CNN's Malveaux said "conspiracy theorists" talk about North American Union -- what about Dobbs?

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

Discussing President Bush's denial that the federal government has plans for a "North American Union," CNN's Suzanne Malveaux said Bush's denial followed "a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists." But Malveaux did not note that CNN's own Lou Dobbs, on whose show Malveaux regularly provides news reports, has repeatedly hyped the possibility of a North American Union.

On the August 21 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux showed a video clip of President Bush's denial that the federal government has plans for a "North American Union" or a North American superhighway that would link Canada, Mexico, and the United States, despite what Bush said "people are talking on TV about." Malveaux said Bush's denial followed "a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists." Malveaux did not note that CNN's own Lou Dobbs, on whose show Malveaux regularly provides news reports, has repeatedly hyped the possibility of a North American Union. According to a search of the Nexis database, the North American Union has been mentioned on 53 broadcasts of Lou Dobbs' programs (Lou Dobbs Tonight and Lou Dobbs This Week)* -- 21 of which included Malveaux herself.** During a Malveaux report just the day before -- on the August 20 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight -- on-screen text read: "Critics say SPP [Security & Prosperity Partnership] an Attempt to Create a N. Amer. Union."

Moreover, Lisa Sylvester, guest hosting the August 21 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight -- which aired immediately following the Situation Room that featured Malveaux's report -- referred to the same comments by Bush as "an apparent shot at our very own Lou Dobbs and our reporting on the threats the SPP may pose." On-screen graphics during the video clip of Bush's remarks read: "Bush Blasts Lou Dobbs Over SPP [Security and Prosperity Partnership] Criticism."

On August 21, Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were asked: "Can you say today that this is not a prelude to a North American Union, similar to a European Union? Are there plans to build some kind of superhighway connecting all three countries?" Bush responded: "It's quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about." Later that day, on The Situation Room, Malveaux said of Bush's comments: "Well, [host] Wolf [Blitzer], there's a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists who believe that this summit was really a secret plot, if you will, to establish a supergovernment in support of big business -- that even there'd be some sort of superhighway that would be traveling through all three of the countries."

But there have been numerous references on Dobbs' shows to the purported North American Union and/or "NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] superhighway" -- including during reports on the summit. Just the day before, Sylvester had introduced Malveaux's report as one about "the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership," and had followed it up with a report about "[c]ritics of the Partnership [who] say the SPP is an attempt to create an outright North American Union without congressional oversight." Sylvester had a discussion with John Fonte, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for American Common Culture, and American University professor Robert Pastor, whom Sylvester called "the father of the North American Union" and referred to as "an ardent supporter of this." Pastor replied: "I never proposed a North American Union. I think that's completely impractical and impossible."

Similarly, other CNN programs have promoted the idea that the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are considering a North American Union or the NAFTA superhighway, for example:

  • On the October 27, 2006, edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, the following exchange occurred:

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

Just one day after President Bush signed legislation here in Washington to build a border fence, the government of Mexico is threatening the sovereignty and national security of the United States. President Vicente Fox and President-elect Felipe Calderón are both asserting that the United States has no right to build such a fence along our southern border.

At the same time, the White House and its allies in corporate America appear determined to create a new North American Union, incorporating Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Such a union would, in effect, create a giant nation, including those three countries.

[CNN correspondent] Casey Wian tonight reports from Los Angeles on the Mexican government's most blatant attempt to interfere in U.S. affairs.

Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House on the Bush administration's reaction to Mexico's statements today.

Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington on this administration's apparent determination to create a huge North American Union without authorization from the American people.

  • On the November 29, 2006, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs teased a "special report" about how "[t]he president is also determined to push his quiet agenda to create a North American Union of the United States, Mexico, and Canada without the approval of the people or the Congress."
  • On the January 17 Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs teased a "special report" on "the Bush administration and corporate America in league, forming a North American Union between and among the United States, Canada, and Mexico without consultation, of course, of the United States Congress or American citizens." Later in the program, Dobbs added: "It's unofficially known as the North American Union. Some, for some reason, suggest there's no such thing, that there is no plan to merge the United States and Mexico and the United States without the knowledge and approval of the citizens of those three countries. Well, tonight, you're going to find out that there really is such a thing and it's all part of a plan."
  • On the May 19 edition of Lou Dobbs This Week, Dobbs teased a report on the then-upcoming immigration bill: "Critics of this amnesty deal say the agreement sells out American citizens, national security, and this nation's sovereignty. Those critics say the Bush administration and some pro-amnesty lawmakers are hell-bent on creating a North American Union without the consent of the American people or Congress."
  • On the June 22 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs said it was an "excellent question" as to why no other reporters were covering the NAFTA superhighway or the North American Union.
  • On the July 31 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs said of the "so-called NAFTA superhighway:" "The mainstream media finally beginning to pick up on a story we've been reporting here for some time -- the plan to build a superhighway -- yes, it really exists -- all the way from Mexico through the United States to Canada."

* Nexis search for SHOW(Lou Dobbs) and North American Union

** Nexis search for SHOW(Lou Dobbs) and North American Union and Malveaux

From the January 17 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: And the Bush administration and corporate America in league, forming a North American Union between and among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, without consultation, of course, of the United States Congress or American citizens.

We'll have that special report.

