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 11:42 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 12:05 PM

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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
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Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
Fayette241030
Morrow23594
Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
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