Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lou Dobbs Shows His True Colors

Lou Dobbs (Mediabistro)
For those of you lucky enough to have never seen or heard of Lou Dobbs, I commend you. Unfortunately I have seen and heard the things Lou Dobbs says on a regular basis, and his xenophobia is hard to take sometimes. It's common knowledge that Dobbs (who makes millions a year and, previous to his "transformation" into a sensationalist news reporter was an oft-ignored business reporter) fights for the middle class of America and sees globalization as the worst thing in the world (besides illegal immigrants). For example, Dobbs has said that he resents holidays that do not strictly celebrate America and that people who are attached to their homeland in some way (such as Irish folks who celebrate St. Paddy's Day) are splitting America up because they don't celebrate America's commonalities. It's interesting to hear this from Dobbs because he is married to a Mexican-American named Debi Lee Segura de Dobbs. Of course, her last name is from a very old tradition in Spanish speaking countries that involves tracking lineage through last names. Using Dobbs' logic, his own wife is one of the Americans in this country who are attached to their homeland and not spending all of their time celebrating America's commonalities. I'd also be interested to know if the Dobbs household does anything for traditional Mexican holidays such as El Dia del Muerto (which, under Dobbs' logic, would be un-American).

Dobbs also has a history of using inflated numbers when it comes to scaring his viewers into believing that illegal immigration is the product of the devil himself. For instance, he once had a correspondent on his show who said that there were 7,000 cases of leprosy, attributing the large rise in leprosy cases (which turned out to be a false report in the first place) to our "open" borders. Dobbs also has said that illegal aliens make up 1/3 of our federal prison system - another incorrect "fact."

But it is not Dobbs' lack of fact-checking or his xenophobic stance on illegal immigration that spurned this post. It is his recent comments concerning race, particularly Condaleeza Rice's statement that America has a "birth defect" in its history (slavery) and this makes it difficult to discuss race honestly and frankly. She says that the legacy of slavery and its repercussions still reverberate today (which, in my opinion, they do). When Dobbs heard this, he lost it. The irony of his tirade is that his comments prove Rice's point. When he is about to call black politicians who argue what Rice has said "cotton pickers" he is embodying what is wrong with America today and its history:

Now I'm not going to argue about what he said. He clearly said "cotton" and then puckered his mouth up to start with a "p". The only combination I can think of with the word "cotton" and a word starting with the letter "p" is "cotton picker," which, of course, is a derogatory name aimed at black people due to the institution of slavery that this country (indeed, the Constitution) condoned and allowed to thrive.

What is even more interesting is the fact that CNN tried to clean up the transcript of Wolf Blitzer's show that night (another CNN anchor who has made dumb statements in the past). The word "cotton" was nowhere to be found in the transcript, which can be read here. From what I can understand neither Dobbs nor CNN has made a statement regarding his comments. I'll be interested to see how this works out, but my guess is that Dobbs will not be punished or anything like that. His sensationalism that he calls "The Lou Dobbs Show" brings in ratings and money talks, even more than Dobbs does.


  1. Looks like you're trying to find something wrong about the man - and have only been able to find two little trite remarks over the course of 30 years. Number one: Cotton pickin' wasn't always racist(yeah, I know it has racist origins, but it was bled into common farming culture). Number two: The leprosy misrepresentation was an honest mistake, and strikes a clear question to us all why is leprosy still around in the first place? The man has been reporting on national news probably longer than you've been alive. There is definately a drug problem, an education problem, a trade problem, an illegal immigration problem - all of which numerous congressmen and even the presidential candidates have admitted. The news follows his shows - from tainted toys from China - to Broken Borders - to the massive fraud of corporate america and our government - if it wasn't for Lou Dobbs, this country would be in a far worse position; thank god for freespeech(though I know you PC buffs would rather have us not have such a thing). I would hope that if "columbian cokane" is so good, that you would MOVE to Columbia; we live in a generational time with no room for idiots and casual on-lookers. Yours truly, American Dreamer.

    P.S. My e-mail is if you'd like to discuss the matter further. I daily the most popular political forum on google,, if you are misinformed on the facts of a broken border/massive international inflation of our currency and our dependence on the world for a $1 trillion worth of goods/commodities every year. Do more research.

  2. Lou Dobbs has been reporting the news for 30 years, yes, but only recently has moved into the social aspect of it. Before then, he was all gung-ho about corporate America and was a financial reporter (the same corporate America he now blames for globalization and the future ruination of the American economy). Therefore, I would not expect him to have many missteps when it comes to talking about the markets.

    Secondly, I know that while "cotton pickin'" is a term used to denote class difference at times (though I have never heard it growing up in the Northeast corridor), in the context of the argument that Dobbs was trying to make (that black people should not be setting the parameters of talking about things like race) to use "cotton pickin'" is clearly pertaining to the racial aspect of it.

    Thirdly, I do not consider myself a PC buff. In fact, I think a lot of the PC argument is bullshit.

    Fourthly, Columbia is not a country (Colombia is). The play on words of the title of this blog derives from the fact that I go to a school called Columbia, not that I have any affiliation with the nation of Colombia. I already live at Columbia, so I will not be moving there, nor will I be moving to Colombia.

    Fifthly, and finally, this post was about Lou Dobbs' reporting and his general xenophobia for anything not directly relating to America (i.e. railing against St. Patty's Day as un-American). I made no comment on the globalization of the world economy nor American inflation (which, coincidentally seems to have more to do with the banks in America fucking up with loans and Americans' dependence on credit rather than global factors, at least for the time being). Therefore, to tell me to do more research on these topics is irrelevant.

    I appreciate the time that you took to post on this blog. Peace.

  3. You may want to do a little research yourself, Cinco de Mayo is not a traditional Mexican holiday, contrary to common belief it is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16. It is a regional holiday celebrated in the state capital of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla. The majority of Mexicans does not even celebrate it. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo has become a quasi-holiday in the United States due to commercialization by businesses like beer companies and misinformed people who believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day.

  4. I don't see where I said that Cinco de Mayo was Mexico's Independence Day.

  5. I agree with you 100%, I never stated that you said that Cinco de Mayo was Mexico's Independence Day. I stated that many people in the US thought it was Mexico's Independence Day, however what I was attempting to point out is that Cinco de Mayo is not a traditional Mexican holiday in the sense you are implying, it is actually "celebrated" more so north of the Mexican border by Americans primarily due to marketing and people looking for a reason to party.

  6. Got ya. Thanks for the clarification.

  7. Not a problem, just wanted to clarify a point.

  8. why do we fight over so many racist remarks from Lou types . He is just going a path in his career and making remark about a populist topic only makes one so liked by any majority in any country. Let it be UK , Germany or France , I mean country which is not made of migrants.

    USA is country of immigrants 60 whites from all over europe , 15 from africa , 15 from spain through mexico ( original mexican who never had a language spanish or native american who are actual owner of the land now occupied are excluded )

    So I dont know how educated Lou who is mostly a ex-UK himself and his wife who is also and ex-Spain (if not native mexican) call each other illigal alien .

    By the way the word alien is only used by one country to address its immigrants which include much of them no other original country refers to its immigrants as aliens

    So I guess Lou is just beating around the bush and riding on a populist idea and filling the gap where ppl fail to identify leaders so they chose from the shit they get rather than put some one sensible in those positions


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