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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 11:05 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96032

Reported Deaths: 2894
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7110159
DeSoto556559
Harrison385374
Jackson348670
Madison329788
Rankin329377
Lee271468
Forrest247872
Jones247579
Washington223872
Lafayette217339
Lauderdale2049125
Bolivar184066
Oktibbeha177850
Lamar170035
Lowndes156958
Neshoba1566104
Panola147129
Sunflower146546
Warren140550
Leflore140481
Pontotoc126616
Pike123451
Monroe122868
Copiah118433
Scott117427
Coahoma115528
Holmes109659
Marshall109517
Lincoln109053
Grenada108336
Yazoo105930
Simpson103346
Union99724
Tate98737
Leake95338
Adams93837
Wayne90021
Pearl River88353
Marion85935
Prentiss85517
Covington82022
Itawamba81521
Alcorn80311
George77113
Newton77024
Tallahatchie77021
Winston73819
Tishomingo68238
Chickasaw67924
Tippah66917
Attala65925
Walthall60026
Clay59218
Clarke58746
Hancock58222
Jasper57315
Noxubee54816
Smith53215
Calhoun51512
Tunica48615
Claiborne46316
Montgomery46120
Lawrence43313
Yalobusha43314
Perry42319
Humphreys37715
Greene37517
Quitman3735
Stone37112
Jefferson Davis34111
Webster33813
Amite32910
Carroll31612
Wilkinson30518
Kemper28915
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2263
Franklin1923
Choctaw1856
Issaquena1043
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19572348
Mobile13320292
Montgomery8811183
Tuscaloosa8586117
Madison782078
Shelby592349
Lee588759
Baldwin545650
Marshall393343
Calhoun349942
Etowah343945
Morgan327328
Houston280221
Elmore265947
DeKalb240620
St. Clair230835
Walker230683
Talladega214628
Limestone208820
Cullman189020
Dallas178326
Franklin176729
Autauga175725
Russell17573
Lauderdale169833
Colbert164126
Blount160815
Escambia160324
Chilton156431
Jackson156011
Covington138527
Dale135844
Coffee13206
Pike119410
Chambers116142
Tallapoosa115685
Clarke108916
Marion95729
Butler91639
Barbour8737
Winston73812
Marengo71620
Pickens65614
Lowndes65327
Bibb65210
Randolph64213
Hale63428
Lawrence61623
Geneva6074
Cherokee60313
Bullock59914
Monroe5848
Clay5797
Washington55613
Perry5416
Crenshaw53632
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry4935
Macon48119
Fayette4508
Sumter43519
Lamar3662
Cleburne3646
Choctaw34912
Greene30315
Coosa1683
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