Immigrant and Latino advocacy groups, as well as some media watchdogs, are cheering the news today that longtime CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has resigned. The “Drop Dobbs” and “Basta Dobbs” campaigns have been urging CNN to remove Dobbs from its lineup for months now, and although Dobbs’ decision was apparently voluntary, it reportedly came only after he refused to go along with CNN’s requests that he tone down his inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Last night, Dobbs told his audience that he would be leaving the network, saying that “some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in positive problem-solving, as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day,” he said.
In fact, as the The New York Times and others reported last night, Dobbs had been told by CNN president Jonathan Klein to tone down his anti-immigration rhetoric and report a straightforward newscast. Although at first he agreed to go along, yesterday he announced that he’s no longer playing the game.
There’s been much speculation since Dobbs met with Fox News president Roger Ailes that Dobbs will join the Fox News Channel, but yesterday both Dobbs and Fox denied having any such arrangement.
Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org, an advocacy organization coordinating the BastaDobbs.com campaign, said he’s “thrilled that Dobbs no longer has this legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate.”
Dobbs, however, is not likely to fade from the media spotlight anytime soon. As he put it yesterday, he feels he has an important role to play. Citing health care, jobs, immigration, climate change and the ongoing wars as the major issues of the day, he said:
“Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion. I will be working diligently to change that as best I can. And as for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive as well to be a leader in that national conversation.”