Tag Archives: Lou Dobbs

Veterans Day: Honoring American Troops

Check out these videos of dogs welcoming back their owners that had been on deployment.  They are absolutely amazing; if you are a dog person, they are bound to make you a little teary-eyed:

You can view more videos of dogs welcoming back their “daddy” soldiers here.  It’s always amazed me how dogs really do remember their owners.  I remember that as a kid, my Dad would come to work to the United States for an entire year so he could send money back to Mexico so my family could survive and have a better life.  My Dad would come back to Mexico every December, and our dog would remember him and would just go absolutely crazy with happiness, very similar to how the dogs reacted on these videos above.  Watching these videos brought back memories to me and so I can definitely attest to the fact that dogs do remember their owners and do miss them just as much as human beings miss their loved ones.

Today is Veterans Day, so please remember our troops by either donating to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America or checking out the USO or VoteVets to find out what you can to do to promote issues and campaigns that benefit veterans. For Latinos, Veterans Day has become very much a personal experience, being that they now make up a very large percentage of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps (in addition, their numbers are also growing in the Navy and the Air Force).  The Latino presence in the military is nothing new, and yet the corporate in-English media continues to virtually ignore it.  Thanks to in-Spanish language outlets, Latinos are getting some recognition, though.  Vme is showing this week a great series of programs that highlights the presence of Latinos in the U.S. military; to view the segments online, click here.  I’d only wished more pieces like these were featured in English on other more prominent networks.  But hey, maybe things will eventually turn around.  CNN just got rid of its hate monger Lou Dobbs, so maybe it’s a sign that things are starting to change and will get better.

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Filed under Economic Refugees, Immigration, Military

Lou Dobbs leaves CNN

Media Matters for America has the transcript of his announcement here.  For reference, Dropdobbs.com also has a “history of hate” list here.

Congratulations to all who participated and supported the bastadobbs.com and the dropdobbs.com campaigns and put pressure on CNN to fire this guy for viciously attacking immigrants and Latinos in particular (and as of late for joining in the vile racist attacks against President Obama coming from the extreme right-wing) on a day-by-day basis, going as far as making up stuff out of thin air and having guests and using them as ‘authorities’ on the subject of immigration and that were well-known to have ties to racist white supremacists (and without even disclosing them as a true journalist would).

He can now go off freely to where his conservative racist and ultra-corporatist views belong: Fox News.

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Filed under Economic Refugees, Immigration, Media Literacy, Political

Ed Schultz: Progressive Populism vs. Conservative Populism

The Ed Schultz phenomenon: blue-collar and other working class Americans have found their voice in Ed Schultz.

As we celebrate Labor Day, populism is in the air as we honor the dignity of hard-working Americans.  I’ve been following progressive radio talk show personality and now MSNBC TV host, Ed Schultz for quite some time.  I’ve previously written here and here about him because he embodies what progressive populism looks like: pro-union, pro-worker, pro-rural, pro-football, pro-fishing progressive America … heck he’s even an advocate for catch-and-release fishing!  He’s the antidote to the conservative populism that has sadly come to be embodied by the likes of Sarah Palin‘s crafty political maneuvering and Lou Dobbs’ hate speech against Latinos and President Obama.  I say “sadly” because conservatives by using the tactics of fear mongering and racism have corrupted populism in its traditional sense to successfully create an inverse version of it.  George Lakoff (who I just blogged about a few days ago as it related to the current healthcare debate) explained it beautifully in his May 2009 piece Empathy, Sotomayor, and Democracy: The Conservative Stealth Strategy:

In the last election, conservative populists moved toward Obama. Conservative populists are working people, mostly white men, who have conservative views of the family, of masculinity, and of the military, and who have bought into the idea of the “liberal elite” as looking down on them. Right now, they are hurting economically, losing their jobs and their homes. Empathy is something they need. The racist card is an attempt to revive their fears of affirmative action, fears of their jobs — and their pride — being taken by minorities and women. The racist attack has a political purpose, holding onto conservative populists. The overt form of the old conservative argument is made regularly these days: liberalism is identity politics.

