While America grapples with whether or not to allow Syrian refugees into the country, Fox News and its business-focused sister station, Fox Business, have kicked their Islamophobic fear-mongering message into high gear in an effort to poison the debate. Facts, especially ones that contradict their narrative, are not welcome.
For reasons they would soon come to regret, Fox had the bright idea to ask Iraq War veteran and congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) to discuss the anti-refugee bill recently passed by the House. It was clear early on that host Stuart Varney intended to use Moulton (who voted against the bill) as a punching bag. Things did not go as planned.
Right out of the gate, Moulton handled himself with poise and intelligence. He took issue with Varney’s position that Syrian refugees are not vetted (they are) and their existence in America would pose a serious risk to the country (it wouldn’t).
“Should we put a pause on the continuing inflow of Syrian migrants coming into America?” Varney asks.
“No, we should not,” Moulton states without hesitation. “One, the vetting process that’s already in place is [strict] for any traveler coming into the United States and it works well – 18 to 24 months for someone to come here. The idea that ISIS is going to get someone in Syria today and send them over here tomorrow is completely wrong. Secondly, passing this bill is playing right into ISIS’s hands. You are making it easier for ISIS to recruit people here at home and that’s how they work.”
Varney, who often seems to forget that he himself is an immigrant, has no counter argument. He’s left to limply repeat what he’s already said: Refugees will cause terrorism. He can’t articulate why, so he just says it louder.
“So we just let them in?” He shouts. “Increase our domestic population [of Muslims]? We take the risk on your behalf?”
Moulton maintains his cool under a barrage of misinformation. At one point, he finally stops Varney. “No, you’ve got it wrong. What’s happening is they are radicalizing the domestic population.” The danger isn’t from a scary terrorist from Syria slipping into the country. It’s from people already in America who may feel increasingly alienated and disenfranchised due to people like Varney who repeatedly show they hate them and find the ISIS message more attractive. An anti-Muslim backlash like the one America is currently in the grips of only does more to help ISIS.
Greeted with these uncomfortable facts, Varney is left to screech baseless talking points. Rather than argue substance, he resorts to shouting down Moulton by demanding he “take responsibility” for any terror attack in the future because of his support of refugees. It’s a ludicrous position, but the last refuge of a man with absolutely no substantive argument.
Feature image via Fox Business