[...]

DOBBS: It's unofficially known as the North American Union. Some, for some reason, suggest there's no such thing, that there is no plan to merge the United States, Mexico, and the United States, without the knowledge and approval of the citizens of those three countries. Well, tonight, you're going to find out that there really is such a thing and it's all part of a plan.

From the June 22 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: Time now for some of your thoughts.

[Viewer] in Georgia saying, "As a teacher who has just finished her -- his fifth" -- let's try that all over again. "As a teacher who has just finished his 30th year in the classroom -- thank you for your report on parents being responsible for academic failure, chronic absenteeism, and drop outs."

And [viewer] in Indiana: "You are the only reporter I've heard mention the North American Union and the NAFTA Highway. Why are the other reporters not talking about it?"

An excellent question.

From the July 31 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

ANNOUNCER: CNN: The most trusted name in news.

DOBBS: The mainstream media finally beginning to pick up on a story we've been reporting here for some time -- the plan to build a superhighway -- yes, it really exists -- all the way from Mexico through the United States to Canada.

Critics say the so-called NAFTA superhighway is a first step towards eventual plans to merge Mexico, Canada, and the United States into, effectively, one nation.

But federal officials are denying there are plans for any such highway. In fact, they told The New York Times that a, quote, "Federal project for a behemoth highway bisecting the heart of the country and erasing America's borders is an urban legend."

At the same time, the White House today announced that President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed ties between the two countries and relations with Mexico. The three leaders to hold a summit next month to disclose -- to discuss, not disclose, to discuss measures to make it easier to transport goods across our borders.

Lawmakers believe that that could result in even less border security, if that's imaginable.

From the August 20 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

SYLVESTER: From Hurricane Dean to politics. President Bush today made a new attempt to deepen U.S. links with Canada and Mexico. The president flew to Canada for a summit meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

One of the key issues on their agenda: the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Suzanne Malveaux reports now from Quebec -- Suzanne.

[...]

SYLVESTER: Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much for that report.

Now, the White House insists the Security and Prosperity Partnership is not a threat to U.S. sovereignty. Critics of the partnership remain unconvinced. They say the SPP is an attempt to create an outright North American Union without congressional oversight.

[CNN host] Christine Romans has the report.

[...]

SYLVESTER: And Robert Pastor, you have often been referred to as the father of the North American Union. You are an ardent supporter of this.

Give us some of your reasons why. Don't you see this as part of us -- the United States essentially -- and, for that matter, Mexico and Canada -- essentially giving up some of its sovereignty?

ROBERT PASTOR (American University professor of international relations): No, quite the contrary. Sovereignty means the defense of nation. And greater cooperation with our neighbors means that our country will be defended better and will be both more secure and also more prosperous.

And I think if you want to build a wall and to keep out our two most important trading partners, our two most important sources of energy, this will diminish the sovereignty of our countries. Cooperation is absolutely essential.

I never proposed a North American Union. I think that's completely impractical and impossible. I do, however, believe that much deeper cooperation among the three countries is absolutely essential.

From the August 21 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

BLITZER: Suzanne, I want to switch gears. Talk about this other issue that's out there: the creation of a new North American Union, if you will, similar to the EU, the European Union. The president was asked about this today at the summit meeting with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. Listen to what he said.

BUSH [video clip]: I'm amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to, you know, say takes place. It's quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about.

BLITZER: All right, well, what is the background? What is going on here?

MALVEAUX: Well, Wolf, there's a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists who believe that this summit was really a secret plot, if you will, to establish a supergovernment in support of big business -- that even there'd be some sort of superhighway that would be traveling through all three of the countries.

All leaders got quite a bit of a chuckle out of this one. We even heard from Prime Minister Harper who said, "Look, they manufacture the rules for manufacturing jellybeans are different in Canada, as well as the United States. If you standardize the jellybean, it's not a threat to Canada's sovereignty." So, obviously, a lot of suspicion on the part of what this summit was really about, but they assured people, "Look, there's nothing really to worry about."

BLITZER: A lovely time of the year to visit Quebec.

From the August 21 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

SYLVESTER: And President Bush apparently tries to blast our very own Lou Dobbs for trying to protect our sovereignty. We'll have that story coming up.

[...]

SYLVESTER: President Bush today wrapped up the North American summit with Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, and Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper.

The talks, part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, covered security and trade issues. Critics say these talks are preparations for a North American Union, which could threaten our sovereignty. President Bush tried to laugh off the critics, and he took an apparent shot at our very own Lou Dobbs and our reporting on the threats the SPP may pose.

BUSH [video clip]: I'm amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to, you know, say takes place. It's quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about.

SYLVESTER: Well, this administration has been pushing for this SPP. There's been little transparency. Congress has been largely left out of the loop, secretive meetings. The president may find it comical. Others find it very disturbing and outrageous.

Time now for tonight's poll: Do you believe, as President Bush says, the concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership are comical, yes or no? Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll bring you the results later in the broadcast.

[...]

SYLVESTER: Now the results of tonight's poll: Ninety-five percent of you do not believe, as President Bush says, the concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership are comical.

Posted In
Immigration, Border Security, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Suzanne Malveaux, Lou Dobbs
Show/Publication
Lou Dobbs Tonight, The Situation Room
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