11.14.2009

The NY Times' Parting Shot at Lou Dobbs. OUCH.

The NY Times didn't waste any time taking a vicious, parting shot (hehehe) and Mr. Xenophobe:

Mr. Dobbs, once a pinstriped purveyor of financial news, has burrowed deep into the popular culture as a self-styled populist enraged by illegal immigration. When he resigned on the air Wednesday night, he made it clear that that aspect of his public persona is not going away. He listed immigration along with jobs, the middle class and war as among the issues urgently needing his kind of honest, straightforward examination.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous, empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion.”

Mr. Dobbs couldn’t have phrased a more apt criticism of himself. He calls himself Mr. Independent, but he is far closer in style and method to the right-wing ranters who mold the facts to shape the argument on television and on AM radio, where Mr. Dobbs still has a show. Mr. Dobbs’s CNN program has long been a nesting ground for untruths and conspiracy theories: fretting over a nonexistent, immigrant-borne leprosy epidemic; questioning President Obama’s citizenship; issuing dark warnings about the “North American Union,” a supposed plot to strangle United States sovereignty.

It’s hard to pinpoint how much damage these kinds of ideas have done to the national discussion of illegal immigration, but they have been corrosive. Solutions have withered as many politicians parrot the central myth that people desperate to seek new lives in the United States are an affliction to be feared, not an opportunity to be engaged, future Americans who could enrich the country as immigrants always have and will.

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