Hasta la vista, Lou Dobbs?

Written by Isabel Lyman on October 29 2009.

Basta Dobbs’ main beef with Dobbs is his frequent reporting on immigration, claiming he not only uses “faulty reporting” (e.g. Dobbs has legitimately discussed the Reconquista movement), but that he “promotes” the views of “extremists.”

Spokespersons afflilated with the Minuteman Project, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the so-called Birther Movement, as well as Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio are among the “extremists” who champion American sovereignty and rule of law that the critics are referring to.

Lovato declined an invitation to appear on Dobbs’ show to discuss his campaign saying he wouldn’t appear unless Jonathan Klein, CNN/U.S. president, appeared alongside him. Lovato’s letter to Dobbs noted:  “… as much as the campaign targets your long history of faulty, incendiary reporting and its effects on Latino communities, our issue is not so much with you as the network that provides you with a platform.”

Lovato does, however, approve of the predictably statist reporting done by CNN’s Latino talent Rick Sanchez, Thelma Gutierrez, and Soledad O’Brien, who hosted the “Latino in America” special.

One wonders what the “rising tide of anti-Latino sentiment in the United States” that Basta Dobbs is also complaining about really is because, these days, it’s just the opposite. Latino Power is evident everywhere.

The NFL just celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by featuring segments of the pre-game festivities and even the game itself in Spanish. Superstar Latino singers Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan are minority owners of the Miami Dolphins. The brouhaha over the illegal alien Halloween costume resulted in major retailers pulling it off their web sites. And what about the one-week suspension of ESPN analyst Bob Griese for the so-called ethnic comment he made about NASCAR’s Colombian driver, Juan Pablo Montoya? The wildly successful Montaya, himself, is proof that even the stock car racing industry is eager to reach out to Latinos.

Montana State University, of all places, recently hired its first-ever Hispanic-American female president, Waded Cruzado. And Sonia Sotomayor, of course, made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Anyone else notice how the helpful “en español” sign is now a staple of American society?

These few examples (and there are many, many more) indicate that Hispanics, the United States’ largest minority, are seen as serious hires and customers. Their votes, money, attention, and favor are constantly being courted in the Nuevo America.

You could even argue that Lou Dobbs himself has jumped on that bandwagon.

One of his correspondents is the pretty, Argentinian-born Ines Ferré, and Dobbs’ own wife, Debi Lee Segura, is Mexican-American. Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); John Trasviña, former president of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); and other progressive leaders of ethnic advocacy groups have been guests on Dobbs’ telecasts. Always respectfully treated, by the way.

But somehow Dobbs is guilty of “xenophobia” and being “anti-Latino.”

Lovato does have a point: A regular feature of Dobbs’ show has been to expose the perils and costs to the United States due to unrestricted illegal immigration. These include lost jobs, depressed wages, crime, disease, higher taxes, loss of freedoms, and a diluted national identity, all of which are undeniable and escalating continuously. Dobbs has utilized statistics, interviews, and man-on-the-street reporting (especially by the terrific Casey Wian) to bolster his positions, leaving little doubt in viewers’ eyes’ that the immigration crisis needs our federal government’s attention immediately.

The American public agrees. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed that 73 percent of those questioned want to see a reduction in illegal immigration.

I have watched Lou Dobbs Tonight for years and was thrilled that a letter I wrote to him was read on the show. As a Latina woman, I have no sense of any fearmongering.

For me, it’s not Basta Dobbs, it is Viva Dobbs.

Isabel (Izzy) Lyman's op. eds. and articles have appeared in the Miami Herald, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Investor's Business Daily, Boston Herald, Los Angeles Daily Journal, National Review, Homeschooling Today, Chronicles, The New American, Daily Oklahoman, Middle American News, Ventura County Star, and Lancaster Sunday News.

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