Lou Dobbs says he doesn't feel like he was pushed out of CNN, the news organization where he worked for all but two years of its existence until last Wednesday.
"Not at all," he said in a weekend interview. "I don't know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting on the best of terms. I spent 29 years there building that company, and I wish everyone there nothing but the best, and they have reciprocated with me."
He announced his resignation on "Lou Dobbs Tonight," finished the newscast and walked out of CNN.
It's hard to know whether the abruptness or the lack of rancor surrounding the exit was more noteworthy. Dobbs' outspokenness had made him a political target — so much so that there were parties celebrating the departure over the weekend — and an uncomfortable contradiction to what CNN says it wants to be.
Dobbs said he plans to take time deciding what he wants to do, beyond his daily radio show. He promised to reach out to groups who criticized him, most prominently because he advocated stern measures to halt illegal immigration. A petition campaign seeking his ouster took root in recent months after Dobbs gave attention on his show to questions about President Barack Obama's place of birth.
Dobbs spoke his mind freely on his radio show, unrelated to CNN, but tried at management's request for the past several months to do a straight television newscast. He and CNN President Jon Klein spoke frequently about the direction of the show.
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