Monday, August 3, 2009

Dobbs and the Birthers Movement: The Stuff Cranks Are Made Of

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 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)


  1. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away their rights) and that’s who they need to focus on if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

    In the same vein, to all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true, if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up. I heard Orly Taitz, is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA, now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain”, when they talk about Orange County, the captial of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport, he travel abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess he fooled them too?

  2. I think it's safe to say that for the most part, politics is no longer about facts. It's about how effectively you can get your message onto the airwaves and hammer it into people's heads. Even if they've been debunked, lies repeated again and again tend to stick. Human psychology has its limitations, and they're now being exploited on a regular basis. And like you've said, the media just abets the process.