Former Fox News contributor Bill Kristol slammed his former employer for stoking the flames of hate that led to the slaughter of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
In an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Monday, Kristol blasted Fox for peddling conspiracy theories in the name of profit despite the danger to public safety.
“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 added that Fox's rhetoric, like accusing Jewish billionaire philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros of buying protesters, has a detrimental effect on American culture.
“Obviously no one wants a board of directors to be micromanaging saying you can’t say this on the 8 p.m. show," he said, "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?”
Watch the full clip below:
Kristol tore into Fox on Twitter after Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade suggested that "entire populations" of immigrants are bringing "diseases" to the United States.
"No disease any refugee might bring to America is as dangerous as the disease of fear, bigotry and hatred now being spread in America by Fox."
No disease any refugee might bring to America is as dangerous as the disease of fear, bigotry and hatred now being… https://t.co/1nsYZUeQAE— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol) 1540810479.0
A doctor chimed in on why Kilmeade's statement was ridiculous.
@BillKristol @jwgop I'm a pediatrician. Refugees embrace vaccination. They look forward to vaccinating their childr… https://t.co/vUi4Z1Rqfh— Rebecca Butterfield (@Rebecca Butterfield) 1540813175.0
Social media sees right through Fox.
@rcbutter1 @BillKristol @jwgop To build on that (since I’ve had MULTIPLE Trump supporters tell me they don’t trust… https://t.co/RV7XWwh6pE— Tiff’s Tweets (@Tiff’s Tweets) 1540815678.0
Some think they found the real disease, and it's not refugees seeking asylum.
@BillKristol @PamKrugerwriter The disease is called Fascism, and it has invested the Republican Party. Get out and… https://t.co/XVoV4jAVXN— Madison Law Review (@Madison Law Review) 1540810805.0
@BillKristol I would guarantee that not one person in the "caravan" has had unprotected sex with as many 'Pornstar… https://t.co/0hozeSoIsl— Brodie. tRUmp? He's Not My Type (@Brodie. tRUmp? He's Not My Type) 1540810991.0
@BillKristol @RF_P0TUS these people are walking thousands of miles, what 'disease' gives a person the ability to do that?— Alt-Middle (@Alt-Middle) 1540813563.0
@BillKristol @TheSageOfReason Projectionism. The only population who came to this country with so many diseases the… https://t.co/2FGYWWjeAD— S M Solomon (@S M Solomon) 1540813774.0
@BillKristol The Fox and Friends group is an entire population that can spread the diseases of racism, hatred and f… https://t.co/w1r7rpFWs7— Colleen Callan (@Colleen Callan) 1540810847.0
The conversation continued after Kristol tweeted: "The United States of America has a Fox News problem."
The United States of America has a Fox News problem. https://t.co/BkQoZRi7cc— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol) 1540812514.0
Followers agreed, noting that after the shooting on Saturday, Fox News doubled-down on their conspiratorial rhetoric.
"They. Want. This," one person wrote.
@BillKristol The fact that Fox didn’t squelch the filth even for one night after the synagogue massacre - heck, the… https://t.co/G0mxYf4JeU— Michael (@Michael) 1540812714.0
@BillKristol https://t.co/WhlrF8B0qa— Miche‼️e 🆘 (@Miche‼️e 🆘) 1540815631.0
Others referred to Fox as "state-run television" because of its near-constant defense of President Donald Trump, who regularly calls in to vent and have his worldview reaffirmed.
@BillKristol Yes! Fox is state run television! Shame on Murdoch!— Ralph Starling (@Ralph Starling) 1540813881.0
@BillKristol @emcconnell96 The United Shates has a Trump problem.— Gary (@Gary) 1540818904.0
@BillKristol @jblyle_battle The United States of America has a Conservative problem.— Bill Walker (@Bill Walker) 1540821101.0
@BillKristol @WarfareNavel Let's stop calling it Fox News, It's not news. Find a new name. Trump Entertainment cou… https://t.co/7woWlyerSS— Peter Burnside (@Peter Burnside) 1540819532.0
Kristol isn't alone in his concerns.
@BillKristol @SueGlashauser More innocent people are going to die. Trump has the haters so worked up it’s going to happen again.— Officer Friendly👮🏻 (@Officer Friendly👮🏻) 1540819681.0
@BillKristol Agree 100%, also Rush Limbaugh & others w/ RW radio anti-govt propaganda.— Steve Collins (@Steve Collins) 1540813572.0
@BillKristol It does indeed. The next Congress should reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine" that got scrapped by Reagan… https://t.co/1853xO0JpW— Chris Lutolf (@Chris Lutolf) 1540822131.0
@BillKristol Glad to see conservatives are waking up to this. To me it's the primary cause of why we ended up wher… https://t.co/KOUEjqsXlu— Bob Young (@Bob Young) 1540822747.0
@BillKristol The atmosphere in America would improve immediately if FOX News was shut down. They purposely incite v… https://t.co/N1PKEB0a6Z— Reigart (@Reigart) 1540821088.0
@BillKristol I have seen family logical thinking people turn into nothing more than a cult. Limbaugh, Jones all the… https://t.co/vxaIrs4fkJ— Ne (@Ne) 1540823109.0
@BillKristol yes!!! WE do!! corrosive propaganda... indoctrinating our society with fears and hate ‘against ourselv… https://t.co/6yo09HK0Wj— Dodadaz (@Dodadaz) 1540820787.0
@BillKristol @RobertaLipp Tell us how to silence them? We would love legally take them off the air for every horrible thing they are doing!— Lori 🏄🏻♀️🌊™️ (@Lori 🏄🏻♀️🌊™️) 1540820362.0
White nationalist hate crimes over the last week have awoken the country to a sobering reality. The rhetoric bellowing from the president is motivating those who would do harm making the country less safe, less free, and less secure for all.