How Fox News helped Trump transform migrants seeking safety into a xenophobic caricature looming over the midterms. The Republican Party needed a way to ignite its base and stoke fear in the American consciousness as voters head to the polls in November. Fox News has delivered by pushing just about every possible xenophobic talking point and conspiracy theory while discussing a group of migrants traveling from Honduras to the United States.
A caravan of several thousand Honduran immigrants, including many families and some people seeking sanctuary from gang violence, has been traveling through Central America and Mexico with the hopes of reaching the U.
Shortly after the group first began its journey, President Donald Trump and Fox News figures started tapping into their hive mind to incite resentment and fear about the caravan, by any means necessary. Throughout their coverage, Fox personalities have repeatedly suggested that the caravan story could potentially be a winning issue for Republicans in the midterm elections -- and they have done their best to make that a reality.
And thus, the story of thousands of immigrants seeking safety, stability, and a better life has instead become a story about: invasion, acts of war, disease, conspiracies about George Soros, secret Democratic plots, the MS gang, terrorists from ISIS and other groups, flag burning, voter fraud, who will win in November, and the very end of civilization. Fox figures have used their coverage of the immigrant group to trot out many of their standard anti-immigrant talking points, vaguely telling viewers that the migrants participating in the caravan were unknown and possibly dangerous entities and suggesting that, unless the military was deployed to stop them, they would arrive at the U.
And some Fox personalities have coupled these well-worn, xenophobic comments with lies about immigrants taking away jobs from American citizens or becoming an economic burden on taxpayers. Last week, frequent Fox News guest Rep.
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Last week, Trump began telling rally crowds that he believed Democrats were behind the migrant group. They like the caravans. Conspiracy theories that invoke Soros frequently bounce around far-right online communities as explanations for many politically explosive events, and sometimes Fox, Trump, or other GOP figures like Gaetz elevate the claims. The anti-Soros rhetoric is also often littered with -- or inspired by -- virulent anti-Semitism. For some Fox personalities, the Democratic Party is not just a potential organizer or supporter of the group of immigrants but also a prime beneficiary.
Multiple figures suggested that migrants traveling with the caravan would line up to vote for Democrats upon arrival. Some Fox News hosts and guests have explicitly suggested that the caravan could include members of the Salvadoran-American gang MS Trump and Fox News have long relied on talking points about the brutality of MS to attack immigration policies and to dehumanize immigrants.
The Trojan Horse Conspiracy The Infiltration and Destruction of American Democracy by Nelson & Dick
Further upping the irrational panic, Fox has also played a central role in spreading an absurd conspiracy theory that the migrant caravan may have been infiltrated by ISIS fighters and other terrorists. The theory about ISIS fighters joining the caravan originated with the conservative group Judicial Watch, which seized on a past statement from the Guatemalan president from before the caravan had even formed that the country has captured individuals linked to ISIS to baselessly fearmonger that ISIS fighters may be connected to the caravan.
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Trump then elevated the claim himself. Last week, two Honduran protesters objecting to the mistreatment of members of the caravan burned an American flag with a swastika painted on it outside the U. And some Fox personalities quickly latched onto this story to frame the immigrants as a threat to Americans. Early on, Fox and Trump began capitalizing on the story by framing it in explicitly political terms and connecting it to the November elections. In the days since, Fox and Trump have continued trying to connect the November midterms and the group of immigrants thousands of miles from the United States.
Miles Le and Nick Fernandez contributed research to this post. Trending Searches.
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The Trojan Horse Conspiracy: The Infiltration and Destruction of American Democracy
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