On Saturday night, Fox Business ran a repeat of an episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight where a guest claimed that asylum seekers heading towards the United States were financed by the “Soros-occupied State Department.” These remarks echo conspiracy theory that immigration from non-white majority countries is being promoted by prominent Jewish Americans such as George Soros. In its most extreme racist form, the theory is that figures like Soros are encouraging immigration as a pathway to destroying white America. The very phrase “Soros-occupied State Department” calls to mind the anti-Semitic trope of a “Zionist-occupied government.”
The claim was uttered by Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch in a segment that originally aired on Thursday but they gained new overtones when rerun because of the Saturday morning attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh which left eleven dead. The alleged shooter, currently under arrest, seems to have been influenced by Soros conspiracy theories.
After receiving criticism by other news outlets, Fox Business apologized for the segment. ”We condemn the rhetoric by the guest on Lou Dobbs Tonight,” said Gary Schreier, senior vice president for programming. “This episode was a repeat which has now been pulled from all future airings.”
This apology doesn’t deal with the fact that the host of the show, Lou Dobbs, egged on the conspiracy theory. In fact, Dobbs has a long history of promoting conspiracy theories. As CNN reports, “In the past, Dobbs has referred to Soros as an ‘evil SOB’ and ‘insidious.’ Dobbs has also peddled various conspiracy theories about Soros.”
CNN goes on to note:
On Thursday, [Dobbs] 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.
Fox Business knows it has a Dobbs problem. As one employee of the network told CNN, “It’s people like Dobbs who really ruin it for all the hard working journalists at Fox.”