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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DOBBS GOES TO WAR WITH LA TIMES OVER CRITICISM OF NETWORK'S DEBATE COVERAGE

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LA Times media critic Tim Rutten's weekend column CNN: Corrupt News Network has apparently struck a nerve with Lou Dobbs, the main subject of the article.



Rutten notes in the article that CNN's coverate of the recent GOP YouTube debate was "corrupt and incompetent." Rutten notes

CNN chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a
single issue -- immigration. Now, if that leaves you scratching your
head, it's probably because you're included in the 96% of Americans who
do not think immigration is the most important issue confronting this
country.

Several recent polls have found that Americans rank the war, oil prices, health care and preventing terrorism as more important issues. Rutten draws this conclusion about CNN's motives:

So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What
standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so
remote from the majority of voters' concerns? The answer is that CNN's
most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition
to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his
neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday's
debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a
desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time
slot, with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. So, what's good for Dobbs is good
for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to
advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've
made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

Rutten is one of the most important media critics in the country and his call at the end of his article for Republican and Democratic Party leaders to "take the network out of our electoral affairs" should send a loud message to the few responsible people left at CNN who understand that ratings should not be the sole motivator at a network that holds itself out as being a leading journalistic organization.



Dobbs, of course, did not let the matter rest. As he has done on many occasions,

he has devoted time on his show to blasting his critics, something that real journalists would never have done in years past. It's hard to imagine a Walter Cronkite or Mike Wallace doing such a thing. Media blog TVNewser had this to say about Dobbs' rant:

Wow. Lou Dobbs went off on LA Times media critic Tim Rutten, over Rutten's weekend column
titled "CNN: Corrupt News Network." Dobbs spent three and a half
minutes of his CNN program calling out Rutten, labeling him a "hack
liberal advocate," a "liberal lily," "vituperative" and "elitist."
Dobbs said "Rutten's tortured mind crushed his own sense of reason"
when Rutten accused the network of spending too much time on the issue
of illegal immigration during last week's CNN/YouTube debate.



Dobbs' diatribe was laced with sarcasm ("Mr. Rutten, please pay
attention, these are called facts, a media critic doesn't have to deal
with them often") and filled with polls to prove his point that illegal
immigration is a hot topic for voters. It also happens to be Dobbs' cause celebre.

Kudos to the Rutten for calling Dobbs and CNN out.





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Comments

  1. Suren's Avatar
    I have not made the correlation until now but was nevertheless very surprised when I saw the debate. In a country where there are a far larger issues like the economy, the debate had 40 minutes about immigration and another 20 minutes about gun control. About, 10 minutes was dedicated to religion.

    It is sad choice of questions and am not sure who they are appealing too. CNN and the cruel political clout certainly know how to keep people living under false issues.

    Shame on Lou and CNN for such sadistic attempts.
  2. EB's Avatar
    CNN = Corrupt Nativist Noisework
  3. EB's Avatar
    Loony Dobbs is becoming more of perverted psychopath...

    This morning I happened to watch Free Speech TV where Amy Goodman was taking Loony Dobbs to task for all his lies.

    She confronted him on his lie that 1/3rd of the US prison population are illegal aliens. She gave statistics that only 6% of the prison population is immigant(legal and illegal combined) which is a far cry from 33%. The b##t@#d did not admit to his lies..he was simply evasive.
  4. Another voice's Avatar
    I think these are signs of desperation by Dobbs that nobody is buying his BS. Not sure why CNN is so desperate to save his behind obviously the small amount of antis can't all watch him, O'Rilley factor at the same time.
  5. Jack's Avatar
    Call Tim Rutten! NPR and Iowa Public Radio have a secret money making conspiracy too. How do we know? They asked a bunch of immigration questions and, as Rutten proved, the only possible motivation there can be is ratings (since no one cares about immigration). These networks are in a desperate pledge drive battle with the other non-profit radio stations and will stop at nothing. In other words, NPR and IPR intentionally directed the Democrats' debate to advance their own interests. I eagerly await Rutten's follow-up column in which he exposes the corruption at NPR. NPR = Nativist Public Radio


    Immigration, a Relentless Issue, Confronts Democrats in an Iowa Debate
    By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY
    Published: December 5, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/us/politics/05debate.html?ref=us

    Debate transcript:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/us/politics/04transcript-debate.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all
  6. Althusius's Avatar
    Lou Dobbs is an American patriot. You people can not stand the truth.
  7. b's Avatar
    Lou is a liar. Lying about an issue important to America to get ratings is not patriotic. Numberusa had sent faxes to congress telling h1b don't pay taxes. They were caught in the act like Lou is getting caught.
  8. Another voice's Avatar
    "Lou Dobbs is an American patriot. " He may be that but you forgot some things on his resume let me enlighten you:

    Racist
    nativist
    Liar
    Anti-Immigrant
    Idiot

    I am sure I am leaving plenty out but this just to start you out.
  9. drew from immigrants list's Avatar
    Politico had a poll asking if people liked the CNN debate's question choices, last time i looked about 10% said yes (though not exactly a scientific poll).
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