For Immediate Release
Jessica Levin (202) 772-8162
CNN's Dobbs Problem Just Got Bigger: Media Matters Calls on Public to Pressure 'The Most Trusted Name In News'
WASHINGTON - After CNN President
Jon Klein reportedly called Lou Dobbs' coverage of conspiracy theories about
President Obama's birth certificate "legitimate" on Friday, July 24, Media
Matters for America
President Eric Burns sent an email to its thousands of online activists
today asking for their help to publicly pressure CNN to credibly
address its Lou Dobbs problem.
In the email, Burns
writes: "Klein's caving to Dobbs raises
a serious, troubling question: Who is really calling the shots at CNN?"
Burns also called on
readers to sign a public petition, saying: "Dobbs'
relentless promotion of outlandish conspiracy theories seriously damages
CNN's credibility. It is time for 'The Most Trusted Name in
News' to prove it deserves viewers' trust."
Those receiving the
email are encouraged to sign the petition at:
The complete email follows:
CNN's Lou Dobbs problem
CNN's Lou Dobbs has repeatedly used his prominent platform as a
prime-time host on CNN, as well as his daily nationally syndicated radio show, to
legitimize paranoid conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's
birth certificate. Despite
the fact that these fringe ideas have been thoroughly debunked, he continues to
mainstream extreme right-wing rhetoric by asserting that Obama needs to "produce a birth
certificate" and giving birther conspiracies airtime on his
In response to
Dobbs' relentless trafficking in
these fringe conspiracy theories, CNN President Jon Klein initially declared
the story "dead," saying anyone who "is not convinced doesn't
really have a legitimate beef." But less than 24 hours later, Klein caved
in to Dobbs, reversing himself completely. . He even went so far as to reportedly call
Dobb's coverage of the birther movement "legitimate." 
Contrary to Klein's
description of Dobbs' birth certificate coverage as
"legitimate," CNN's own hosts have debunked and ridiculed the
story as "ludicrous," "nutty," and
Nevertheless, Dobbs has
repeatedly claimed on both his television and radio shows that President Obama
has failed to adequately address the claims of
birther conspiracy theorists. He has said that Obama needs to "produce a
birth certificate" and that the birth certificate the president posted
online more than a year ago has "some issues." Rather than correct the record in response to
criticism of his coverage of birther theories, Dobbs has lashed out
at "lily-livered lefties" who criticized him because he "had the
temerity to inquire as to where the birth certificate was." He even claims a "national left-wing media
conspiracy" is attacking
him over the birther issue.
We need to present CNN with an overwhelming
public response to Dobbs' relentless promotion of these
conspiracy theories tinged with racism.  You can help us make that push in a big way
by signing a public petition at the following website:
CNN brands itself as
"The Most Trusted Name in News." If
that is to be believed, it is imperative that CNN address one of its premier host's promotion of
discredited, fringe conspiracies
promotion of outlandish conspiracy theories seriously damages CNN's
credibility. It is time
for "The Most Trusted Name in News" to prove it deserves viewers' trust.
Thank you for your help
in holding CNN accountable.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.