For Sens. Kamala D. Harris and Cory A. Booker, Democratic presidential candidates who were promoting an anti-lynching bill, the “attack” on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago looked like a horrible yet opportune talking point.

Instead, the apparent hoax is turning out to be a warning to 2020 Democratic candidates about singling out people for martyrdom, including the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault and the drum-banging American Indian who confronted Catholic high school students on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.


In the rush to speak too soon about the Smollett case, Ms. Harris and Mr. Booker stand out.

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Trevor Noah joked Jussie Smollett deserves an Emmy for his performance on “Good Morning America.”

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