Yesterday, the philandering former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News to peddle some of the usual GOP misinformation talking points. While discussing the widespread protests in cities around the country—rather than identifying them as the understandable and long-coming response to police brutality that they are—Gingrich blamed that favorite conservative bugaboo George Soros.
Soros, a billionaire philanthropist who has donated large sums of money to progressive causes in an effort to make the world a safer, more egalitarian place, is despised by right-wingers around the world for his political views and in some cases simply because he’s Jewish.
As the Anti-Defamation League explains, the claim that Soros is using his money behind the scenes like some kind of sinister puppeteer working to destroy America taps into one of the oldest, vilest anti-Semitic tropes in existence. It’s simple. If you baselessly allege that a wealthy Jewish man is secretly working behind the scenes to undermine the country you’re engaging in anti-Semitism.
Gingrich claimed that Soros is directly responsible for the unrest we see in many cities right now because he funded the campaigns of liberal District Attorneys. Of course, the ones really responsible for the unrest are the police departments that refuse to stop brutalizing and murdering Black people. Thankfully, Fox commentator Melissa Francis had the decency to stand up to Gingrich lest his bigoted conspiracy theories be pumped into the millions of American households without challenge.
“I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this,” said Francis.
“I was going to say you’d get the last word Speaker,” said Harris Faulker.
“He paid for it! I mean why can’t we discuss the fact of the millions of dollars he’s spent,” pressed Gingrich.
“No, he didn’t. I agree with Melissa. George Soros doesn’t need to be a part of this conversation,” replied Fox commentator Marie Harf.
“Okay. So it’s verboten?” asked Gingrich, as if he were trying to raise a reasonable point and not blow an anti-Semitic dog-whistle.
👀 the end 👀
Gingrich: The #1 problem in almost all these cities is George Soros elected left-wing antipolice pro-criminal DAs
Francis: I'm not sure we need to bring Soros into this
G: He paid for it, why can't we discuss that
Harf: No, he didn't
G: OK, so it's verboten? pic.twitter.com/BSRUOAVCSY
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 16, 2020
Astonishingly, it now appears that the higher-ups at Fox News were angry that Faulkner didn’t defend Gingrich more aggressively. Today, she went on air and described the Gingrich segment as a “little incident” and said it was “not smooth.” Faulkner said she “sat silently” while it “played out” and claimed that her behavior was “not ideal.”
“Our guest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—who is beloved and needed to be allowed to speak with the openness and respect that this show is all about—was interrupted,” said Faulkner.
“Do we debate with fire here? Yes,” Faulkner went on. “But we must also give each other the space to express ourselves. As the only original member of the six-year-old amazing daytime ride known as Outnumbered, I especially want to rock and roll with every voice and perspective at the table. We don’t censor at this show and that’s why we’re winning. Weekdays, at noon.”
Faulkner should be deeply ashamed that she apologized for not more aggressively defending the former Speaker’s anti-Semitism. Fox News is charging headfirst into very dangerous territory.
Holy shit. Harris apologizes for people interrupting Gingrich yesterday
Faulkner: So we had a little incident on the show yesterday … we had interruptions, and I sat silently while all of that played out. Not ideal. Gingrich is beloved and needed to be allowed to speak pic.twitter.com/K4NwwH2SxV
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 17, 2020
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