Atlantic's Goldberg: Fox News Triggers 'Bible-Readers' With Talk of Immigrant Leprosy

October 30th, 2018 7:19 AM

Immigration Bringing More Leprosy to U.S. 

"Leprosy, the disfiguring scourge of the skin most associated with exotic lands and Bible stories, is increasing because of immigration from Southeast Asia and Latin America."

Question: which extreme right-wing news outlet published that defamatory, scare-mongering, headline and report? Infowars? Breitbart? Fox News, perhaps?

Nope. It was . . . The New York Times. The article dates to 1983. But there have been more recent reports of the same problem, as here, here and here. In each article, it is mentioned that the great majority of leprosy cases in the U.S. are diagnosed among immigrants, many from Latin America.

But today's Morning Joe treated Fox News' mention of the possibility of the immigrant caravan bringing leprosy to the U.S. as a horrifying, false, scare tactic. Joe Scarborough made the obligatory Nazi reference, saying that Fox News's raising of the issue "really sort of sounded like certain regimes in the 20th century that we don't want to even bring up."



Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic took it a step further, suggesting that FNC's mention of leprosy was an attempt to "trigger people who are Bible-readers."

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: I note for the record that they're talking about leprosy. Which I think is interesting, because leprosy, of course, is the most famous disease in the Bible. And I think they are trying to actually trigger people who are Bible-readers, who are religious people, to think that in effect, the caravan, this so-called caravan, or the invasion, or whatever they're calling it is bringing biblical-size plagues to America. It's not unclever. It's built on falsehoods, obviously. But it's not an unclever play.