In the Arena

Lou Demagogue

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Given the amount of serious journalism going on at CNN–the reporters risking their lives on battlefields all over the world, fine journalists like John King and Candy Crowley working to report the presidential campaign accurately, the excellent fact-checking that Wolf Blitzer did earlier this year on the Obama Madrasa smear–given all that and a nearly thirty year history of really trying to present the facts straight…I’ve got to wonder why the network allows Lou Dobbs to continue spewing false, inflammatory nonsense under the guise of objective journalism.

Here is his latest confrontation with Paul Waldman of Media Matters about the fictional NAFTA superhighway. Indeed, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave the NAFTA Superhighway myth four Pinocchios.

Now, I know that Dobbs brings in some serious ratings. And he is certainly entitled to his own opinion. But he is not entitled to his own facts–especially not on a network that makes a real effort to separate truth from falsehood and represent all sides of the political debate. Shouldn’t someone be editing this swill? Doesn’t CNN have a responsibility to tell its viewers that, in this case, one of their presenters is engaged in flat-out anti-immigrant fearmongering? Perhaps the network could employ a simple superimposed title–THIS IS NOT TRUE…or LOU HAS JUMPED THE SHARK ON THIS ONE–whenever Dobbs pretends that there is such a thing as the NAFTA Superhighway. This sort of thing diminishes the credibility and hard work of the other journalists on the network. (And no, I do not count the execrable Glenn Beck as a journalist.)