September 23, 2009

Lou Dobbs has always been unrepentant in the face of proof of his many journalistic misdeeds. So it is not surprising that, in the face of a concerted campaign to have CNN remove him as one of its major news anchors, Dobbs defiantly embraces conspiracy theorists who argue, among other things, that President Obama is planning to round up conservatives and incarcerate them in concentration camps, and who feature pro-secession articles on their websites.

Dobbs's irresponsible brand of journalism besmirches the credibility of an organization like CNN. Which means that it needs to choose between preserving its fast-eroding integrity, or sacrificing it on the altar of Dobbs' ego.

America's Voice is stepping up its campaign to have Dobbs removed this week with a series of ads and other measures intended to increase the public pressure on CNN's executives to act.

Dobb's mainstreaming of extremist beliefs and provably false "facts" simply cannot go on if CNN wants to be considered a responsible mainstream news organization:

White nationalist conspiracy theories flow seamlessly from vigilantes and extremist web sites to Dobbs and back again. Watch just a couple of episodes and you'll see how he throws around the term "criminal illegal aliens" with the spite and frequency of a mid-century Southern politician using the N-word. In Dobbs’ world, immigrants are disease ridden criminals who kill cops and are plotting for revolution. Bogus claims that immigrants are bringing a new wave of leprosy to America might be taken with a grain of salt on Fox - but on CNN, it’s news.

Perhaps to quell the criticism, CNN is airing a new mini-series in October called, "Latino in America." The network is in heavy promotion mode, sending the show's host, Soledad O'Brien, around the country to drum up interest.

Yeah, well, nice PR segments never quite wash the bad taste out of your mouth after having to swallow Dobbs' nightly broadcasts of immigrant-bashing.

The movement to challenge CNN to drop Lou Dobbs Tonight is growing. Dozens of local and national advocacy organizations are standing together to take the fight to CNN. Media Matters with, and dozens of Latino groups with, and Democracia Ahora with TellCNNEnoughisEnough, have all launched excellent campaigns against Dobbs. And groups like the National Council of La Raza have chronicled Dobbs’ extremism through websites like

Our new campaign to get Dobbs off the air will hit CNN both on the air and online. In addition to the TV ad, we’re running online ads and targeted ads on Face Book. You probably won’t see them unless you work for CNN or Turner – we’re asking Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien, Wolf Blitzer and others how they feel about promoting and enabling Dobbs and his unrelenting campaign of immigrant bashing.

The real question is, what else does Dobbs have to do to get fired? He called Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst a "public service," perpetuated the birther conspiracy, has congratulated the Minutemen, and just last week was honored by the anti-immigrant group FAIR - designated a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

It's time that CNN executives and the other "talent" at CNN deport Dobbs to Fox or talk radio where he belongs. He doesn't deserve the CNN seal of approval. Until CNN deals with its Lou Dobbs problem, any attempt to reach out to Latino audiences will be pure hypocrisy.

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