WaPo's Howie Kurtz on Dobbs

From his story today in the Washington Post:

Lou Dobbs, the most opinionated and divisive anchor at a cable network that bills itself as a straight-news oasis, resigned from CNN on Wednesday night, saying in his final broadcast that he wants "to go beyond the role" of a television journalist in tackling the country's problems.

Framing his move as a response to the urging of "some leaders in media, politics and business," Dobbs struck a populist tone, attempting to position himself as a political leader who would mount a campaign "to overcome the lack of true representation in Washington, D.C." He said that public debate was now defined by "partisanship and ideology" and that he would continue to speak out "in the most honest and direct language possible."

Liberal groups such as NDN and Media Matters had mounted a "Dump Dobbs" campaign, and Latino organizations challenged such Dobbs declarations as his 2006 statement that about one-third of the U.S. prison population "is estimated to be illegal aliens"--which the anchor later acknowledged was way too high. But his position at CNN seemed secure.

The surprise announcement by Dobbs, whose fervent opposition to illegal immigration has come to define his career, stunned most staffers at the network he helped launch in 1980. He only hinted at disagreements with CNN President Jon Klein, saying that after extensive talks Klein had agreed to let him out of his multimillion-dollar contract.

In a statement, Klein praised the 64-year-old Dobbs for having "fearlessly and tirelessly pursued some of the most important and complex stories of our time, often well ahead of the pack." He added: "With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere."