Fox Business looks to paper over its promotion of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
Fox Business executives are scrambling to retract the most recent appearance of anti-Semitic propaganda from their airwaves, after reporters flagged an appearance by Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell on Lou Dobbs’ show Friday.
Dobbs has fixated — albeit stumblingly — upon the story of a group of migrant Central Americans voyaging north in hopes of seeking asylum in the U.S. He apparently believes, as do many conservatives, that goading the story along will help Republican voter turnout in the midterms.
On Friday, Dobbs’ show aired a chat with Farrell in which the right-wing non-profit guru went a skosh too far past the bug-eyed xenophobia the network solicits from guests like him.
“This is criminal involvement on the part of these leftist groups,” Farrell said of the “caravan” of migrants. “A lot of these folks also have affiliates that are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department.”
As TPM’s Josh Marshall pointed out, the phrase “Soros-occupied State Department” is a barely-disguised stand-in for the phrase “Zionist-occupied government,” which is typically shorthanded “ZOG” in right-wing racists’ online cesspools.
A day or so after Marshall’s observation had picked up traction online, Fox Business senior VP Gary Scheier yanked the Dobbs segment in question from the station’s re-airing pool. Media reporters Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter relayed a statement from Scheier saying the network condemns Farrell’s rhetoric.
Farrell used the same ZOG-adjacent phrase in a May appearance, too, Darcy noted.
The truth is that Fox loves the Soros-is-the-devil framework, and is only crow-hopping backward on Farrell because he had the ingenious idea to ape the phraseology of out-and-out neo-Nazis. Fox News and Fox Business are each deeply bought into the Soros narrative.
Judicial Watch, Farrell’s organization, has long been a useful ally in that smear campaign, routinely firing out incomplete information swaddled in the kind of batty handwaving paranoia about Soros that had once been restricted to places like Breitbart, Alex Jones’ Infowars, and other places that have been legitimized and laundered into the mainstream by Fox’s powerful messaging machine for decades.
One of the group’s earliest wins came in convincing Fox and others to run reports that the Department of Justice was behind street protests that followed the murder of Trayvon Martin.
In more recent times, its staff has become the right’s go-to voices for dismissing or undermining the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials and business interests.
But the idea that left-leaning protest movements — or really any activist who disagrees with hardcore conservative ideology, or inconveniences a Republican somehow — is doing it for money rather than out of sincere belief is the most insidious narrative thread that Judicial Watch has helped spin.
The assertion that Soros money is the real reason so many black people are mad at cops, or upset about the environment, or willing to go toe to toe with neo-Nazis at street rallies on behalf of white supremacism, is fundamental to the belief system shared by “MAGAbomber” Cesar Sayoc and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers.
Fox and other conservative media scoundrels know that full well, and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop pimping the Soros lie just because this one guy went full 4chan this one time.
This fight’s been going on for a decade in the media wars, and Fox properties have taken a clear and consistent line on all of it throughout. If you think that’s going to change because Chris Farrell is no longer welcome to come dab the drool off Lou Dobbs’ chin in primetime, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.