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.

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

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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