During a recent episode of the FOX news daytime program Outnumbered, guest Newt Gingrich was interrupted as he spoke about the phenomenon of district attorneys nationwide freeing alleged violent offenders back onto the streets. His sin, it appears, was mentioning billionaire progressive George Soros.
When co-host Harris Faulkner gave Gingrich the “last word” in a discussion of the issue, the former speaker of the House stated: “The Number one problem in almost all the cities is George Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys, who refuse to keep people locked up.” Gingrich elaborated: “Just yesterday, they put somebody back on the streets who’s wanted for two different murders in New York City.” He went on to suggest that these progressive D.A.s were “overwhelmingly elected with George Soros’s money.”
Soros’ Name Sparks An Awkward Moment
At that point, apparently not content to allow Gingrich the last word, after all, Fox News commentator Melissa Francis interjected: “I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this.” Gingrich was clearly flummoxed by the unusual exception taken by Francis and attempted a rejoinder, saying: “He paid for it. I mean, why can’t we discuss the fact that millions of dollars….”
Gingrich was again interrupted – this time by FNC’s Marie Harf – who curiously backed her colleague when she repudiated Gingrich’s assertion about Soros, stating: “No, he didn’t. I agree with Melissa. George Soros doesn’t need to be a part of this conversation.”
Gingrich was thus scolded by a T.V. news personality who was in middle school when he became Speaker of the House. Possibly feeling undercut for flouting secret directives of which he was unaware, Gingrich alluded to Teutonic obeyance of authority when he said he understood the topic was “verboten” – German for “forbidden.”
A nearly 7-second silence followed this – an epoch in broadcasting – during which Harris Faulkner was clearly at a loss and invoked the need to “move on” as a remedy for the awkward, surpassingly strange segment.
So what happened?
Behind the Soros Censorship
The impression left by these FNC personalities was that they may have been informed by their direct superiors that George Soros has the money, the will, and the inclination to bankrupt FOX News if his name is ever mentioned on-air in a negative light.
Soros’ far left field activism and his funding of progressive district attorneys all over America are no state secret – so why was Gingrich chastised for referencing these facts?
Possibly FOX made a corporate decision not to allege Soros wants criminals released onto the streets without proof, just because he funded the District Attorneys who are liberating these detainees. Gingrich was clearly stating that many big-city D.A.s have been elected with Soros’ money, which he believes is contributing to the violence as these uber left-wing progressives are freeing law-breakers across the country. That is his opinion and one to which he is entitled – even as his hosts attempted to censure him. It also has a distinct ring of truth.
Could it be that the Outnumbered talking heads are concerned about charges of antisemitism with references to a billionaire of Jewish descent bankrolling various progressive organizations? Certainly, antisemitism is a pervasive bigotry that appears to be in the midst of a relative resurgence, so maybe the need to skirt anything that might be deemed incendiary along such lines was at the heart of the curious exchange? Soros is a private citizen who is unelected, so the limited latitude accorded journalists in being able to take off the gloves when discussing him may also have been part of the calculus.
Additionally, it’s difficult to think of George Soros and Nick Sandmann in the same breath, but they are both private citizens entitled not to be slandered on air by a corporation. The younger man’s highly successful lawsuits against CNN and The Washington Post for defaming him may have the legal department at FOX on high alert mode.
But was it possibly fear at the end of the day that caused this unusual call to the carpet of a storied conservative? The amount of influence and control that can be bought with billions of dollars is not inconsiderable. Were there threats made behind the scene to which none of us was privy? Is FOX merely trying to dot their ‘i’s’ and cross their ‘t’s’ so that no one says anything actionable in the run-up to the election? After all, Tucker Carlson has been the subject of multiple attempts by the left to cancel him and his show, so maybe the word is getting around at FOX to avoid the overtly controversial? Or possibly those rules apply to daytime programming on FNC while the prime-time pundits have more freedom?
In any event, as the only conservative cable news network in the country with a huge, nationwide audience, Fox has a charge and a duty to be intrepid. If they’re not sure what that looks like, they need only tune in to their colleague Tucker Carlson’s show every night as he damns the torpedoes and moves full steam ahead toward election day 2020.
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