Ed Schultz understands how populism works, and he hits it out of the park plenty of times with his strong no-B.S. stance against conservatives’ lies.  However, I’ve seen Ed Schultz slip a number of times by falling into the same negating-reinforcement trap that progressives tend to fall into: strictly sticking to being on the defensive rather than turning the conservative attack inside out and into an offensive play.  Big Eddie, as his fans call him, would be far more effective if he were to read George Lakoff’s illuminating work on conservative populism.  Lakoff  explained it briefly during the 2008 presidential campaign cycle on his Don’t Think of a Maverick! Could the Obama Campaign Be Improved?:

Conservative populism on a national scale was invented in the late 1960’s. At the time, most working people identified themselves with liberals. But conservatives realized that many working people were what I have called “biconceptuals” – they are genuinely conservative in their mode of thought about patriotism and certain family issues, though they are progressive in their understanding of nature (they love the land) and their commitment to communities where people care about each other, etc. So conservatives have talked to them nonstop about conservative “patriotism” and “family values”, thus activating their conservative mindset.

At the same time, conservative theorists invented the ideal of “liberal elitism”: that liberals look down upon working people and are not like them. Conservatives have been working at constructing this mythology for nearly forty years and liberals have stood by and let it happen. Palin is a natural for the conservative populists. She understands their culture.

Conservative populism is a cultural, not an economic, phenomenon. These are folks who often vote against their economic self-interest and instead vote on their identity as conservatives and on their antipathy to liberals, who they see as elitists who look down on them. Simply giving conservative populists facts and figures won’t work.

They tend to vote for people they identify with and against people who they see as looking down on them. The job for the Obama campaign is to reverse the present mindset that the Republicans have constructed, to reveal the conservatives as elitist Washington insiders who cynically manipulate them, to get conservative populists to identify with Obama and Biden on the basis of values and character, and to have them see realities through Obama’s leadership capacities. Not an easy job. But it’s the real job.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ed Schultz actually starts using George Lakoff’s lines down the road, though.  Big Eddie is a football sportsman and a political animal, and he knows that in the end, winning is what matters.  I just hope Ed uses them soon because he IS progressive populism incarnate and knows how to relate that in a language that his audience can easily understand, which is more than what I can say about other progressive media personalities (yes, Thom Hartmann, I’m looking at you! … OK I’ll give this to you Thom: you have actually improved ever since you left Air America and I respect you because you are the Godfather of Air America because of your business plan that served as its blueprint, and you have the balls to talk about progressive issues that sometimes not even Ed Schultz dares to talk about … but for Godssakes Thom could you please NOT start with the intellectualist dull debates at the beginning of your segments?! Leave that for the middle or the end please … I appreciate the historical contexts, I truly do, and I think you’re a smart progressive radio host; but some of us want to know first and foremost about what is happening right-now in-the-present-world!).

Now, if only MSNBC switched conservative-leaning Chris Matthews’ time slot with Ed Schultz, things will be perfect … so we’ll see if MSNBC gets its act together on that front.  But as far as Project Economic Refugee is concerned, the best way to boycott conservative “populist” hosts is to turn them off and instead tune into progressive populist hosts.  Case in point is Ed Schultz: instead of watching hate-monger Lou Dobbs, watch Ed Schultz from now on.  I promise you, you’ll be a better American for it.

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Filed under Framing, Political, Progressive Media Personalities, Progressive Movement

Obama’s birth conspiracy theory was concocted by an anti-Semite & circulated by racist extremists

Southern Poverty Law Center has an action alert on this; see below:
 

July 24, 2009
 
Dear Friend,
 
Lou Dobbs is at it again.
 
