Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs dove headfirst into a conspiracy theory on Thursday morning, shooting off a tweet suggesting that the bombs that were targeted at a number of top Democratic figures and news organizations were fake.
As the Secret Service and mail inspectors intercepted the suspicious packages, the voices of the far-right media went into overdrive calling the bombs “false flags.” Radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage both jumped on the air to suggest that the packages were some sort of elaborate setup meant to fuel Democratic votes in the midterms.
However, Dobbs — who hosts a show on Fox Business Network — was by far the biggest name to strap on a tinfoil hat and bark absurdities into the world wide web.
The host quickly deleted the tweet, but it was preserved via screenshot by a number of accounts:
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs has deleted this tweet in which he asserted it is “fake news” that mail bombs were sent to high-profile Democrats and CNN's offices.
"Fake bombs," he called them, in his tweet. pic.twitter.com/TIavKPVysd
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 25, 2018
The remark puts Dobbs in a league with voices in the fringe corners of the spectrum like Infowars — the website largely responsible for spreading the conspiracy that the Sandy Hook shootings were a “false flag.” Just after Dobbs tweeted about the “fake bombs,” Infowars ran a story with the headline “Breaking: Law Enforcement Confirms Pipe Bombs Are Fake!”
Of course, Fox has a less-than-admirable record when it comes to peddling unfounded conspiracies. Sean Hannity gave a megaphone to the Seth Rich conspiracy theory (which connected a murdered DNC staffer with WikiLeaks) on his show. Rich’s family later leveled a lawsuit at the organization.
On the air, Fox hosts barely attempted to beat back the “fake bomb” conspiracies. On Martha McCullum’s program, after a guest peddled the “false flag” idea, the Fox host replied simply “fascinating.” Left-wing media watchdog Media Matters published a report on Thursday noting that three different Fox guests suggested that the bombs were fake or “false flags.”
When IJR reached out to Fox about Dobbs’ tweet, a spokesperson pointed us to another tweet. Our questions about whether Dobbs will face any consequences or whether Fox has any sort of rules about their employees’ social media use went unanswered.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.