[See must-consider UPDATE at the bottom. – J.E.]
I didn’t see this live on Wednesday, but the clip, which I saw later on Twitter, is unsettling.
Fox News panel melts down when Gingrich calls out Soros pic.twitter.com/fntofzyMh4
— Jewish Deplorable 🇺🇸 (@TrumpJew) September 16, 2020
Newt Gingrich did nothing more than call out the same things Soros’s own institutions openly announce that they do; in this case, fund campaigns to turn local offices like D.A.s, sheriffs, and city and county governments (councils and commissions) as radically Left as possible. There is simply no disputing that Soros puts money behind this. It’s not a matter of theories or opinion. It’s fact. (Craig Bannister at CNSNews offers a Daily Caller link with background on it; we have published on it a number of times at LU. See here, here, here, and here, for example.) Soros and his activism enterprises at the Open Society Foundation make no bones about it.
Apparently Fox News has joined the mainstream media in wanting to draw a rigid iron curtain of silence over that. Their determination to not have George Soros’s name spoken — “I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this,” says Melissa Francis — leads them to speak falsely, as if there is factual error in the reference Gingrich makes to what Soros has been funding. Yet the information about it is all from public records.
People can of course debate the connection between Soros’s political funding and the conditions in American cities where riots have been especially rampant. Gingrich’s point involves making that connection; it’s analysis as well as facts. But you don’t debate analysis by silencing reference to facts. The only thing you do by silencing reference to facts is lie.
Is this compulsory, aggressively mendacious silence imposed because social media will discriminate against Fox’s content if commentators are allowed to make such points? That’s all I can figure.
Compare with this Fox News report from barely six weeks ago, on exactly the pattern of Soros activism Gingrich highlighted on Wednesday. Fox was willing to report it then, on 30 July, and yet reacts as if it’s unspeakable blasphemy on 16 September.
If social media are indeed the concern — that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter will disfavor Fox News content because of editorial liberality — it’s an appalling example of information being censored by systematic collusion. And it’s information the American people should have available, with a national election coming up on 3 November.
Soros isn’t the only big-money donor to be involved in such activities. Tom Steyer, for example, on whom we’ve also published at LU, has been closely engaged in campaigns to flood voters with often-misleading “voter information” through mass mailings (e.g., here and here). Michael Bloomberg is another deep-pocket activist for far-left causes. But it’s perfectly legitimate to point out Soros’s singular prominence in campaigns to elect radical leftists to local offices across America.
The atmosphere got genuinely creepy as silence fell during the Outnumbered segment. After Melissa Francis disqualified any reference to Soros, Marie Harf chimed in to agree. Bannister transcribes what followed: “’Okay…So, it’s verboten?’ Gingrich asked as an awkward silence took over the broadcast. After a long silence, Host Harris Falkner said: ‘Okay, we’re going to move on.’”
You can’t make real-life Orwellian silence, in the manner of Obiwan Kenobe hand-waving at the droids you’re not looking for, non-creepy. It’s extremely disquieting. A very little of it is too much.
*UPDATE*: National Pulse, Raheem Kassam’s website, suggests another reason why Fox would censor mention of George Soros. The concern is that local D.A.s, with Soros-backed officials prominent among them, will be directly involved in adjudicating the expected disputes over the vote after 3 November. Those D.A.s can be pretty vindictive.
Offering an example of apparent retaliation, National Pulse writes (emphasis added): “[A] Surf City DA recused himself after one of his prosecutors spoke at a candidate’s rally. That candidate went on to face six felony charges, later reduced to just one misdemeanor regarding errors on past voter and campaign forms.”
So: mention Soros, the D.A. will ensure your voters and votes are disqualified – and you suffer the cost and inconvenience of law being weaponized against you.
Whether the threat is coming from Facebook or local D.A.s, Fox News’s response is to fear-grin. Interesting question what those who aren’t faced with this choice would do. Should Fox News potentially jeopardize GOP candidates and the vote itself by antagonizing one of the main backers of hostile local officials across America? I know my own answer (the truth is its own protection), but institutions tend to lack boldness in such dilemmas.