguing piece. My thanks to Pilgrim productions.

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Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity Among Fox News Hosts Listed As Potential Witnesses in Dominion Suit

The cable news outlet listed 35 potential witnesses to the court this week. Concurrently, Dominion submitted 54 names.

Barrett News Media

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As preparations begin for the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News, each side has prepared a list of potential witnesses to testify at the trial.

Dominion Voting Systems has accused Fox of purposefully airing claims about the 2020 presidential election that it knew to be false, while the network has countered by accusing the election machine company of using the media to create narratives surrounding the case that are untrue.

The cable news outlet listed 35 potential witnesses to the court this week. Concurrently, Dominion submitted 54 names, including Fox Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, and his son, CEO Lachlan Murdoch, as well as Fox Corp. board of directors member Paul Ryan.

Former Fox News personnel, including Bill Sammon and Chris Stirewalt — who both exited the company after the 2020 election — were listed as potential witnesses by Dominion, as was recently fired producer Abby Grossberg. Grossberg sued the network after alleging that Fox News intimidated her to lie during her deposition. She was subsequently fired last week. Fox News contends Grossberg’s characterization is inaccurate.

Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Bret Baier, Laura Ingraham, and Maria Bartiromo were also listed by Dominion as witnesses they’d like to see testify under oath.

Fox News was open to putting some of the hosts on the stand, as well as CEO Suzanne Scott and company President Jay Wallace.

A network spokesperson called the list presented by Dominion “needlessly expansive”, adding that it is “yet another attempt to generate headlines and distract from the many shortcomings of its case. Ultimately, this case is about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news.”

The trial is currently scheduled to begin on Monday, April 17th.

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Bill O’Reilly: Axios Ignored Realities Of Mass Shootings in Story

“Axios disappears and doesn’t give you the real story.”

Ryan Hedrick

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During an appearance on NewsNation’s “Cuomo” on Tuesday evening, Bill O’Reilly, a syndicated radio host and columnist expressed his belief that the media is responsible for educating the public on the specific reasons behind mass shootings. O’Reilly made these comments following a tragic incident in which six individuals, including three nine-year-old children, were killed by a mass shooter at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.

According to O’Reilly, an article published on Axios, a website that he perceives to be left-leaning, stated that 57 Americans lost their lives, and 133 were injured due to mass shootings in March. However, O’Reilly claims that Axios failed to provide accurate statistics.

“Axios disappears and doesn’t give you the real story. Only two incidents of mass shootings involve mentally ill people. Two people out of 58,” he said. “Thugs did 56 other mass shootings, mostly in the inner cities, which were done by drive-by drug gangs. They (Axios) ignored that. That’s where the federal government must step in and say if you are an American caught with a firearm in the commission of a crime, that is a federal offense. You remove it from the state and local and make it a federal crime.” 

The host of “Cuomo,” Chris Cuomo, is a former CNN anchor who was let go by the network last year. O’Reilly frequently appears on the NewsNation network, and he was terminated by Fox News in 2017. To continue his career, O’Reilly established his website called “No Spin News,” which has provided him with different opportunities. “Cuomo,” hosted by Chris Cuomo, debuted on NewsNation in October  of last year and airs on weekdays at 8:00 p.m.

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Tomi Lahren: Will Media Ignore Nashville Shooter Due to Gender Identity?

“Will the Democrats and mainstream media acknowledge this potential factor or ignore it as it’s not politically convenient for their purposes?”

Barrett News Media

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Yesterday, a 28-year-old opened fire in a Nashville elementary school, killing three adults and three children under the age of 10 before ending their own life. OutKick’s Tomi Lahren questioned if the events will be covered like other mass shootings due to the shooter’s gender identity.

The shooter was born a female, but identified as a male, and reportedly left behind documentation about their gender causing mental problems.

During her Fox News Commentary Tuesday, Lahren suggested that the media would be hesitant to cover the tragedy because it wouldn’t fit the narrative of usual school shooting suspects.

“We have yet to be given a motive but the Democrats are already screaming for gun control,” Lahren said. “But what about mental health and specifically the mental illness and body dysmorphia that is associated with trans gender-affirming propaganda? Will the Democrats and mainstream media acknowledge this potential factor or ignore it as it’s not politically convenient for their purposes?”

As of publication, the Nashville shooting is on the homepage of The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NewsNation, and Newsmax.

Lahren suggested the mental health of young Americans has been affected by the result of policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and social media usage, among other issues.

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