Bill Kristol, a longtime Fox News contributor, said executives of the conservative news network should do some soul-searching after helping to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that provoked a mass shooting.
A gunman who killed 11 worshipers Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue cited conspiracy theories about a migrant caravan promoted by various Fox News personalities and President Donald Trump, and Kristol said they share blame for the massacre.
“I’m a free speech person, and I’m not for being super fastidious about calling people to account about things that are said in the heat of the moment and so forth,” Kristol said. “(But) at the end of the day I think Fox, with its evening lineup, Fox Business with Lou Dobbs, the routine stuff that is said there, people who work at Fox, the management of Fox, the shareholders of Fox, the corporate board of Fox really need to look in the mirror and say, ‘Are we comfortable with this? We’re making money.'”
Kristol said that programming was at least partially responsible for inspiring the synagogue gunman.
“Obviously no one wants a board of directors to be micromanaging,” he said, “(saying) you can’t say this on the 8 p.m. show, but are they comfortable with the overall effect that Fox News and Fox Business, and I say this as someone who was on Fox News for 10 years. Can they defend their effect on the culture?”