Lou Dobbs talks, Coral Springs crowd applauds

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Feel-good entertainment is a staple at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, where the Kosher Comedy Tour, Doo-Wop Oldies Christmas Show and Neil Sedaka are coming attractions.

On Tuesday, the venue sizzled with political rhetoric from an act that didn’t provide anything soothing in the 55-minute show.

More than 1,400 people were treated to a dose of conservative commentary from syndicated radio talker Lou Dobbs, the former CNN. He spoke and answered audience questions posed by South Florida’s most prominent conservative radio talker, Joyce Kaufman.

Both appear weekdays on WFTL 850 AM, which sponsored the event free for station listeners.

Kaufman’s been in the headlines in the last week. Congressman-elect Allen West, R-Plantation, picked her to be his chief of staff.

Days later she relinquished the job after liberal cable personalities and the blogosphere hammered her with video of a July 4 speech in which Kaufman said she was convinced that “the most important thing the founding fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment” right to bear arms. “And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

The controversy didn’t get much attention Tuesday. The audience applauded when Kaufman said she’d remain on the air locally. And when Dobbs said he’s keynoted tea party events, Kaufman deadpanned, “you’ve got to be careful with that.”

Otherwise, the evening was devoted to Dobbs, who received enthusiastic responses from the audience, especially when he described himself as “first and foremost an American citizen,” lamented “those who would apologize for this country,” and hailed the results of the midterm elections. “What a wonderful, wonderfully day Nov. 2nd was.”




Broward Politics

Dobbs Heads Back to Television

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Though former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs was mulling a bid for U.S. Senate or President, he tells Howard Kurtz he’s headed to the Fox Business Network instead.

Said Dobbs: “I spent about six, seven months really entertaining a lot of thoughts, discussing it with people who were urging me to do it. My wife and I thought about it long and hard. It seemed clear that wasn’t what would be satisfying to me.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Long Time CNN Talker Lou Dobbs Joins Fox Business

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Earlier today Fox Business Channel announced that it's hiring former CNN talker Lou Dobbs to host a new program on its schedule. Once again Fox has demonstrated that it is alone among cable networks in being willing to routinely offer conservative opinion.

Dobbs left CNN last year after CNN president Jonathan Klein gave him an ultimatum: "Mr. Dobbs could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN."

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio On Lou Dobbs Hiring Undocumented Immigrants: ‘So What?’

October 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Our guest blogger is Sam Holdren, a social worker and progressive activist in Arizona.

The hypocrisy of anti-immigrant hardliners is becoming epidemic. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio defended fellow anti-immigrant hardliner Lou Dobbs Saturday after speaking at the Tucson Tea Party Rally about how tough he is on fighting illegal immigration. An investigation by The Nation revealed that Dobbs, who launched an all out assault on immigrants and the people who hire them while serving as an anchor at CNN, has relied for years on illegal labor to maintain multi-million dollar estate.

Following his speech, the Arizona sheriff downplayed the need to enforce immigration laws that target employers who hire undocumented workers, at least when it comes to his pal Dobbs.

In an on the spot interview, Arpaio proudly asserted that his department is the only agency enforcing Arizona’s employer sanctions laws, designed to punish people who hire undocumented laborers.

“I’m still the only law enforcement agency doing that,” said the Sheriff, “So I take it serious.”

But when asked about the allegations against Dobbs and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Arpaio changed his tune, suggesting the focus on immigration is purely political:

Let me put it this way. Years ago, before this became a big, big political situation, nobody cared. Many people hired illegals. They don’t know who they are. When you have a construction company and guys are digging up the ground. What do you do? You go up and say, you take the word of the owner of the place. So I don’t know what Lou Dobbs did. So if he did, so what?

Watch it:

Arpaio himself has been harshly criticized for being responsible for 26,146 deportations, but only arresting a business person under the state’s employer sanctions law once.

Who would ever think the world’s toughest sheriff, particularly someone who has made it his mission to enforce immigration laws, would so casually dismiss the practice of hiring undocumented workers? Add another name to the immigration hypocrite list.

