MEDIA

Anti-Defamation League CEO Skewers Fox News For Spewing Anti-Semitic Tropes

“Sentiments being expressed on Fox, both subtle and blunt, contribute to anti-Semitism being normalized in our society,” warned ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt.

President Donald Trump’s favorite news network is spewing anti-Semitic tropes that empower “bigots,” the national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League charged Thursday.

“We are seeing today ... the mainstreaming and normalizing of anti-Semitic tropes by elected leaders and media personalities that then empower bigots to speak and act with greater regularity and force,” Jonathan Greenblatt wrote in an NBC News essay Thursday. “One of the worst offenders is the president’s favorite network: Fox News.”

The “sentiments being expressed on Fox, both subtle and blunt, contribute to anti-Semitism being normalized in our society,” Greenblatt warned. He pointed to an apparent consequence of that normalization: an attack Tuesday in a New Jersey kosher deli that authorities believe was a hate crime. The shooting killed three bystanders and a police officer.

Greenblatt criticized Fox News’ resurrection of an anti-Semitic campaign against billionaire philanthropist George Soros that portrays him as a sinister master manipulator of global affairs. Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor accused Soros on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” this month of funding “massive migrations out of Central America.” The accusation echoed President Donald Trump’s own claim last year that “a lot of people say” Soros was funding a caravan of migrants heading to the U.S. border.

Greenblatt also took Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to task for “lionizing” industrialist Henry Ford, who “inspired Adolf Hitler and published the anti-Semitic screed, ‘The International Jew.’”

Trump signed an executive order Wednesday allowing authorities greater latitude to fight anti-Semitic discrimination on college campuses — as well as to block boycotts of Israel. Just days earlier, Trump himself was accused of peddling anti-Semitic tropes in a speech at a conference of the Israeli American Council. He characterized Jews in real estate as “brutal killers” who will have “no choice” but to vote for him to save their money from a wealth tax.

Greenblatt hailed Trump’s executive order, but he also warned that “American Jews are facing increasing ... peril that goes well beyond the university quad.” He didn’t mention Trump’s remarks at the IAC conference.

Greenblatt also ripped Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his “support for white supremacy,” as well as Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) appearances with a notorious Holocaust denier. Greenblatt called out what he characterized as anti-Semitic stereotypes tweeted by Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. 

But Fox and all media bear a particular responsibility in battling anti-Semitism, wrote Greenblatt.

“We ... need our news media to be fully accountable to the public they serve,” he concluded. “Not only must they take responsibility for what is on their airwaves, but they must also ensure that their broadcasts are not turned into forums for spreading hate.”

Fox News couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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