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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 CNNs highly publicized documentary series, Latino in America, immigrant rights supporters rallied outside the cable news giants 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.

Were not just angry, but were 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 CNNs two-part documentary series on Latinos. The second part of the documentary will be aired tonight.

While protestors acknowledged that CNNs 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 groups campaign complements the work of immigration reform.

Its 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 CNNs 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 dont watch CNN. It doesnt 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.

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