Wonkroom

Lou Dobbs, the New Target of the Activist Old Media

October 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Lou Dobbs committed the ultimate sin—he made a stand on principle.

For years Dobbs has fought against illegal immigration. He did it on CNN, he does it on his radio show.

Now, the most leftist magazine out there, The Nation has attacked Dobbs because they say a contractor that he used to run his property might have hired illegals. Dobbs makes is clear that he expects this kind of treatment from the libs at The Nation, but he is a little surprise that the activist old (mainstream) media has joined their chorus. Certainly he can’t be all that surprised.

cnn_lou_dobbs

The charges made by The Nation may be accurate on the surface, but they are without context. With illegal immigration as rampant as it is, to think that anybody who stands on principle against illegal immigration must check two, three or four sources removed to make sure that people hired by somebody hired who somebody hired might be here illegally is absolutely preposterous and the activist old media should say that, but, of course, they do not.

Case in point involving my personal experience. I worked with a political candidate recently who wanted to put an initiative on the Nevada ballot similar to Arizona’s SB 1070. We just wanted the people to have a chance to decide this issue at the ballot box. You’d thought that I had gone out and done something horrible, like call Jon Steward a bigot, or something. I was sued by no less than six different liberal groups in Nevada until it got to the point that we could not fight all the lawsuits and still meet the deadline for signatures to get the issue on the ballot. Mission accomplished by the left. The lawsuits were later dropped, but the problems with illegal immigration, especially in the desert southwest, are still there.

illegal immigrants

So, since I took a stand on the illegal immigration issue should I be concerned that the contractor that built my house used illegals? Under the standard of supposed hypocrisy used by The Nation, I should be. What about my homeowners association? Should I be concerned about whom they hire? My homeowners association is the largest in the country, and they hire a lot of people.

Perhaps both Lou Dobbs and I should racially profile and ask those who we think may be here illegally for their papers and make sure that anybody we hire who may be using an outside contractor are not using an employment agency that may let somebody sneak through the cracks.

Hey—isn’t that what the left says is the problem with SB 1070? Asking for papers? Suppose Dobbs had asked everybody who was ever on his property for papers? Would that make The Nation happier? Meg Whitman, who is running for California governor is going through a similar issue.

The activist old media works forever trying to find hypocrisy from those on the right who may actually stand for principle and they end up twisting themselves into a pretzel to the point where they end up demanding that the conservative actually do the thing that we all hate the most, and that’s to racially profile. No win.

CT cirquedusoleil013.JPG

I have a thought for The Nation and the rest of the activist old media if they would like to find hypocrisy, look at the White House. Do a story on hypocrisy with the First Family. You have a President who sneaks from meeting to meeting trying to find a place to smoke a cigarette (anybody wonder why he’s always late?) while the First Lady is trying to tell us all what we should eat so that we are healthy. Take your hypocrisy theme straight to the top—then maybe you can work on credibility when you go after talk show hosts.


Big Journalism

ABC Promotes Nation Attack on ‘American Hypocrite’ Lou Dobbs, Skips ID of Lefty Magazine

October 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Screen Cap of Cover of The Nation Magazine From 8 October 2010 edition of ABC's Good Morning America | NewsBusters.orgGood Morning America on Friday promoted an attack piece by the liberal magazine The Nation against Lou Dobbs. In the two segments devoted to whether or not the populist host hired illegal immigrants, the show’s hosts never identified the left-wing agenda of the publication.

Instead, an ABC graphic speculated, "American Hypocrite?" (This is also the title of The Nation’s article.) Isabel MacDonald, the reporter who filed the story for the magazine, appeared with Dobbs to debate the issue. Co-host George Stephanopoulos teased, "One of America’s loudest opponents of illegal immigration is called a hypocrite."

During the four references to The Nation on Friday’s program, none of the show’s journalists labeled the magazine  left-wing or liberal. Instead, reporter David Muir would neutrally begin sentences by asserting, "The Nation magazine says…"

Additionally, Good Morning America does not treat scoops in the conservative National Review or Weekly Standard as the basis for eight minute segments.

