Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lou Dobbs: Broken Record

On a nightly basis, CNN anchorman Lou Dobbs warns viewers of the ever increasing threat our "broken borders" present to the average working American. Relentlessly pursuing his cause, Dobbs parades a plethora of "experts", activists and scholars out to back up his assertions and claims that our nation is being invaded by hordes of illegal immigrants who are causing economic ruin for "average" Americans.

His message is compelling, so compelling in fact that even many progressives(see comments) seem to have fallen under his spell. But … Now from the Southern Poverty Law Center comes this look at CNN’s Lou Dobbs, the accuracy of his reporting ,and the nature of some of the guests he chooses to feature on his nightly show
more below the fold

Broken Record
Lou Dobbs' daily 'Broken Borders' CNN segment has focused on immigration for years. But there's one issue Dobbs just won't take on.
By Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok

Lou Dobbs is a genial sort, a pleasant-faced CNN anchorman who regularly presents himself as standing up for American working men and women against those who would injure them. Hosting "Lou Dobbs Tonight" for a prime-time hour every weekday, he is also well known and powerful. So when Dobbs focuses on an issue, millions of Americans learn just what it is that Dobbs thinks they should know.

For more than two years now, Dobbs has served up a populist approach to immigration on nightly segments of his newscast entitled "Broken Borders." He has relentlessly covered the issue, although hardly from a traditional news perspective -- Dobbs favors clamping down on illegal immigration, and his "reporting" never fails to make that clear. He has covered the same issues, and the same anti-immigration leaders, time after time after time. In recent months, Dobbs has run countless upbeat reports on the "citizen border patrols" that have sprung up around the country since last April's Minuteman Project, a paramilitary effort to seal the Arizona border.

But there's one thing Lou Dobbs won't do. No matter what others report about the movement, Dobbs has failed to present mounting and persistent evidence of anti-Hispanic racism in anti-immigration groups and citizen border patrols.


And now for a little dose of reality: Many of Lou's " American patriot " guests who represent organizations that help protect our "broken borders" have ties to various white supremacist groups, racist organizations and recognized hate groups. Lou often presents his "minutemen" guests as the bulwark against the rising tide of illegal immigration, when in fact these guests are in fact no more than racist vigilantes.

GLENN SPENCER, head of the anti-immigration American Patrol, has been interviewed at least twice on the show, on Jan. 7 and June 4, 2004. Spencer's Web site is jammed with anti-Mexican vitriol and he pushes the idea that the Mexican government is involved in a secret plot to take over the Southwest -- facts never mentioned on Dobbs' show.
Spencer has spoken at least twice to the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, which has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity," and once to American Renaissance, a group that contends that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Dobbs has never reported those ties…


BARBARA COE, leader of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, was quoted on a show last March bitterly attacking Home Depot for "betray[ing] Americans," apparently because Hispanic day laborers often gather in front of the store looking for work. Not mentioned were her group, listed by the SPLC as a hate group, or the fact that she routinely refers to Mexicans as "savages." Coe recently described herself as a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a "white pride" group formed from the remnants of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s that were once described by Thurgood Marshal as "the uptown Klan." She also told The Denver Post in November that she had given a speech to the group.

A man named JOE MCCUTCHEN was quoted last April as part of a feature on the Minuteman Project, described by Dobbs as "a terrific group of concerned, caring Americans." No mention was made of the fact that McCutchen, who heads up an anti-immigration group called Protect Arkansas Now, had written a whole series of anti-Semitic letters to the editor and given a speech to the Council of Conservative Citizens -- facts revealed the prior January by SPLC, causing Arkansas' Republican governor to denounce McCutchen's group.

In fact Dobbs regularly praises the excellent work done by the Minutemen and the other "border security" militias that patrol our southern borders. This, despite the fact that many of these groups are following in a long tradition of racist border vigilantism.

In 1977, David Duke and a handful of his Knights of the Ku Klux Klan got tremendous media attention when they inaugurated their 'Klan Border Watch.' The patrol turned out to be little more than a publicity stuntAlthough Chris Simcox and Jim Gilchrist are seen as the fathers of the Minuteman movement, citizen vigilante border patrols are not a new concept. Simcox and Gilchrist are following in the footsteps of other anti-immigrant activists before them, and it is well-trodden ground.

Klansmen were on the Mexican border 28 years before the Minutemen co-opted the concept. And they were talking about the Hispanic immigration threat more than five decades before that. Southern Poverty Law Center

The article goes on to profile many more of Dobbs’ guests along with analyzing some of Dobbs’ reporting, particularly his tendency to present misrepresentations, and sometimes downright lies as fact.

… according to Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media monitor. In 2003, FAIR added, a reporter on Dobbs' show grossly mischaracterized a National Academy of Sciences report. The report found that immigrants provided a net gain of $1 billion to $10 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product, but the CNN reporter said the report had found the economic impact of immigrants worked out to a net loss of up to $10 billion.


Your mother always warned you that you would be judged by the company you keep, This is perhaps some advice Mr Dobbs should take to heart.


theboz said...

Hey, I didn't get the invitation and I'm not sure if there is an easier way to do it with my blogger info, so I'm posting here so you can see my profile if that makes it easier.

Dean said...

Good find, I haven't watch much Lou Dobbs, but from what I have seen he sure didn't show the dark side of some of these groups.

Duke1676 said...

welcome Deano

thanks for visiting.

Your right about Dobbs ... He'll parade these jokers out and pretend that they're respectable patriots, when they are in actuality no better than cleaned up KKK members.

XicanoPwr has an excellent piece on this at his blog:
¡Para Justicia y Libertad!

Anonymous said...

Lou Dobbs is one of the most hateful people I have come across. He joins the same hateful cleaned up KKK jerks. Remember Lou whatever you do or say, good or bad will come back to you. Whether you are or not a believer of God, He commands us to love everyone and YOU will answer to Him. You are a sorry excuse for a reporter.