Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SPLC President: Why I Urged CNN to Take Dobbs Off the Air

"On his show, O’Reilly bet me that CNN would not take Dobbs off the air. He’s banking on the apathy of the public and the imperviousness of a powerful network like CNN to public complaints. I’d like to have a more optimistic view of both the public and CNN. If enough people care, if enough people write to CNN, it can make a difference."
Posted in Extremist Propaganda by Richard Cohen on July 28, 2009

Yesterday, I went on the “O’Reilly Factor” to discuss our call for CNN to take Lou Dobbs off the air for Dobbs’ latest conspiracy-mongering. Bill O’Reilly said we shouldn’t take Dobbs too seriously. After all, Bill said, it’s all just for ratings. But in our view, the matter is an extremely serious one, because the ratings game Dobbs is playing is very dangerous.

For years, Dobbs has been trading in baseless, conspiratorial claims that originate on the radical right. Most recently, he’s given credence to the utterly discredited claim that President Obama was not born in this country and so is not eligible to be president. It’s a claim that’s been debunked many times over. CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called it “a joke.” But it’s a claim that continues to circulate in radical right circles. James von Brunn, the neo-Nazi accused of killing the Holocaust Memorial Museum guard, for example, promoted the claim on the Internet and berated the media for not taking it seriously.

The reason Dobbs’ ratings game is so dangerous is that there is a segment in our society that is not ready to accept the fact that we have a black man in the White House. At the extreme, people are striking out, killing others as a result. In Okaloosa, Fla., two sheriff’s deputies were murdered by a man who was upset over Obama’s election. In Pittsburgh, three police officers were murdered by a man who was convinced that Obama was going to ban guns. The Secret Service has reported a record number of threats against the new president. By knowingly trading in unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims that undermine the president’s legitimacy, Dobbs is stirring a boiling pot. Just like he’s been stirring the pot of anti-Latino rage for years.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Dobbs bears legal responsibility for the right-wing violence that has greeted the Obama presidency. But I am saying that Dobbs bears a degree of moral responsibility for pouring fuel, in the form of baseless accusations, on a raging fire. Because Dobbs can’t help himself – and because he has a history of promoting false claims that originate on the radical right – we have called on CNN to remove him from the air. Merely telling those who are offended to turn the channel is not going to solve the problem

None of this is about censorship or infringing on Dobbs’ First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects us all against government censorship; it doesn’t stop news organizations from exercising editorial judgment. We’re not asking the government to arrest Dobbs or force CNN to cancel his show. Instead, we’re asking CNN, a private organization, to live up to its own standards of journalistic integrity and take Dobbs off the air. Dobbs can continue spreading propaganda on every street corner in the America. But CNN has no more of an obligation to allow him to appear on its network than it has an obligation to let me do the same. The fact that Dobbs may have a loyal audience is a poor excuse to allow him to spread misinformation, especially for a network that bills itself as “the most trusted name in news.”

On his show, O’Reilly bet me that CNN would not take Dobbs off the air. He’s banking on the apathy of the public and the imperviousness of a powerful network like CNN to public complaints. I’d like to have a more optimistic view of both the public and CNN. If enough people care, if enough people write to CNN, it can make a difference.

07/24/2009:
Lou Dobbs is once again peddling extremist propaganda on CNN. This time, he's giving legitimacy to the discredited, conspiratorial claims that President Obama was born outside the U.S. and is ineligible to be president.

Bill O'Reilly says we shouldn't take Dobbs seriously – that his "bloviating" is just a ratings game. But it's a dangerous game.

By lending credence to this bogus story, Dobbs is pandering to a segment of society that is not ready to accept a black man in the White House. He bears a degree of moral responsibility for pouring fuel — in the form of baseless accusations — on a raging fire of racism that has already resulted in a wave of violence since Obama was elected.

This is not just about Dobbs. It's about standing up against the mainstreaming of hate and extremism. It's about the news media's responsibility to tell the truth.

Enough is enough. O'Reilly says CNN won't care what the public thinks about Dobbs' irresponsible reporting. Let's show he's wrong. Please join our call for CNN to remove Dobbs from the air. We'll compile and forward your comments to CNN.

OTHER ITEMS AT SPLC:

Commentary: Are Gays in the Military Really More Dangerous than Neo-Nazis?
07/15/2009
Here’s a question to ponder: Who poses more of a threat to the good order of the military, not to mention our national security?
» Read More
SPLC Urges Congress to Investigate Extremism in the Military
07/10/2009
The Southern Poverty Law Center today urged Congress to investigate growing evidence that racial extremists are infiltrating the U.S. military.
» Read More
Terror from the Right
07/01/2009
Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since 1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America.
» Read More
SPLC Report Finds Low-Income Latinos in South Targeted for Abuse, Discrimination
04/21/2009
Low-income Latino immigrants in the South are routinely the targets of wage theft, racial profiling and other abuses driven by an anti-immigrant climate that harms all Latinos.
» Read More
SPLC Sues Mississippi County to Stop 'Shocking' Abuse of Children at Detention Center
04/20/2009
The Southern Poverty Law Center today filed a federal class action suit to stop the "shockingly inhumane" treatment of children at a juvenile detention center.
» Read More
Homeland Security: Economic, Political Climate Fueling Extremism
04/15/2009
A new intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security warns of extremist recruitment fueled by the faltering economy, the election of Barack Obama and fears about Latino immigration.
» Read More
Bandana Project to Spotlight Sexual Exploitation of Farmworker Women
04/02/2009
Residents of 25 states and three other countries will take a stand against the sexual exploitation of farmworker women and other low-wage female immigrant workers in April as part of the "Bandana Project."
» Read More

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1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

Republicans will need many surgeons to perform Lobotomies :

Tim Kaine, Governor of Virginia and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee DNC - He spoke before the annual meeting of National Council of La Raza, the country's top Latino civil rights group.

Tim Kaine says that Virginia is beginning to show beautiful results in Integrating Hispanics to America.

The Good Guys make a great effort to teach English to Children and Adults. And to reach Hispanics in every way, including voter registration for next elections.

Meanwhile the Republicans snub and despise Latinos and make the greatest effort in the Opposite Direction. They were invited but did not attend the annual meeting of National Council of La Raza

Latinos will need Millions of Lobotomies to vote for those that Hate them ....

Even if one month before the elections the Republicans start to court the Latinos with a lot of Lies and Hypocrisy.

In MILENIALS.COM ... I am gathering the opinions of many distinguished Law Professors, Intellectuals and of Great Comedians on the Last Racial Events ... including Sotomayor, La Raza and Harvard Professor Gates.

This has to be reflected in the Next Election Results .... We have to blog relentlessly to avoid Latinos from voting for those Racists that hate them .... We have to work very hard in order to avoid those mistakes, by people that do not know English enough to understand their enemies, or that are not interested in politics.

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque