Campbell Soup Exec Gone After Soros Conspiracy Theory

Idea that billionaire is funding migrant caravan might be fueling rampages
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2018 9:34 AM CDT
Soros Conspiracy Theory May Be Fueling Rampages
George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

George Soros received one of the mail bombs sent to prominent figures on the left last week, and it's not surprising he would show up on such a mailing list: He's the topic of numerous conspiracy theories from his political opponents. Now, however, one conspiracy theory in particular—that he and his Open Society Foundations are funding the migrant caravan heading toward the US—is gaining a lot of attention in the wake of that mail bomb scare and the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. As Joel Achenbach writes in the Washington Post, the theory is "not true, but it has apparently fueled homicidal rage in recent days."

  • Buying in: The alleged perpetrators in both cases, Cesar Sayoc and Robert Bowers, appeared to fully believe the worst of the rhetoric about Soros. Bowers, for example, wrote about the approaching "invaders" of the caravan and also that "Jews are waging a propaganda war against Western civilization." Sayoc posted about Soros repeatedly.
  • Caravan funding: Open Society unequivocally denies funding the caravan, but the rumor won't die. Campbell Soup exec Kelly Johnston, for example, wrote in a since-deleted tweet that Soros' group controls every aspect of the caravan, including "where they defecate." The company quickly distanced itself from Johnston and said he is no longer with the company, reports Gizmodo. He had been vice president of government affairs.

  • Lou Dobbs: A guest on Lou Dobbs' show on the Fox Business Network reiterated the suggestion last Thursday and also referred to the "Soros-occupied State Department." The show re-aired Saturday, and the Pittsburgh shooting seemed to bring new attention to the comments by Chris Farrell of the conservative group Judicial Watch, reports Variety. Fox responded: "We condemn the rhetoric by the guest on Lou Dobbs Tonight," it said. "This episode was a repeat which has now been pulled from all future airings." Farrell is apparently banned as a Fox guest.
  • Origins: A post at Medium digs into the allegations of the caravan funding and shows how the theory continues to spread, helped along even by those snarking that it's ridiculous. The origins appear to go back to March 30, when a different caravan was on the move.
  • Big backers: Conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz promoted a video of migrants receiving money and wondered publicly whether the cash came from Soros. President Trump retweeted the video. Gaetz later had to clarify that the video he assumed had come from Honduras maybe didn't. It's not clear when or where it was shot. Dobbs, meanwhile, tweeted last week: "Do you think the Radical Left is working with Central and South American socialists and leftists to organize and support the migrant caravan?"
Meanwhile, Hungary's prime minister has also been going after Soros. (Read more George Soros stories.)

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