The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jess Levin (202) 772-8162

CNN's Lou Dobbs Loophole: Review of Dobbs' Immigration Reporting Shows 'Most Trusted Name in News' Holds Prime-Time Host to Different Standard


Today, in light of CNN host Lou Dobbs' reported plans to help lead the lobbying
campaign of anti-immigration organization Federation for American Immigration Reform
(FAIR) on September 15 and 16, Media Matters
for America
revisited some
of the most egregious conspiracy theories, hate speech, and undisclosed conflicts
of interest in Dobbs' immigration reporting. Upon learning of Dobbs'
central role at the FAIR event, Media Matters
President Eric Burns sent a letter to Jon Klein, president of "the most trusted
name in news," asking that Dobbs be prohibited from participating; thus
far, the letter has yielded no response.

"It is hard to believe that CNN
-- a network never shy to tout itself as the only cable news channel doing
'straight' reporting -- would allow one of its hosts to help lead
an anti-immigration lobbying campaign,"
said Burns. "But when it comes to the network's journalistic integrity,
CNN seems to have a Lou Dobbs loophole

Burns continued: "In fact, it is
laughable that after years of reporting marred by baseless conspiracy theories,
indefensible hate speech, and undisclosed conflicts of interest, Dobbs still enjoys
prime-time billing on the 'most trusted name in news
.' "


Upon hearing of Dobbs' scheduled appearance at the annual FAIR "Hold
Their Feet to the Fire" radio host rally, Media Matters sent a letter to CNN noting that Dobbs'
-- and by extension the network's -- association with an anti-immigration
organization deemed a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center
would damage a network whose credibility already took a severe beating following
the controversy surrounding Dobbs' promotion of "birther" conspiracy

After the letter went unanswered, Media
released a comprehensive report detailing how Dobbs' immigration
coverage has been marred by egregious conspiracy theories, hate speech, and conflicts
of interest. Examples include:

  • Dobbs' failure
    to disclose his fundraising for the Hazelton legal defense fund while reporting
    on immigration ordinance
  • His forced retraction
    of a smear about the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • His show's use
    of a hate group graphic to push the "reconquista" myth
  • His unwavering defense
    of his show's wildly off-base leprosy reporting
  • His pushing a North American
    Union myth that his colleagues called a "conspiracy theor[y]"
  • His injecting loaded
    "amnesty" graphics into CNN journalists' news reports

To view the entire report:

Dobbs problem and the
immigration debate

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.