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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: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds282449
DeSoto186519
Madison141936
Jones118549
Harrison109615
Rankin106315
Neshoba103976
Forrest97243
Lauderdale95481
Scott80915
Jackson74418
Washington70010
Copiah64215
Leake62120
Lee60022
Oktibbeha58928
Holmes57941
Warren57720
Grenada5698
Wayne56018
Yazoo5486
Lowndes53613
Leflore52856
Lamar5227
Lincoln51935
Pike48820
Sunflower4708
Lafayette4644
Monroe43935
Panola4326
Covington4295
Bolivar39418
Simpson3843
Attala38324
Newton36710
Adams34719
Pontotoc3396
Tate33313
Marion32412
Claiborne30011
Winston29611
Chickasaw29319
Pearl River28132
Noxubee2778
Marshall2763
Jasper2716
Clay25611
Walthall2497
Union24611
Smith23712
Coahoma2196
Clarke21725
Lawrence2022
Yalobusha2028
Kemper18314
Tallahatchie1784
Carroll17411
Humphreys16110
Calhoun1605
Montgomery1513
Itawamba1458
Tippah14411
Hancock14113
Webster13411
Jefferson1223
Tunica1213
Jefferson Davis1184
Prentiss1173
George1123
Greene11210
Amite1083
Quitman971
Tishomingo971
Wilkinson969
Alcorn942
Perry794
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin542
Sharkey470
Benton440
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
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