Monday, August 3, 2009
Dobbs and the Birthers Movement: The Stuff Cranks Are Made Of
Posted by Matt Kane
Today CNN is just realizing how embarrassing it is to have Lou Dobbs associated with your name. Dobbs, who has latched onto the whole "birthers" movement like a dog in heat, will simply not let go of the debunked rumor that Obama was not born in the United States and, according to Section II Article 1 of the Constitution, is thus ineligible to be president. While Dobbs states that the only reason he brings up the birthers movement is to be fair (he states that he believes Obama was born in Hawaii), it's like giving equal airtime to the person who says 2+2=5, because it would not be fair to simply say they're "wrong."
Nevermind that Obama has produced his birth certificate. Nevermind that Lou Dobbs is your high-profile spokesperson. When he's not calling black politicians cotton-pickers, he's trying to prove that they were born in Africa. I was originally going to write this post about what I'm sick of hearing in the news (Michael Jackson's kids/estate, anytime Gates or Crowley uses the restroom, Jon and Kate's relationship), but People.com still exists, so why give these topics more publicity?
Instead I wanted to discuss a cable news network Howard Beale wannabe. While this blog makes a good point about what we should shed light upon, and what we should simply ignore and allow the public ridicule to overtake, my argument is that if we do ignore something like Dobbs' embarrassing "reporting" about Obama's birthplace, it might reach more mainstream markets like, I don't know, CNN or something (oops). Seriously, it's fine if we see folks like Hannity or Beck or Dobbs as the jesters they are; there to make a buck while entertaining folks. It's when we start taking them seriously that we run into trouble.
A lot of folks are saying just ignore Dobbs, which I am wont to do. I've seen his show a few times, but getting through an entire episode is torturous. As Dobbs' ratings continue to drop, CNN might have no choice but to dump him (notice they'll allow him to be a national laughing-stock on company time, but cut into ratings and ad revenue and you get the ax). But the fact that the birthers movement has even made it to a semi-reputable news agency like CNN speaks volumes; no more is it relegated to the Daily Show or Colbert Report or Fox News to be laughed at; it's now "news." In honor of Dobbs, tomorrow's post will be baseless claims that I don't personally believe, but I feel need to be given sufficient airtime, such as the revelation that Dobbs was actually born in Antarctica and illegally entered the United States on the back of a polar bear. Peace.
Photo - Lou Dobbs (Media Bistro)