"They wanted him out," according to a source.
Dobbs, who a source said had a year and a half to go on his $12 million contract, shocked viewers last Wednesday by announcing he was quitting.
CNN boss Jonathan Klein and Dobbs, 64, had been publicly feuding over the kind of reporting Dobbs was doing on his show -- especially stories about illegal immigration and the anti-Obama "birther" movement, which contends the president was not born in Hawaii and is not an American citizen.
But it was not clear until now that CNN was willing to pay Dobbs so much money to leave.read more....
Dobbs agreed with O'Reilly's characterization that he was "demonized by the left" over his stance on illegal immigration, but said he did not believe CNN management "bought into" that position.
Instead, Dobbs hinted, it was the arrival of the Obama administration into power that changed the climate and made his brand of advocacy journalism no longer acceptable on the network.
"On CNN, you did quite well in the ratings when the immigration thing was in the forefront. And CNN actually moved you up from a -- what they call the early fringe to 7 o'clock, because your ratings were strong," O'Reilly said. "Then your ratings leveled, as well as all the ratings for
CNN, and began to go down. Just correct me if I'm wrong."
"I discern more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration whom I was criticizing, and now, when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken," Dobbs responded.
"As soon as the new president came in, and you went after him, not only on illegal immigration, but economic issues...they don't like you anymore," O'Reilly said later.
"Well, I don't know whether that was the distinction that triggered any sort of response or difference in perspective on the part of CNN's management," Dobbs responded, "but it is the only difference between the way I was conducting myself under this administration and the previous administration."read more...
Lou Dobbs Accuses ThinkProgress Of Conspiring With The White House To Carry Out ‘Insidious And Sordid Attacks’
Here's the full video of his O'Reilly appearance if you can stomach listening to the two of them. I couldn't (via Media Bistro):
Media Critic, Howard Kurtz discusses Lou's tenure and abrupt departure:
The eight minute conversation ended with O'Reilly offering Dobbs a "semi-regular" contributor position for the show. Not bad going from a fourth place cable network, to appearing on the #1 cable news show.
Media critics respond to Dobbs' resignation by calling Dobbs a "crusader" and a "disaster" for "CNN brand"UPDATE I:
Crooks & Liars focuses on the part the exchange where Bill O'Reilly asks Lou Dobbs if Obama is the "Devil":
[...] As the interview wound down, Bill needed something a little juicy, so instead of asking Dobbs how he felt about Obama's policies so far, he phrased it as if President Obama will eat your babies, corrupt your spirit and lure you to sell your soul.Yeah, Bill. You only asked him if Obama was the Devil. What a jackass. And Dobbs just loved Obama being compared to Satan. Well, Dobbs should try and be the teabagger King. He'll fit right in. Maybe Tancredo can help on his campaign. he mimics every anti-Obama slur there is.
O'Reilly: Barack Obama, is he the devil?
Dobbs: He's not the devil, but he is certainly the man who is not making it easy to understand why he is making the public policy choices that he is. There has to be a better understanding from and can only from his expression to the American people, what is taking so long for his decision on Afghanistan. Why is it so necessary to turn 1/6th of the economy into the United States government, which has not showered itself with glory.
O'Reilly: So you don't think he's Satan, but you think he's mismanaging the country at this point.
Dobbs: I think, absolutely.
O'Reilly: OK, sorry I put words in your mouth.
Dobbs: No, I was excited. It was a pretty good choice.