Fox News sparked outrage after sharing on air a Photoshopped image of the magistrate judge who signed off on the FBI search warrant for former Republican President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence—despite the photo coming from a known meme account.
The image shows U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart getting his feet rubbed on a private jet by Ghislaine Maxwell, the convicted sex trafficker who sourced victims for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and to whom Trump has well-documented connections.
The image is obviously fake, but Fox News' Brian Kilmeade, filling in for Tucker Carlson, decided to run the image anyway without explanation, likely contributing to the wave of antisemitic harassment and death threats Reinhart has received in recent days.
See the segment below.
The image is not only fake, but it is a manipulation of an image of Epstein himself as many on Twitter pointed out.
Not only is the image obviously fake, but it was even credited to the meme account during Kilmeade's report.
The image is an extension of attacks Trump supporters have leveled at Reinhart's past position on the prosecution team against Epstein. Reinhart subsequently switched sides, quitting his job at the US Attorney's Office to defend several of Epstein's employees.
He was subsequently sued by several of Epstein's accusers for allegedly sharing information with Epstein's defense.
There certainly seems to be plenty of reasons to criticize Reinhart where the Epstein case is concerned, but missing as always from Trump's supporters attacks is the fact Trump himself is implicated in Epstein's actual crimes.
And Kilmeade's propagating of the fake image comes as Reinhart faced days of targeted antisemitic harassment and death threats since the details of the FBI warrant were released bearing his name.
The harassment included threats against his children and the posting of his family members' names, his home address and phone number in far-right, pro-Trump internet forums.
The synagogue Reinhart attends has also been targeted by antisemitic threats.
On Twitter, people decried the irresponsibility in sharing the image.
Kilmeade has since clarified the image was fake and shared "in jest."
Of course, the retraction comes on Twitter nearly a full day after the image was shown on live TV—plenty of time for it to solidify as factual in the minds of Fox News' and Trump's devotees.