Wednesday, May 10, 2006


No, Lou's not all bad. He's one of the few bobble-heads at CNN who will actually give a nod to logic and acknowledge the utter absurdity of Bush's policies on, for example, the war in Iraq.

The problem is that the bulk of the coverage on Lou Dobbs Tonight is not given to Iraq, or to other vital issues like New Orleans or illegal wiretapping, but rather is reserved for Dobbs' pet subjects. His obsession with immigration and corporate globalization, while clothed in a populist concern for America's middle-class, does not jive with his record as a corporate lackey for much of his career, nor his background as a "lifelong Republican." And his show certainly has no place in the middle of CNN's daily lineup, in the guise of a news show with a basis in solid journalism.

His bizarre rants have become parodies of themselves; for example, he ridiculed the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center for suggesting that the hillbilly vigilante "Minutemen" are perhaps motivated in some way by racism, calling any such claim "mind-boggling." It never occurs to Lou that there may be a disturbing historical context affecting the social relationships at the heart of the immigration debate, or that there may be a dubious morality to the world's richest country locking out the world's poor immigrants, or that there are a significant number of innocent people who will be affected by H.R. 4437.


Jerry Lobdill said...

I have a number of problems with your post. Your remarks seem very glib while at the same time you make some very questionable but serious criticisms that don't seem warranted.

You call Lou a bobble-head who gives a "nod" to logic. Can you name another network news program that does better?

You complain that Lou reserves too much time for his pet subjects, (illegal) immigration and corporate globalization while not giving enough time to Iraq, New Orleans, or illegal wiretapping. And you complain that his "populist concern" doesn't fit with his record as a corporate lackey or his background as a lifelong Republican. Do you not think that there has been a radical transformation of what it means to be a Republican since W became President? Is it not possible--even likely-- that a man such as Dobbs, who worked in the fields as a young man, might have had an epiphany? I thank God for his piercing insights and his populism. I'll take it anywhere I can get it. Kevin Phillips is another ex-Republican whose epiphany is obvious and extremely damaging to the right wingers. My hat's off to him as well.

I have been watching Dobbs for several years now, and I believe he has his head screwed on straight about the issues. It is true that he didn't devote his entire program to New Orleans like Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn both did, but that would have been too much CNN coverage of New Orleans when the Bushies were continuing to perpetrate outrages in every other aspect of life even as New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast were being given short shrift. It is good that someone kept their eye on the ball and focused on Bush's relentless war on the middle class.

Lou is a very logical thinker with an excellent grasp of macroeconomics. To say he gives a nod to logic is a rather unfair statement, I think.

There is nothing bizarre about Lou's rants IMO. They are squarely on the mark. And frankly, anyone who describes the grandstanding that is underway at the moment as an "immigration debate" has been smoking some bad stuff, because it's not about racism and immigration, it's about national security and illegal immigration.

No Mind said...

Thanks for your comments, Jerry. I cannot name another network news program that actually calls the Administration on the obvious flaws in their policies (perhaps Keith Olbermann, but I've never actually seen his show), which is why I give Lou that much credit. There are very few examples of good journalism on television -- Bill Moyers' NOW comes to mind, but it is no longer on the air. And I will concede to you that it may be a generalization to paint him based on his background as a self-described "lifelong-Republican." There are some to whom I would not allow for the possibility of such an "epiphany" (say, Pat Robertson), but I suppose it is possible in Lou's case.

My problem w/ Lou's program is that it is presented in the middle of CNN's daily lineup in the guise of a "news show." Perhaps if, instead of "Lou Dobbs Tonight," the show was called "Lou Dobbs' Opinions On Issues That He Likes to Talk About," I wouldn't have a problem with it. It does appear to me that he tends to neglect the possibility that this debate very clearly demonizes Mexicans above all other immigrant groups, and I am not convinced that their presence in this country is economically or culturally detrimental to our society. It is very possible that he has some strong arguments to make on illegal immigration, but up till now the "pro-border security" position is simply being used as a political prop by the extreme right for a racist agenda, and I have not heard him differentiate himself sufficiently.

Mainly, it is simply mind-boggling that this issue is so high on our list of priorities. The illegal immigration debate has not changed much over the last 20 years, and it's definitely not going anywhere. How Bush can suggest to the people of New Orleans that there's just not enough money or resources to sufficiently rebuild a devastated AMERICAN city, and then turn around and rush to spend money on border fences and National Guard deployments to placate his political base, is simply beyond any standard of human decency.

Go back and read my post of day four or five of the Katrina seige, with all the horrifying stories coming out of New Orleans and NO federal assistance whatsoever in sight.