Yes, CNN’s Lou Dobbs is so bad that a sensationalist hack like Geraldo Rivera is calling him out for being over the top, and some of Rivera’s points are dead on. Only some. Rivera insists on injecting stupidity and hypocrisy into his critique of Dobbs.
He says Dobbs is responsible for anti-immigration sentiment (he’s complicit, not responsible). This is rich after Rivera works for Fox News whose pundits mostly disagree with him regarding immigration law and reform. Riveras colleagues and Dobbs all support the jail first law enforcement tactics employed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, vigilante Minutemen, useless border walls and unnecessarily restrictive INS policies regarding work visas that discourage law abiding foreign students and skilled professionals from attempting to come to the US. Rivera believes CNN has to answer for Dobb’s views when he works for the network where these dangerous views find a welcome home at any hour of the day.
CNN, predictably, has avoided addressing Dobbs’ role in the US anti-immigration debate in their Soledad O’Brien driven documentary Latinos In America and Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources.
Growth through immigration and diversity has been one of the strengths of the United States of America. Lou Dobbs support of heavy handed Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s abuses of federal ICE powers and others on the anti-immigration right are the best friend of any Democrat who needs to win votes in jurisdiction with high Latino American populations. He helps push any platform issues off the table by ascribing United State’s ills to the straw man of a fearsome undocumented immigrant from a Central or South American country. Rivera correctly notes that Dobbs’ over the top anti-Latino talk is a wedge for media success, not electoral success. As Obama denies Fox News additional access opportunities and includes Univision and other Spanish language media outlets, makes steady modest steps towards normalizing US diplomacy with Cuba and revokes Sheriff Arpaio’s ICE powers, the Obama administration builds good will within a variety of Latino communities.
What Rivera neglects to mention in his screed against Dobbs is that Dobbs consistently ignores the link between illegal immigration and job opportunities given to them by US employers. The less jobs available for undocumented US residents, the less incentive to come to come here illegally. The Obama administration has replaced George W. Bush era swat style workplace raids with forced firings of undocumented workers from US companies. This is much closer to the correct way to deal with this issue, but still doesn’t affect the offending employers enough and doesn’t address undocumented immigrants who are already in the US. Immigration advocates are unhappy, but there does need to be some course of action for those who emigrated here illegally.
Professionally, Rivera would do best to temper his criticism of Dobbs. Criticism of Dobbs can easily be used to critique the anti-immigrant sentiment popular with Rivera’s own employer. As commentator Marc Lamont Hill found out recently, Fox News rewards opposing views on flash point issues like immigration or capital punishment by firing you while you are out of the office.