Lou Dobbs, Soledad O'Brien and CNN's coverage of Latinos

CNN is taking a lot of heat from Latino community leaders.

There are press conferences across the country today, including one in Chicago, demanding CNN drop Lou Dobbs, for his anti-immigrant rhetoric and for associating with extremist anti-immigration groups like FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"We believe that Lou Dobbs is the number one pusher of anti-immigrant hate and that has poisoned the environment for immigration reform," said Carlos Fernandez, program manager with NALACC, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities in Chicago.


Soledad O'Brien

They chose today to step up the nationwide "Drop Dobbs" campaign, which I wrote a blog about a few weeks back, because tonight CNN premieres a new special called "Latino in America." It is a two-night, four-hour report by Soledad O'Brien.

"It's a good series. It's important and necessary. But four hours on the contributions Latinos have made is not enough to counteract what Dobbs is promoting," Fernandez told me.

"If CNN wants to cover Latinos, we're so ingrained in society we need to have coverage every day, not as a special or for Hispanic Heritage month," Fernandez added.
I agree with these leaders that I find Dobbs' message offensive and he has had guests on his show who associate with alleged hate groups. He has stretched the facts on immigration issues.

But if we call for Dobbs to be pulled off the air, then others could call for liberals like Rachel Maddow to be pulled off MSNBC-TV, or to censor opinion bloggers like me who advocate for immigrant rights. I honestly don't think CNN is going to take Dobbs off the air. I would be happy if they did but I don't see it happening.

I agree that CNN does need to have fair and balanced coverage. Dobbs show shouldn't be labeled as news but called a talk or opinion show.

And CNN should give a liberal journalist a talk show to present the other side of the story that Dobbs ignores. They should hire more Latino reporters and commentators. During the election, they regularly featured Latino Republicans Leslie Sanchez and Alex Castellanos. That made no sense as the majority of Latinos are Democrats.

It's right that Latino community groups criticize Dobbs. They are exercising their freedom of speech.

But it doesn't address why CNN doesn't have more coverage of the Latino community or more Latino journalists working for them. This is what really needs to change.

Clarification: This story should have noted that it was the Basta Dobbs campaign that was one of the main organizers of the press conferences.


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  • Facts, never let them get in the way of your crusade. Dobbs show talks mainly if you were to pay attention to it, is all for legal immigration as is I. Illegal immigration is what his show reports on and people like you Teresa can't seem to distiguish between the too. The 30-40 illegals in this country are distroying it from within. I'll have you know I want all illegals to be arrested and deported, that means the Indians the Irish the Pols the Russians etc. etc.. How's this to be done, 1 at a time and I believe our government had better get the boarders and ports of entry under control or just the over population of this nation will be destroyed in the next 50 years.


    Lou Dobbs is not anti-Latino, he, like me is anti-illegal immigrant. The fact is there are between 20 to 30 million plus illegal aliens in this country and the majority happen to be Latino? They want to live in America? Go home and join the line of millions of other people? There is no easy road and I for one will keep up my blogs against anymore occupancy of foreign nations overwhelming America's way of life. Read the facts about corruption in Washington at NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH

  • I am so glad Lou Dobbs is no longer on CNN. Now I can turn to that station and not have to see his face and hear his hateful words.
    I felt Dobbs' constant use of the term "illegal aliens" was erroneous and insulting; he is obviously ignorant about U.S. history with Mexico. Indigenous peoples have been migrating back and forth for thousands of years and are NOT immigrants or foreigners. The border was imposed in the first place by the U.S. government after it waged an illegal, unjust, and immoral war against Mexico. Now to make matters much worse, a physical wall will further divide families and inflict a desecrating scar on their sacred Motherland! Unfortunately, injustices will continue as long as heartless and arrogant commentators like Dobbs continue to spew hate and lies in an attemt to drag the country back to pre-civil rights days!

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