Appearing on the show, Dobbs dismissed The Nation as a "left-wing, activist, advocacy publication."

Isabel MacDonal, The Nation; & Lou Dobbs, Former CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgHe then directly took on supposedly neutral journalists: "My disappointment is with the national media that has just gone along with this as if it were somehow valid, without doing any reporting. And, by the way, not a single one of the organizations contacted me for a statement, other than CBS News."

The Evening News actually covered the story on Thursday night. Host Katie Couric explained, "Dobbs called the story a political assault and the reporter who wrote it admitted that a contractor had hired the illegal workers, not Dobbs." However, Couric, too, failed to note the liberal agenda of The Nation.

On GMA, Roberts put the responsibility on the ex-CNN host: "But knowing now what you do, will you change how you go about with your contractor? Have you looked into people that are now working for you on your properties?"

A transcript of the first segment, which aired at 7:13am EDT, follows:

7am tease

ABC GRAPHIC: American Hypocrite?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Immigration firestorm. One of America’s loudest opponents of illegal immigration is called a hypocrite. Lou Dobbs joins us live to answers to the reporter who charged his contractors employed undocumented workers for years.

7:13

ROBIN ROBERTS: Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is under fire this morning for allegedly hiring contractors who employed undocumented workers, people in this country illegally. Dobbs, of course, has long spoken out against illegal immigration. And now he is defending himself against charges he is a hypocrite. We’re going to speak to him live in just a moment. He’s there at his home in New Jersey. And also the journalist who broke the story, she’s here in the studio. But, first, David Muir has more on the story.

MUIR: In a new report, The Nation magazine says radio host and former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs-

LOU DOBBS: Illegal immigration is costing this country and you as a taxpayer, hundreds of billions of dollars.

MUIR: -long outspoken on immigration and undocumented workers and the people who hire them, has himself relied on undocumented workers.

ISABEL MACDONALD (The Nation Magazine): There were undocumented workers caring for his million-dollar show jumping horses. And undocumented workers caring for the grounds of his estate in West Palm Beach.

MUIR: Dobbs, who has not ruled out a run for political office, took on the claims and the reporter, inviting the reporter on his radio show.

LOU DOBBS: A young lady, by the name of Isabel MacDonald, a reporter for the Nation has put together a fairly typical hit piece, smear piece. Did you say that I hired, or my firm hired, illegal immigrants?

MACDONALD: I am saying that for years undocumented immigrants looked after your show jumping horses. And, for years, they look after the grounds of your estate in West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUIR: The Nation magazine released video of what they say are the reporter’s interviews with some of those undocumented workers. "I’m an immigrant who doesn’t have papers. But I worked for him because he is a very important person." Dobbs has called the reporting a political assault. And is adamant he nor his company have ever hired undocumented workers. For Good Morning America David Muir, ABC News, New York.

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

The Dobbs Story and What it Really says About Illegal Immigration

October 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The things that strikes me the most about revelations (as noted earlier today by Doug Mataconis) that Lou Dobbs and his family employed illegal immigrants isn’t the gotcha nature of “Ha! Lou Dobbs is such a hypocrite” (although I think it is fair to call him such).  Rather, it is that the story of stable hands and gardeners underscores the reality of a specific segment of the US economy that is real and involves a large number of people doing hard jobs.  People like Dobbs (and his supporters/fans) always act as if solving the problem of migrant Mexican labor is easy (enforcement!) when, in fact, we are talking about a structural part of our economy that is not so easy to extricate and which touches more of us than we (or, at least, people like Dobbs) care to admit.

