CNN premiered its much-hyped “Latino in America” special with Soledad O’Brien last night without allowing an anti-Lou Dobbs ad to air, as protests took place outside the network’s offices around the country. The four-hour “Latino in America” documentary discusses migration, but does not mention the network’s Lou Dobbs Show—a nightly program that frequently takes a hard line against immigrants, advocating for strong border enforcement and severe punishment for undocumented immigrants.
Media Matters and America’s Voice reportedly attempted to purchase ad space during the documentary, but were turned down. The ad accused CNN of airing “60 minutes of anti-immigrant hate” during Dobbs’ show.
With the movement calling for CNN to terminate Dobbs gaining strength, the controversial talking head reportedly invited one of his most vocal critics, Roberto Lovato of New American Media, on the show. In four weeks, Lovato gathered more than 50,000 signatures for a petition urging CNN president Joe Klein to let go of Dobbs. The petition as well as anti-Dobbs events held this week to coincide with “Latino in America” can be found on bastadobbs.com, a website organized by presente.org and regional partners. Another website, dropdobbs.com, was launched in September with the support of organizations like the National Council de la Raza, Voto Latino and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It compiles press coverage of the anti-Dobbs forum along with reader comments and offers bloggers a “Drop Dobbs” badge to embed in their websites.
As Dobbs becomes an increasingly hot topic in the blogosphere, some websites have aired rumors that Dobbs is considering a move to Fox Business.