Advocates to CNN: Drop Dobbs!
Tomorrow night CNN will be launching "Latino in America," a four hour program hosted by Soledad O'Brien that explores Latino culture and how Latinos are reshaping America. The series represents CNN's efforts to attract the growing Latino market. CNN's efforts, however, have created some controversy.
While CNN's "Latino in America" celebrates Latinos, media, civil rights, Latino, and immigration groups have been pressuring CNN to drop anchor Lou Dobbs for promoting anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiment. After Dobbs agreed to speak in a rally hosted by the anti-immigrant organization, FAIR, a broad coalition of national organizations, including NCLR, Media Matters, and America's Voice came together to call on advertisers to drop their sponsorship of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight. The coalition also points out that Dobbs has recently aligned himself with groups that question President Obama's citizenship.
This is not the first time that Dobbs is criticized for promoting anti-immigrant extremism. Back in June 2008, I wrote about a groundbreaking Media Matters report that identified Dobbs as one of the loudest voices promoting lies and myths about the issue of illegal immigration. Dobbs "reporting" has and continues to contribute to the wave of hate and violence against Latinos and immigrants in this country. The results are clear: crimes against Latinos have increased 40 percent from 2003 to 2006.
The DropDobbs coalition raised $16,000 to run an ad targeting Dobbs during the broadcast of "Latino in America", but CNN has refused to air it. As members of the coalition say, CNN cannot be celebrating Latinos and promoting anti-Latino propaganda at the same time.