Fox has a conspiracy theory problem

The peddling of dangerous conspiracy theories is not just a Chris Farrell or a Lou Dobbs problem. This is a...

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 1:44 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 1:44 PM

The peddling of dangerous conspiracy theories is not just a Chris Farrell or a Lou Dobbs problem. This is a Fox in the age of President Donald Trump problem. It is a partnership, long in the making, between a serial liar now occupying the oval office and a major news network that has evolved from the voice of the conservative movement to a forum for racist and divisive conspiracy rants.

And it is one that could not only do lasting damage to the legitimacy of media in the US, but could also spur more anger, division and even violence in the short term.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Lou Dobbs

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Shootings

US federal government

White House

Fox News and Fox Business have long been the peddlers of conspiracy theories, often for the purpose of damaging the reputations of members of the Democratic party. It was not that long ago that Fox gave oxygen to the bizarre rumor that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and was, therefore, an illegitimate President, a theory also driven at the time by none other than Donald Trump.

It was Fox News that recently pushed the line of analysis that the mail bombs sent last week were most likely a "false flag" to frame Republicans and help Democrats in the midterm elections. This notion was echoed by Donald Trump when he used "Bomb" in quotation marks in his tweet on Friday lamenting the focus of news coverage away from politics and toward the pipe bombs sent to his critics.

Then, on Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11. Just hours later, while the country processed this tragedy, Fox re-aired a segment of Lou Dobbs' show, in which Chris Farrell, an official from conservative group Judicial Watch, claimed that the caravan reportedly moving from Honduras through Mexico was funded by the "Soros occupied State Department."

Unsurprisingly, Dobbs and his show on Fox Business came under fire.

In response, a spokesperson for Fox Business issued a statement condemning Farrell's remarks and announcing that the episode had been pulled.

But there is still a problem. Fox has shown that it is in the business of pushing conspiracy theories if they will do damage to members of the Democratic party or critics of the President.

Lou Dobbs has been pushing conspiracy theories himself. Earlier in the week, in a tweet, which has now been deleted, he personally claimed that the bomb threats against critics of Trump and CNN were fake.

And Lou Dobbs isn't even the worst offender. Fox is the home of Laura Ingraham who has promoted the theory that the Clintons were involved in murdering several people. Then there is Sean Hannity who has given voice to theories as nutty as Russia being framed for cyber attacks on the US and as cruel as falsely blaming the death of Seth Rich, a young DNC staffer, on unproven theories that he leaked DNC emails. (While Fox eventually retracted the story, they still stood by Hannity.)

The pushing of right-wing conspiracy theories is their bread and butter. It is seemingly what drives their coverage. It is the click bait of television news and it is working.

So let's stop giving credit for doing the bare minimum. Fox doesn't care if Chris Farrell is a guest or not. They have plenty of other looney tune conspiracy theorists to book in his place.

Their ratings are high. They have the eyes and ears of the President of the United States who is their best echo chamber -- and a growing following of viewers who believe that all of the media personalities there are in fact reporting the news.

This is not a case of both sides need to calm the rhetoric. It is one side -- the side of the White House and a news network. Let's not stop at getting Lou Dobbs pulled from the air. Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham should be next. A voice of conservative thought should be welcomed. But a voice of dangerous and damaging conspiracy theories should not.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78632

Reported Deaths: 3113
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16437734
Lake7952283
Elkhart505191
Allen4161164
St. Joseph376683
Hamilton3033104
Vanderburgh212215
Hendricks1978109
Johnson1819119
Cass18139
Porter141539
Clark135250
Tippecanoe129312
Madison106266
LaPorte96730
Howard94865
Kosciusko87812
Bartholomew86747
Floyd86150
Marshall80523
Monroe78432
Vigo77913
Delaware77752
Dubois72912
Noble71729
Boone71646
Hancock70239
Warrick61230
Jackson6075
Shelby57328
LaGrange57110
Grant53330
Dearborn52828
Morgan50135
Henry46720
Clinton4624
Wayne41010
White38411
Montgomery36721
Harrison36524
Lawrence35927
Decatur35332
Putnam3318
Daviess29620
Scott28110
Miami2792
Jasper2662
Greene25934
Franklin25116
Gibson2464
DeKalb2444
Jennings23312
Ripley2218
Steuben2173
Carroll2135
Fayette2097
Perry18913
Orange18824
Posey1840
Starke1817
Wabash1805
Wells1802
Fulton1752
Jefferson1752
Knox1711
Sullivan1631
Whitley1626
Tipton15516
Washington1531
Clay1505
Spencer1403
Randolph1345
Huntington1303
Adams1242
Newton12110
Owen1131
Rush1004
Jay970
Pulaski841
Brown762
Fountain762
Pike670
Blackford662
Benton640
Ohio636
Vermillion620
Switzerland590
Parke581
Martin530
Crawford500
Union420
Warren251
Unassigned0207

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106557

Reported Deaths: 3784
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin19287533
Cuyahoga14120523
Hamilton10001262
Lucas5609324
Montgomery4619101
Summit3749225
Butler310569
Marion295645
Mahoning2665259
Pickaway241142
Stark1947142
Warren191440
Lorain188477
Columbiana170461
Trumbull1598112
Fairfield147334
Delaware139219
Licking139053
Clark123516
Lake116343
Wood111558
Clermont100011
Medina98836
Miami89339
Allen84246
Tuscarawas80614
Portage78264
Greene76512
Mercer67613
Richland63512
Belmont62926
Erie62630
Madison58710
Ashtabula58246
Wayne58160
Geauga56445
Ross5285
Darke44230
Sandusky42117
Hancock4153
Huron4145
Ottawa40827
Athens3662
Lawrence3340
Holmes3326
Auglaize2888
Union2801
Muskingum2651
Scioto2651
Seneca2454
Jefferson2403
Shelby2344
Preble2302
Putnam22117
Knox2199
Washington21222
Coshocton1999
Champaign1922
Morrow1882
Hardin18312
Crawford1815
Clinton1806
Logan1742
Highland1712
Perry1693
Fulton1601
Ashland1593
Wyandot1589
Defiance1574
Brown1532
Williams1393
Fayette1270
Henry1252
Hocking1239
Guernsey1217
Carroll1155
Monroe9618
Gallia852
Pike810
Jackson790
Paulding740
Van Wert732
Adams682
Meigs660
Morgan320
Vinton322
Harrison261
Noble190
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Van Wert
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Weekend Storm Chances
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events