La Opinión Attacks 'Lies on CNN'
La Opinión, Editorial, Staff Posted: Oct 21, 2009
Journalism is changing with the times. Now, especially on television, the line separating information from personal opinion is increasingly blurred. This poses some ethical issues, but the public can differentiate between the two. But what happens when the information is false?
This is the case of CNN’s Lou Dobbs. The news channel has prided itself for years on being a source of information, but the inclusion of Dobbs in its programming calls this claim into question.
The presenter basically mixes opinions that are usually supported with lies, following a nativist tradition that uses foreigners—previously Irish, Italians, and Chinese—as scapegoats for everything. In Dobbs’ universe, there is a secret Mexican conspiracy to take over the country’s southwest; the undocumented are responsible for many of the country’s murders and drunk drivers; millions of jobs have been stolen by immigrants; they are responsible for the mortgage crisis and for bringing diseases into the country.
One example of this is his having linked the undocumented to 7,000 new cases of leprosy appearing in the United States over the last three years. These figures were denied by federal health authorities and the reporter who provided the information acknowledges having received it from a source who is not a doctor and is rabidly anti-immigrant. Dobbs, when confronted with this fact on the news show "60 Minutes," responded: "If we reported it, it’s a fact." He is an embarrassment to the news network.
Meanwhile, CNN is seeking its share of the growing Latino market. The series Latino in America is one example of this. Reports by Soledad O’Brien show a different side of the Latino community and reveal a reality separate from the negative stereotypes Dobbs promotes on the same station.
We believe CNN should not cover up Lou Dobbs’ falsehoods, if it wants to maintain its journalistic credibility. This is not an issue for debate. In serious journalism there is simply no room for liars.
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