Fox Business has pulled from rotation an episode of Lou Dobbs’ show in which guest Chris Farrell, of the right-wing group Judicial Watch, said the migrant caravan from Central America is a plot hatched by George Soros and the State Department.
While it’s a step in the right direction, Fox should cancel Dobbs’ show altogether because the host is a racist xenophobe who peddles right-wing conspiracy theories himself.
The episode originally aired Thursday and was rebroadcast on Saturday—the same day that white domestic terrorist Robert Bowers attacked the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, armed with an AR-15 and three Glock handguns. He killed 11 people and injured six others, including four police officers.
FBI special agent Robert Jones said it was “the most horrific crime scene” he had ever seen in over two decades of service.
Bowers was obsessed with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and one of his main targets on social media was the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society for its work providing aid to refugees. After Bowers was taken into custody, he told a SWAT team member that he wanted all Jews to die because he believed they are committing “genocide” against his “people.”
On Dobbs’ show, Farrell claimed he had been told by people in the “highest levels of the Guatemalan government” (now that’s a reliable source) that there is “criminal involvement on the part of these leftist groups” in the organization of a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants headed to the U.S. border.
“It’s highly organized, very organized, sophisticated operation,” he said. The Guatemalan government, Farrell claimed, is “investigating those groups criminally, and I strongly urge President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to do the same here.
He added, emphasis mine: “A lot of these folks also have affiliates who are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department, and that is of very great concern. You want to start cutting money, start cutting money there.”
Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall caught the rerun interview on Saturday as he was flipping through channels to see if anyone was covering the Trump speech at the time. His tweet prompted outrage on social media in light of the synagogue massacre.
FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver tweeted: “A guest on Lou Dobbs’s show on Fox News is pushing a version of the same conspiracy that the Pittsburgh shooter evidently believed in and which may have helped trigger the murders he committed. Been trying not to weigh in on events of the day but this is really dangerous.”
On Sunday, the senior vice president of programming at Fox Business, Gary Schreier, announced that the episode would be pulled, and Farrell would no longer be allowed as a guest on Fox Business or Fox News.
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy tracked down another Lou Dobbs episode in which Farrell made the same claim about a “Soros-occupied” State Department. Last May, Farrell said: “Sadly today…our State Department is really Soros-occupied territory. He is probably more influential, and his thinking and his language and conduct is really the guiding light in our State Department today, still.”
As Darcy pointed out, Dobbs has fanned the flames of Soros conspiracies numerous times, blaming the billionaire Democratic philanthropist for plotting and financing “riots” by progressive protesters linked to President Barack Obama. Darcy noted that Dobbs called Soros an “evil SOB” and “insidious.”
All of this prompted yet another call for a boycott of Fox advertisers.
It isn’t just Fox, Judicial Watch, and their other allied right-wing media doing this—it’s also the Republican Party apparatus. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers defended Republican TV ads attacking Soros, who is Jewish, even in light of Saturday’s mass shooting.
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd played one of the NRCC ads targeting Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Dan Feehan. The ad accuses Soros of “bankrolling the resistance—and Dan Feehan”:
Stivers responded by saying, “You know, that ad is factual, uh, and uh, you know, it also, um, has nothing to do with, uh, uh, calling for violence. That ad is a factual ad.”
Watch (Stivers’ response starts at 6:47):
Watch the entire Lou Dobbs episode that was pulled (the interview with Chris Farrell starts at 10:46):