Also found in: Wikipedia.
|Louis Carl Dobbs|
|Birthplace||Childress, Texas, U.S.|
Talk radio host
Current Fox Business Network News Anchor
Former CNN News Anchor
Former Managing editor
CNN television host Lou Dobbs had been a respected broadcaster for decades before he surprised everyone by accusing President Barack Obama of not being a U.S. citizen.
With his mellifluous voice and warm, expansive smile, Lou Dobbs was the genial host of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on CNN for nearly three decades. There he discussed current business affairs with an expertise that made his cable program one of the most popular of its kind on television. Dobbs had been with CNN since its founding in 1980 and had served as an anchor, managing editor, and executive vice president. He was the last of the original anchors on the network. Then, unfortunately, he got bitten by an extremely virulent conspiracy bug.
On July 15, 2009, he questioned the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate while on the air. Many of his loyal viewers listened and watched in disbelief as Dobbs became a “birther” before their very eyes. He continued on subsequent programs to question the president’s fitness for office, and he went so far as to suggest that Obama might be an undocumented, illegal alien. And while he was on the topic of illegal aliens, Dobbs began a systematic series of attacks on Latinos that soon had civil rights groups calling for him to cease and desist. It was one thing to hear Dobbs openly defending the Minutemen, the vigilante militia who patrolled the Mexico–U.S. border hunting down illegals, but then his rants became much worse—and less supported by facts.
Among Dobbs’ vitriol against Latino illegals was the following:
- From 2006 to 2009, Latino immigrants brought over 7,000 cases of leprosy into the United States. (Dobbs’s source for this untruth was a right-wing radical author, and it was quickly debunked.)
- Illegal immigrants make up a third of the U.S. prison population and cost the nation a hundred billion dollars a year in depressed wages, social costs, and the
- cost of incarceration. (The U.S. Department of Justice statistics indicate that immigrants make up a very small proportion of the U.S. prison population.)
- Dobbs often sought to stoke fear of Latinos by using evidence from a white supremacist group that claimed Mexican immigrants were dedicated to a subversive organization called La Reconquista, whose goal was to return the southwestern states to Mexico.
- Dobbs inflated the old standby conspiracy theory that influential politicians in Mexico, Canada, and the United States were working clandestinely to create the North American Union.
On November 11, 2009, Dobbs announced to his audience that that evening’s broadcast would be his last on CNN. In explaining his departure from the network that had been his home for nearly thirty years, Dobbs said that he needed “to engage in constructive problem solving, as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of the day, and to continue to do so with the most honest and direct language possible.”
Scores of offended viewers and civil rights groups were unanimous in their rebuttal that for many years during his tenure at CNN, Lou Dobbs had been neither constructive nor positive in dealing with the nation’s more delicate issues.
On November 10, 2010, the FOX Business Network announced that it had signed a multi-year contract with Lou Dobbs to host a daily program beginning in 2011. Lou Dobbs Tonight is currently telecast each night at 7:00 Eastern Time.