I won’t even get into the question of whether Dobbs knowingly hired illegal immigrants, although I think he is smart enough to at least have had serious suspicions. However, what is especially worthy of criticism is the fact Dobbs has to understand the degree to which his lifestyle is directly serviced by immigrant labor.  The bottom line is that a large number of persons who work in fairly menial tasks (such as gardening) are immigrants, many of whom are undocumented.  Indeed, I am pretty sure that was what Colin Powell was referring to when he got himself into trouble on MTP a few weeks back when he said “They’re all over my house, doing things whenever I call for repairs, and I’m sure you’ve seen them at your house. We’ve got to find a way to bring these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status.” He took a great deal of criticism for being honest misspeaking and had to walk back the statement (Colin Powell clarifies remarks to say he doesn’t hire illegal immigrants).

Powell was simply acknowledging reality, i.e., the fact that the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States are mostly at work in our economy and they are doing things like cleaning houses, watching kids, roofing houses, doing repair work, and frying hamburgers.

However, Dobbs and his allies don’t want to deal with reality, instead they seek to engage in a combination of demagoguery and fantasy.  The fact that Dobbs himself is the direct beneficiary of such labor simply underscores this fact.

The bottom line is that the odds are incredibly good that all of us have, at one time or another, been the beneficiaries of  illegal migrant labor, whether it be in keeping down the cost of burgers at the local fast food establishment or in keeping the cost down on the framing and roofing of one’s house.

As I have stressed over and over and over on this topic, the proper diagnosis is necessary for the proper policy prescriptions to be applied and yet, instead, we get get either the sanctimoniousness of people like Lou Dobbs or the rantings of politicians like Jan Brewer and friends.

The reality of the situation is that we have an obvious demand for this labor in our economy and there is a clear supply of said labor south of the border.  Either we realistically deal with that fact and craft a policy that deals with reality or we will continue to stumble along as we have.  While it is true that some people enter the US illegally because of drug smuggling/with criminal intent and that some may come for social services, but the bottom line of the entire situation is one of labor supply and demand.

I would, by the way, include here the Meg Whitman story about her housekeeper (see here) in the same category as Dobbs’ situation.  Again we have someone who was more than willing to use the topic of illegal immigration for personal political gain whilst being a partaker of that which was being decried.




Outside the Beltway

Lou Dobbs: Xenophobe, Hypocrite

October 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Well, isn’t this interesting:

In Lou Dobbs’s heyday at CNN, when he commanded more than 800,000 viewers and a reported $ 6 million a year for “his fearless reporting and commentary,” in the words of former CNN president Jonathan Klein, the host became notorious for his angry rants against “illegal aliens.” But Dobbs reserved a special venom for the employers who hire them, railing against “the employer who is so shamelessly exploiting the illegal alien and so shamelessly flouting US law” and even proposing, on one April 2006 show, that “illegal employers who hire illegal aliens” should face felony charges.

Since he left CNN last November, after Latino groups mounted a protest campaign against his inflammatory rhetoric, Dobbs has continued to advocate an enforcement-first approach to immigration, emphasizing, as he did in a March 2010 interview on Univision, that “the illegal employer is the central issue in this entire mess!”

(…)

But with his relentless diatribes against “illegals” and their employers, Dobbs is casting stones from a house—make that an estate—of glass. Based on a yearlong investigation, including interviews with five immigrants who worked without papers on his properties, The Nation and the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute have found that Dobbs has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.

Why am I not surprised ?




Outside the Beltway

Investigation Discovers Lou Dobbs Hired At Least Five Undocumented Immigrants To Work At His Estates

October 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

dobbs3 Author, radio host, and TV personality Lou Dobbs — who ended his long career at CNN this past November with an $ 8 million severance pay package — made his name in public life by railing against undocumented immigrants. Dobbs has always reserved special derision for illegal employers, who he says are “acting against the national interests, acting against the law in every respect.”

