CNN removes criticism of Dobbs from interview; will WaPo's Howard Kurtz cover story?
Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
The New York Times reports:
Instead of being simply a draw for Hispanic viewers, CNN's four-hour documentary, "Latino in America," turned into a political rallying cry for activist groups who are calling on the cable news channel to fire Lou Dobbs, a veteran anchor with well-known views on immigration.
Isabel Garcia, a civil rights lawyer who was featured in "Latino in America" and organized an anti-Dobbs protest in Tucson on Wednesday, said that CNN edited her comments about the anchor out of an interview.
During the taped interview Wednesday, she said she made several unprompted comments about Mr. Dobbs.
She said she called Mr. Arpaio and Mr. Dobbs "the two most dangerous men to our communities," and said that "because of them, our communities are being terrorized in a real way." She also asserted that CNN was "promoting lies and hate about our community" by broadcasting Mr. Dobbs's program. The comments were not included when the interview was shown Wednesday night.
"They heavily deleted what I did get to say," she said.
Ben Armbruster of Think Progress notes:
This isn't the first time CNN has circled the wagons around Dobbs. Earlier this year, Dobbs was one of the most prominent mainstream media figures pushing the conspiracy theory that President Obama may not have been born in the U.S. Dobbs repeatedly called on Obama to "produce a birth certificate" and said it's "unfortunate" that the birthers have been "dismissed." Despite Dobbs' hysteria and playing on "escalating white fear," CNN president Jonathan Klein downplayed Dobbs' antics, claiming the CNN anchor was merely reporting on the birther "phenomenon" and had simply asked why "some people doubt" Obama's citizenship.
Unlike the Times, The Washington Post has not yet reported on CNN's decision to edit out Garcia's criticism of Dobbs. But the Post employs Howard Kurtz, the nation's most prominent media critic, so I'm sure they're on the case and will soon run a comprehensive report.
Yes, it's true Kurtz has a conflict of interest in that he also works for CNN. And he's pulled his punches when dealing with CNN and Dobbs in the past, refusing to criticize -- or even mention -- CNN president Jonathan Klein's defense of Dobbs' Birther nonsense.
But surely someone at the Post has had a good long talk with Kurtz about his conflict of interest, and he won't let it get in the way of his coverage of CNN and Dobbs this time, right? I mean, it can't be the case that the Washington Post doesn't mind one of their star reporters taking a pass on stories that are embarrassing to a company he's assigned to cover -- while also being paid by that company. Can it?