A Latino activist group has launched a withering attack against CNN's Lou Dobbs for his portrayal of the illegal immigrant issue. The group accuses the news network of "hypocrisy" for its growing efforts to cover Latino issues while continuing to give Dobbs a platform for a long-running crusade against illegal immigrants.
In a three-minute ad it posted to YouTube on Tuesday, BastaDobbs.com, put together by the Latino advocacy group Presente.org and numerous local activist groups across the US, accuses the host of Lou Dobbs Tonight of "promot[ing] hate by telling lies," and points out that the CNN anchor has spread misinformation about America's undocumented immigrants.
"Our campaign targets the dangerous nexus between anti-immigrant extremism and the media," the group states on its Web site. "At the same time that CNN profits from Dobbs’ brand of 'news,' the network is courting Latino viewers by adding Latino talent and producing legitimate programming aimed at the Latino audience. BastaDobbs.com was created to shine the spotlight on this hypocrisy, and demand that CNN deal with its Dobbs problem once and for all."
Referring to CNN host Soledad O'Brien's upcoming special, Latino in America, the group's ad states: "We thank CNN & Soledad for honoring the Latino community. But CNN has a problem." The ad then cuts to footage of Dobbs repeatedly using the term "criminal illegal aliens."
The ad links Dobbs' coverage with growing violence against the Latino minority in the US, pointing to an FBI statistic that shows ethnically motivated violence against Latinos in the US jumped by 40 percent between 2003 and 2007. Lou Dobbs Tonight began airing in 2003.
The BastaDobbs ad refers to the shooting death of 10-year-old Brisenia Flores, of Arivaca, Arizona, for which three people involved in the Minuteman movement were arrested. It then cuts to a shot of Dobbs declaring: "I support the Minuteman project and the fine Americans that make it up, and all they've accomplished, fully relentlessly and proudly."
The ad also shows Dobbs claiming more than once that one-third of the US prison population is composed of illegal immigrants, only to be corrected -- six percent of the prison population is made up of foreign nationals, meaning that fewer than six percent are illegal. Another segment shows Dobbs linking illegal immigration to tuberculosis, leprosy and malaria.
The ad concludes: "It's time to take a stand. CNN, you can't have it both ways. It's time for Dobbs to go."
The following video was posted to YouTube on October 13, 2009.