Now, a new investigation by journalist Isabel Macdonald for The Nation Magazine has found that the notorious pundit “has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.” Macdonald interviewed five immigrants who were undocumented at the time they were employed by Dobbs to do work at his “sprawling white mansion on his 300-acre estate in Sussex, New Jersey” and ” spacious multimillion-dollar winter holiday home in Eagle Isle, the most exclusive enclave of the Ibis Golf and Country Club, a gated community in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

At one point during the investigation, Macdonald asked an undocumented worker she refers to under the psuedonym “Pedro Gomez” if he believes that the Dobbs family knew that many of the workers they were hiring were undocumented. Gomez replied that he believed at least Hillary Dobbs knew, and that the stable owner at the Dobbs estate definitely knew “that some people didn’t have papers…and had even taken precautions to keep the workers away from the immigration agents who often patrol the areas around horse shows.”

Interestingly, when Macdonald reached out to Dobbs and the contractor that does the landscaping for his estate in West Palm Beach, both repeatedly dodged any questions about the subject. Dobbs refused to comment on the piece and said through his attorney that he would only answer questions “if posed on his live radio show.” The owner of the landscaping company said he “didn’t feel comfortable talking” about the status of the workers on the property he worked on:

Responding to The Nation’s request for comment from Lou Dobbs, Chad Wilkinson, producer of The Lou Dobbs Show, said by e-mail that “Lou will not be commenting for the piece.” Dobbs’s attorney, Robert Zeller, clarified by e-mail that Dobbs would only answer questions if posed on his live radio show. (The Nation agreed to appear on the show but only after publication of this article.)

I asked Mike Sedlak, the owner of Sedlak Landscaping, the contractor that maintains the grounds on Dobbs’s West Palm Beach property, whether Dobbs has ever inquired about the status of his employees. Sedlak said only, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it,” and quickly got off the phone.

The Nation produced a video to illustrate Dobbs’s long history of hypocrisy attacking undocumented immigrants and those who employ them. Watch it:

Think Progress

Investigation Discovers Lou Dobbs Hired At Least Five Undocumented Immigrants To Work At His Estates

October 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

dobbs3 Author, radio host, and TV personality Lou Dobbs — who ended his long career at CNN this past November with an $ 8 million severance pay package — made his name in public life by railing against undocumented immigrants. Dobbs has always reserved special derision for illegal employers, who he says are “acting against the national interests, acting against the law in every respect.”

Now, a new investigation by journalist Isabel Macdonald for The Nation Magazine has found that the notorious pundit “has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.” Macdonald interviewed five immigrants who were undocumented at the time they were employed by Dobbs to do work at his “sprawling white mansion on his 300-acre estate in Sussex, New Jersey” and ” spacious multimillion-dollar winter holiday home in Eagle Isle, the most exclusive enclave of the Ibis Golf and Country Club, a gated community in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

At one point during the investigation, Macdonald asked an undocumented worker she refers to under the psuedonym “Pedro Gomez” if he believes that the Dobbs family knew that many of the workers they were hiring were undocumented. Gomez replied that he believed at least Hillary Dobbs knew, and that the stable owner at the Dobbs estate definitely knew “that some people didn’t have papers…and had even taken precautions to keep the workers away from the immigration agents who often patrol the areas around horse shows.”

Interestingly, when Macdonald reached out to Dobbs and the contractor that does the landscaping for his estate in West Palm Beach, both repeatedly dodged any questions about the subject. Dobbs refused to comment on the piece and said through his attorney that he would only answer questions “if posed on his live radio show.” The owner of the landscaping company said he “didn’t feel comfortable talking” about the status of the workers on the property he worked on:

Responding to The Nation’s request for comment from Lou Dobbs, Chad Wilkinson, producer of The Lou Dobbs Show, said by e-mail that “Lou will not be commenting for the piece.” Dobbs’s attorney, Robert Zeller, clarified by e-mail that Dobbs would only answer questions if posed on his live radio show. (The Nation agreed to appear on the show but only after publication of this article.)

I asked Mike Sedlak, the owner of Sedlak Landscaping, the contractor that maintains the grounds on Dobbs’s West Palm Beach property, whether Dobbs has ever inquired about the status of his employees. Sedlak said only, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it,” and quickly got off the phone.

The Nation produced a video to illustrate Dobbs’s long history of hypocrisy attacking undocumented immigrants and those who employ them. Watch it:

Think Progress

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