In retrospect, much of the reaction looks like a combination of wish-casting and tribalism. On CNN over the weekend, Kmele Foster said that while there were widespread doubts about Smollett’s story, many progressives “were afraid to raise the questions because of the intersectional nature of this particular accusation.”

This is, of course, a trap both for the SJW left and the Trumpist right. If a story becomes the embodiment of our ideological narrative, doubts become subversive and disloyal. This becomes crucial in an age in which our politics is less about ideas or principles than about dueling narratives; in which pitched battles are fought over memes and anecdotes of dubious provenance.