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News Media Last Updated: Jul 29th, 2009 - 00:31:54

Lou Dobbs undermines CNN's credibility
By Mary Shaw
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 29, 2009, 00:10

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With Fox News tilted firmly to the right and MSNBC leaning more and more to the left, CNN is commonly regarded as the more moderate, more balanced cable news alternative.

And that generally seems to be the case, with a couple of exceptions, the most glaring of which is Lou Dobbs.

In recent years, Dobbs gained notoriety for his loud opposition to U.S. immigration policy, especially where brown-skinned people are concerned.

But now Dobbs is sinking even further into Wingnutland.

Lately, Dobbs has been using his CNN desk to propagate the ridiculous crackpot claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and, therefore, is not constitutionally entitled to the presidency.

Never mind the fact that an image of Obama�s birth certificate has been available online at since well before last November�s election.

And never mind the fact that Washington�s power base -- and the Clintons -- would likely never have allowed a non-citizen to assume the office.

But Dobbs refuses to believe that there is no vast left-wing conspiracy that bypassed the Constitution to put an African American in the White House. (Hey Lou: If there really is such a vast left-wing conspiracy, why is it having such a hard time passing a public health care plan through Congress?)

The bottom line is this: Even though several of his CNN colleagues have refuted the birth certificate conspiracy theory on the air, as long as Dobbs continues to use his position to spread this kind of nonsense, CNN�s reputation for objectivity will be on the line.

Apparently CNN�s honchos realize this, having gotten some pressure from the public and at least one civil rights organization.

So last Thursday CNN president Jon Klein sent Dobbs an email declaring that the Obama birth certificate story �is dead,� and that �anyone who still is not convinced doesn�t really have a legitimate beef.�

So will Dobbs comply and give it a rest? Time will tell.

Maybe he�ll go back to focusing his energy on the Mexicans he so fears (not that he ever really stopped).

Or maybe he�ll find someone new to hate.

Because he seems to be so deeply entrenched in his xenophobic paranoia that he must have someone to point to and condemn.

Because of that, I pity him.

And, because of that, CNN has become harder and harder to watch.

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author�s own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated. E-mail:

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