We’ve told you about how the CNN host has used his platform to spread
hateful propaganda that demonizes Latinos.
 
Now, Dobbs is supporting the bizarre claims of so-called “birthers” who insist that President Obama isn’t really a citizen of the United States and that his presidency, therefore, is not legitimate.
 
The truth about Obama’s birth in Hawaii is not in dispute. It has been verified by many reputable journalists, including CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who called the claims “a joke,” and even a reporter on Dobbs’ own show. Yet Dobbs continues to fan the flames.
 
It’s important to note that this conspiracy theory was concocted by an anti-Semite and circulated by racist extremists who cannot accept the fact that a black man has been elected president. Among those who helped disseminate the lie was the neo-Nazi who killed a security guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in June.
 
Respectable news organizations should not be peddling propaganda that supports the agenda of radical extremists who are only interested in stirring up hate and fomenting violence. But Dobbs continues to do just that. And it’s irresponsible for CNN to let him continue trading in falsehoods.
 
Enough is enough. Today, I’ve written to the president of CNN urging that Dobbs be removed from the air
[to read the statement, visit]:

http://www.splcenter.org/news/item.jsp?aid=390&splcnewsletter=newsgen-072409
 
I encourage you to contact CNN yourself. If enough of us speak up, the network will listen.
 
[To contact CNN, visit]:
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form6a.html?2
 
Thank you for standing strong against hate.
Sincerely,
J. Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104

Update 08/08/09: Looks like this same racist crowd is mobilizing people on the far far right to oppose and even shut down a simple townhall conversation on Healthcare and on caring for the sick.  It’s gone so far that the subtext of the extremist far-right is becoming clear: the promotion of violence and murder. Truly scary … watch:

Update 08/09/09: The American Jewish Congress issued a statement, “The Limbaugh comments comparing Obama (and Pelosi) to Hitler and the Nazis are grossly offensive and intolerable. They reflect a nasty and hyperbolic tendency on our political culture, one which makes reasoned discourse impossible, confuses disagreement with evil, and which makes it impossible to distinguish evil from ordinary politics. … It behooves all participants in the political process to unequivocally disavow the comparison and to make it plain that peddlers of such noxious comparison have no place in our politics, no matter how large their audiences. And all Americans should make plain their disgust at the comparisons by talk show hosts by a prompt use of the off button.” Read the story by clicking here.  

Media Matters for America also has a revealing piece on all this, focusing on another right-wing propagandist of hate, Glenn Beck:

…a perfect example of the game conservatives in the media are playing: pouring gasoline on the fire, and then, once they are criticized, saying that they were only kidding. But what does Beck expect his viewers to take away from his broadcasts? After a week of increasingly violent protests at town halls around the country, including one such event at which protesters reportedly mentioned Beck by name when explaining what inspired them, he cannot seriously contend that his rhetoric isn’t having an impact, isn’t stirring up the rage and confusion that is defining opposition to Democratic reforms.  Read the rest here.

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Filed under Health, Political, Progressive Media Personalities

Hate Speech

…”the only reason [Luis] is dead is because he was Mexican,” law experts recently argued on CNN.  Recently, there was a disturbing verdict on a racially-charged case where an all-white jury found a group of teens as not guilty of a hate crime for beating up a Latino kid to death.  CNN reported on this:

Equally troubling, is the fact that there is little attention being paid to the effects of verbal violence from certain right-wing media outlets and personalities that, under the cover of being “anti-illegal immigration“, get away with vicious statements that are sometimes full of misinformation at best and morally criminal at worst.  During the recent swine flu media frenzy, for example, right-wing pudits seized on the opportunity to push their racist rhetoric.  As is often the case, sometimes the most dangerous kind of rhetoric is the kind that is subtle and pretends or claims not to be racist, precisely because it lurks in the shadows.  One perfect example of this is media-talking-head Lou Dobbs.  He is married to a Latina, by the way, and that tidbit has often been brought up as an argument to claim that Lou Dobbs coudln’t possibly be racist.  Yet at closer examination, this seems to defy logic.  First off, the fact that he is married to a Latina does not give him license to spread lie after lie (after all, Hernan Cortes had the Malinche as a lover, and that didn’t make Cortes any less of a pillager of Mexico’s land and of its people).  In addition, a little-known fact is that Lou Dobbs often quotes “reports” as “facts” from or has people on his show that are members of right-wing extremist groups that either have deep ties with or are themselves groups classified as hate groups.  By all accounts, one cannot help but ask this: “if Lou Dobbs pushes defamatory falsehoods day after day based on racist sources (he does not disclose this fact, by the way) then what is his motiviation for doing so?  Is it racism?”   

Beyond Lou Dobbs, there is the larger issue of the potential effects that the violence (whether verbal or visual) in the media has on stoking the fires that eventually lead to violent murders against particular groups of people.  While it is difficult to prove a direct relationship between violent hate speech or even subtle but vicious anti-Latino immigrant rhetoric  and actual violent hate crimes, one would have to be a fool to not see a correlation that is just too evident to dismiss it as a coincence.   People influence media and media influence people-it is a self-reinforcing cycle.  To claim that media should not be held accountable for the impact that it has on people is just as naive as saying that individuals do not impact and influence media itself.  Somewhere along the lines, there needs to be accountability-otherwise, grotesque acts of hate go unchecked. 

Sometimes, some action is taken against the hate rhetoric on the media: recently, a radio talk show host was suspended because of his plainly racist comments against Mexicans:

As the video above discusses, Jay Severin should be fired (by the way, you can contact the station that puts him on the air and ask them to fire him; click here).  Now, will Lou Dobbs ever take responsibility for his role in the rising violence against Latinos?  Think again, he actually slammed and criticized the civil rights organizations that have denounced or warned the media of the hate speech that is on the air.  Yet, the number of extremist groups continue to grow and the tide of hate acts continues to rise.  For a list of high-profile cases exemplifying the rising incidence of hate crimes against Latinos, click here.

Perhaps what is most tragic and maddening is that amid all the violent rhetoric on the media and the grotesque acts it accompanies, it comes as no surprise that an all-white jury recently decided to let the murderers of Luis Ramirez walk free.  There is something you can do about it, though.  Read this message (below) from the organization America’s Voice:   

Dear Friends,

Last year a group of teenagers brutally murdered Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

As Luis lay unconscious at their feet, the teens yelled to a young woman by his side: “Tell your effin Mexican friends to get the eff out of Shenandoah or you’re going to be laying next to him!”

Just last week an all-white jury found the teens “not guilty” of the serious charges of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation. The ruling was greeted with cheers in the courtroom, and gasps of disbelief from Luis’s grieving fiancee and children.

Today we’re asking you to join with us and our friends at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) to demand justice for Luis, his children, and his fiancee.

Sign the petition to the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Demand that they prosecute Luis’s murder as a federal Hate Crime:

http://www.AmericasVoiceOnline.org/ProsecutetheHate

Afterward, the head of the jury said publicly “I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury were racist.” He said that some “had their minds made up maybe before the first day.”

Hate crimes against immigrants are on the rise across the country.

Law experts on CNN have argued that “the only reason [Luis] is dead is because he was Mexican.” It’s becoming clear that in that courtroom an undocumented Mexican immigrant was seen as less than a man.

Make sure justice is served for Luis Ramirez and the loved ones he left behind — sign the petition and forward it widely:

http://www.AmericasVoiceOnline.org/ProsecutetheHate

Together we can stand up to forces of extremism that threaten our country’s best values by playing upon our worst instincts.

Please send this email to 10 of your friends and loved ones now.

Thanks for everything you’re doing,

Adam Luna

America’s Voice

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Filed under Economic Refugees, Immigration, Media Literacy