Kristol: Fox is part of 'toxic environment'

Bill Kristol calls out a guest on Fox Business for repeating a "very familiar anti-Semitic trope." He says some right-wing media outlets are part of a "toxic environment" in America. And he says it's past time for people to speak up about "appalling" content.

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 10:50 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 11:05 AM

The Fox Business Network has a Lou Dobbs problem.

On Sunday, the network's senior vice president for programming, Gary Schreier, released a statement denouncing what many people called an anti-Semitic trope used by a guest on Dobbs' show earlier in the week.

The remark drew widespread condemnation when the episode in which it was made was rebroadcast Saturday, hours after a gunman walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and murdered 11 people in what the Anti-Defamation League called the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.

"We condemn the rhetoric by the guest on Lou Dobbs Tonight," Schreier said in a short statement. "This episode was a repeat which has now been pulled from all future airings."

The comment in question was made by Chris Farrell, a board member of the right-wing organization Judicial Watch, during Thursday night's episode of Dobbs' show. During a segment about the caravan of migrants moving toward the US' southern border, Farrell called the State Department "Soros-occupied" territory, referring to billionaire and liberal philanthropist George Soros, one of the targets of mail bombs discovered earlier this week.

Critics on Saturday were quick to point out that this language echoes a popular anti-Semitic trope. When reached by phone on Sunday, Farrell told CNN he had no comment and hung up.

It wasn't the first time that Farrell had used this language on Dobbs' show. Farrell, a regular guest on the network, called the State Department "Soros-occupied territory" during a May 21 episode.

A Fox spokesperson told CNN Business by email that Farrell will no longer be booked for appearances on the Fox Business Network or its sister channel Fox News.

But the Fox spokesperson did not respond when asked whether Dobbs, who did not condemn or even push back on what Farrell said, was culpable for the comment his guest made on his air.

The Fox spokesperson also did not respond to questions about Dobbs' own rhetoric on Soros. Dobbs is Fox Business Network's highest-rated host.

In the past, Dobbs has referred to Soros as an "evil SOB" and "insidious." Dobbs has also peddled various conspiracy theories about Soros.

This isn't the first time this week that Dobbs has faced widespread criticism. On Thursday, he sent multiple conspiratorial tweets about the bombs mailed to high-profile Democrats, Soros, and the New York offices of CNN.

Dobbs asserted, without evidence, that such reports were "fake news." He called the explosive devices, which the FBI said appeared to be pipe bombs, "fake bombs" in a now-deleted tweet. In a follow-up tweet, which he also deleted, Dobbs said the "fake news has just successfully changed the narrative" with coverage of the mail bombs. Dobbs never apologized.

Dobbs' comments about the mail bombs, however, irked some of his Fox colleagues. One senior Fox News employee told CNN on Thursday, "It's people like Dobbs who really ruin it for all the hard working journalists at Fox."

A Fox Business Network spokesperson declined at the time to comment on Dobbs' tweets, and wouldn't say whether they violated the network's standards.

Hope Hicks, chief communications officer for Fox -- the soon-to-be parent company of the Fox Business Network and Fox News -- referred CNN back to the Fox Business Network spokesperson when asked earlier this week whether the Murdoch family had any comment about Dobbs' rhetoric. Hicks did not respond to an email on Sunday about the latest controversy involving Dobbs.

The Washington Speakers Bureau, where Dobbs is billed as a "financial news legend" and a speaker available for booking, has also ignored repeated requests for comment from CNN Business on whether Dobb's rhetoric is in line with its company's values.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 81°
Fayetteville
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 76°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16181

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 21285

Reported Deaths: 353
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson482660
Shelby4615105
Trousdale13924
Rutherford109022
Sumner84345
Hamilton67015
Bledsoe6081
Williamson53210
Tipton4283
Putnam4285
Robertson4262
Lake4130
Wilson3828
Knox3565
Out of TN3394
Bedford2704
Montgomery2583
Rhea1970
Hardeman1920
Madison1742
Loudon1370
McMinn13614
Macon1193
Cheatham1140
Cumberland1111
Fayette1102
Dickson1070
Bradley1051
Blount893
Maury810
Washington750
Unassigned750
Sevier752
Coffee660
Wayne630
Gibson601
Sullivan602
Monroe592
Lauderdale561
Hickman540
Dyer490
Franklin491
Greene482
Anderson401
Marion371
DeKalb370
Grundy321
Hawkins312
Smith301
Hamblen302
Haywood302
Henry300
Marshall291
Jefferson280
Obion281
White280
Carroll271
Weakley260
Overton250
Meigs250
Lincoln250
Lawrence240
Warren220
Cocke200
Carter191
Morgan170
Campbell171
Cannon170
Jackson170
Crockett161
Roane160
Johnson150
Polk150
Henderson140
Humphreys131
Chester130
Perry130
Sequatchie130
Giles120
McNairy120
Fentress120
Hardin112
Scott110
Stewart100
Claiborne80
Houston80
Benton71
Grainger60
Clay60
Decatur50
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Moore30
Unicoi30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events