Fox News anchor Chris Wallace appeared to be speaking directly to Fox viewers Thursday afternoon when he implored people to not blame “liberal politics” for Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate-crime hoax. Blame Smollett himself, the Fox host said.
Prior to Smollett appearing in court for a bond hearing following his arrest for disorderly conduct for filing a false report, Wallace appeared on Fox News’ The Daily Briefing to discuss the latest developments. Fox host Dana Perino brought up a Daily Beast column that argued “fakers” like Smollett play “right into Trump’s hands,” noting how Trump did, indeed, tweet about the case and accused Smollett of being “racist” against millions of MAGA supporters.
“So this is all playing out in a way that might lead to a bigger discussion,” Perino posed to the Fox News Sunday host.
“Yeah. I gotta say I’m not very comfortable with that,” Wallace retorted. “I think the people that should be held responsible for these activities are the people who actually did them.”
Invoking the alleged “MAGA bomber” Cesar Sayoc, Wallace said that while many wanted to draw parallels between Trump supporters and Sayoc, the incident instead only demonstrated something about a single “nut down in Florida.”
Turning back to Smollett, Wallace stated that “this doesn't show anything about victimhood or liberal politics,” adding that it “shows there's a very disturbed individual who probably deserves a jail term” and should pay back the Chicago police for the resources they spent investigating the hoax.
“When anybody on the left or the right tries to draw lessons from a crime then they run into danger—they make a mistake,” Wallace concluded. “Jussie Smollett is the person who’s responsible here, not liberal politics. If it had been true, it would have been the two thugs who did it, not Donald Trump or his supporters.”
Perino, meanwhile, also serves as a co-host of Fox’s opinion roundtable show The Five, which has devoted quite a bit of time recently to dragging the media and liberals over Smollett, calling it a “political hate crime.”