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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Monday, August 3, 2009

Birther Lou Dobbs Blasted in New TV Ad


Thanks to your amazing response, we have already gathered more than 15,000 signatures calling on CNN to credibly address Lou Dobbs' frequent promotion of fringe conspiracies about President Obama's birth certificate. Unfortunately, CNN president Jon Klein has resorted to not telling the truth in order to defend Dobbs. Yesterday, Klein told TV reporters that Dobbs' coverage of the issue has been "all about the phenomenon of doubters" -- with Klein suggesting that Dobbs has done nothing more than host discussions of why "some people doubt" that Obama is a U.S.-born citizen.

Dobbs has done far more than simply ask why there are still people who doubt Obama's citizenship. He has legitimized their conspiracy theories by demanding that Obama produce documentation -- to prove something that Klein himself acknowledges is beyond doubt. Rather than misleading the public, he should credibly address CNN's still growing Dobbs problem by simply telling the truth.

Please sign our petition today and demand that CNN address its Lou Dobbs problem in a credible manner.

It is no secret that the birther movement is tinged with racism. [1] By legitimizing birther conspiracy theorists, CNN is doing more than simply pushing a baseless story and harming its journalistic credibility. It is also empowering bigotry, xenophobia, and hate. Is this what "the most trusted name in news" has come to represent?

Dobbs' promotion of the birther movement is hardly the first time he has tarnished CNN's reputation by giving voice to outlandish, racially charged conspiracy theories on the network. He promoted the idea that the Bush administration was attempting to form a "North American Union" between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and fear-mongered over the supposed "reconquista movement" by which Mexicans were planning to take over the American Southwest. In 2005, he suggested that immigrants were responsible for a spike in leprosy cases in the U.S. -- even though the purported spike was based on false reports and had never actually occurred. Despite being debunked repeatedly, Dobbs defended his leprosy report publicly before being forced to offer a correction.

It's the same story all over again. It needs to stop. So please sign our petition today and demand that CNN address its Lou Dobbs problem in a credible manner.

Dobbs' promotion of the birthers puts him at odds with many of his CNN colleagues, as well as far-right media figures like Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who called the story "absurd," and conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who dismissed Dobbs as "wrong." But it does align Dobbs, Klein, and the entire network with deeply controversial figures within the birther community. Such people include Andy Martin, who has made anti-Semitic and racially charged comments; convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy, who plotted but never followed through on murders and bombings; 9-11 "Truther" Philip Berg; perennial candidate for public office Alan Keyes, who has reportedly accused Obama of taking the "slaveholder's position" on abortion; a pastor who has prayed for Obama's death; and the discredited right-wing website WorldNetDaily, who examined Obama's birth certificate published on and reported it was legitimate, then later recanted so they could lead the movement against him.

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