Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


Please Help Stop The Lies And Hate Mongering

Dear friends,

CNN's Lou Dobbs has been using his show to give life to conspiracy theories claiming President Obama wasn't born in the U.S. The question was put to rest long ago, but Dobbs is pretending that this extremist nonsense is a legitimate national conversation.

Dobbs, intentionally or not, is stoking the fires of racial fear and paranoia in the same way that the McCain/Palin campaign did when they cast Obama as "not one of us." Even after being called on it, he refuses to stop.

CNN claims to be "the most trusted name in news," yet it is allowing one of its hosts to give legitimacy to debunked, racist conspiracy theories. Will you join me in calling on CNN to dump Dobbs -- and ask your friends and family to do the same? It takes just a minute:

For more than a year, folks on the far right have been claiming that Obama is not a U.S. citizen, that he was born in Kenya, and that as a result he can't be president. The theory has been repeatedly debunked. Not only has the state of Hawaii produced a birth certificate several times, there were also birth announcements in two separate Hawaii papers when Obama was born, placing his birth in Hawaii--for most reasonable people, that would remove any doubt.

Members of Dobbs' own staff have said they're uncomfortable with his insistence on pursuing this story, but Dobbs insists on claiming there must be something to it because "Obama refuses to produce the long-form of his birth certificate." Other news outlets have refused to give the idea any credence. The head of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, had this to say about the claim: "It's racist. It's racist. Just call it for what it is."

Dobbs and race

Lou Dobbs has a history of attacking immigrants by spouting hateful rhetoric and lies. He once claimed that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like leprosy and malaria. This kind of rhetoric feeds anti-immigrant hate, which has led to horrors like the beating death of Luis Ramirez in Pennsylvania and the shooting death of 9-year old Brisenia Flores in Arizona earlier this year. Dobb's role in creating this environment has led organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to call on CNN to reign in Dobbs in the past.

Now Dobbs is going after Obama by giving voice to the same kind of xenophobic rhetoric, stoking the deep-seated fears of angry right-wing extremists who, as CNN analyst Roland Martin has said, can't accept the fact that their president is Black.

Dobbs may not like Obama. But it's a real problem for him to use his powerful position as a moderator of discussion about the news to validate a dangerous falsehood that's rooted in racism.

Several watchdog groups have demanded action on the part of CNN. The head of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote CNN last week asking that they fire Dobbs based on his recent actions9. Media Matters and others have launched efforts to hold CNN accountable as well.

CNN has the opportunity to live up to its description of itself as the most trusted cable news network. Or it can start to look like FOX, where the legitimizing of extremist propaganda is part of doing business.

I've joined in calling on Jon Klein, the president of CNN, to take Dobbs off the air. Will you join us, and ask your friends and family to do the same?


Here are some links to more info:

Lou Dobbs Show, CNN, 7-23-09

"Mob scene or campaign rally?", 10-14-08

"(Still) Challenging Obama's birth certificate," Politics Daily, 11-24-08

"CNN chief addresses Obama birth controversy," LA Times, 7-25-09

"On Television and Radio, Talk of Obama's Citizenship," The New York Times, 7-24-09

"CNN's Immigration Problem," Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, 4-24-06

"Broken Record," Intelligence Report, Winter 2005

"CNN's Martin: Birthers' "I want my country back" comment means "How is this black guy all of the sudden running the country?" Media Matters, 7-22-09

"Major Civil Rights Group Demands CNN Remove Lou Dobbs From The Air," Huffington Post, 7-24-09

"CNN's Dobbs Problem," Media Matters

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