CNN's Lou Dobbs Targeted by Protests
New America Media, News Report, Anthony D. Advincula Posted: Oct 22, 2009
NEW YORK— Hours before the premiere last night of CNN’s highly publicized documentary series, “Latino in America,” immigrant rights supporters rallied outside the cable news giant’s headquarters to call for the firing of anchor Lou Dobbs.
Waving signs that declared “Certainly Not News,” protesters called Dobbs’ daily show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “a platform to foster hatred against Latinos and immigrants” in the country.
“We’re not just angry, but we’re also here to say that Lou Dobbs must go,” said Rosa Clemente.
The New York protest was part of a coordinated series of events held in 18 cities across the country on the first day of CNN’s two-part documentary series on Latinos. The second part of the documentary will be aired tonight.
While protestors acknowledged that CNN’s focus on the vital contribution of Latinos in the United States was admirable, they said it was undermined by Dobbs well-publicized, anti-immigrant rhetoric.
“Lou Dobbs is a terrorist. He is encouraging the American people to hate Latinos,” said Fabian Arias, a pastor of the Sion Lutheran Church in East Harlem. “It is not only a human rights abuse, but it is a form of terrorism against us.”
The group also called on CNN President Jon Klein to address the issue, which they say raises questions about the journalistic credibility of the network. They plan to present a petition to Klein with hundreds of thousands of signature calling for Dobbs’ removal.
Roberto Lovato, an organizer of the national ¡Basta! (Enough!) Dobbs Campaign that staged the CNN protests, and a longtime contributor to New America Media, said that his group’s campaign complements the work of immigration reform.
“It’s hard to get comprehensive immigration reform because we have someone like Dobbs, who fabricates fear among members in the Senate and Congress,” Lovato said. “Dobbs is very influential, and by promoting hatred against Latinos and all other immigrants on his show, it creates a serious ripple effect.”
The campaign to get Dobbs booted from CNN, he added, is “a show of Latino power.”
Outside CNN’s headquarters, Lovato said that Dobbs does not have the right to invoke the First Amendment because he is merely reporting bigotry against immigrants.
“Dobbs is giving people like the Minutemen the empowerment to kill immigrants,” he said, referring to a vigilante group.
Last week in Brooklyn, undocumented Mexican immigrant Mario Rivera was attacked by a group of men who called him a “wetback.” Rivera is still hospitalized with brain damage and is unable to talk or recognize his family.
City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito said that what happened to Rivera is a byproduct of national news media outlets, like CNN, portraying immigrants negatively.
“People at CNN should be ashamed of themselves,” she said. “They should be ashamed for their misinformation, for stripping us of our humanity. I don’t watch CNN. It doesn’t represent my views.”
Mohammad Jehangir Khan, communications director of New York Community Alliance, said that journalists have the foremost responsibility to tell the truth, rather than promoting bigotry.
“Lou Dobbs has the right to give his opinion,” he said, “but he has no right to twist the facts.”
Coalition Launches National Campaign Against CNN’s Lou Dobbs
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