Groups affiliated with a campaign to persuade CNN to drop commentator Lou Dobbs because of his anti-illegal-immigrant stance say the network is refusing to air its spot encouraging the network to drop the personality.
"CNN is willing to stand behind Dobbs, but it hides from legitimate criticism," said Eric Burns, president of Media Matters for America, one of the sponsors of the commercial. "The most trusted name in news isn't willing to critically examine one of its preeminent hosts. Dobbs' record speaks for itself. He isn't worthy of the platform CNN gives him."
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The sponsoring groups Media Matters and America's Voice say ad time was purchased for the Oct. 21 and 22 airing of CNN's National Hispanic Heritage Month series "Latino in America." The ad calls out Dobbs for voicing what the groups say is anti-Latino hate. He's backed Minutemen, members of a militant anti-illegal-immigrant group, as "heroes," and he said the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was "absolute pandering to the Hispanics."
The organizations, along with many others, such as Voto Latino and the locally based National Hispanic Media Coalition, also sponsor the anti-Dobbs website dropdobbs.com. The portal lists a litany of complaints against the blowhard, including his repetition of non-facts (that illegal immigrants comprise a third of the nation's prison population) and myths (that illegal immigrants want to be a part of a retaking, or "reconquista" of an American Southwest that once beloned to Mexico).
The groups wanted an audience with the network's Latino viewers during the "Latino in America" airings to show that, while CNN is clearly interested in business a Latino demographic can bring, it still employs a man who is seen as no friend to Latino America.
So far, CNN has not explained why it turned down the ads, but there is speculation that Dobbs will leave quietly, perhaps to take a roll at Fox Business.