Team NDN on Larry King, MSNBC, Fox - Fighting It Out on the Airwaves

Just as the national debate heats up, the NDN team is stepping up, taking our arguments to the airwaves at an impressive rate. 

Last Friday Rob was on CNBC, I was on Fox and Alicia on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC show.  Yesterday Rob was on Fox, and today he appeared on both the BBC and CNBC.  Tonight Alicia returns to Larry King, and tomorrow I will be on Fox in the afternoon.   All in all it will be eight appearances in just four days, on all three cable networks, and even a spot on the venerable Larry King.

And our economic policy analyst Jake Berliner has also begun to get in rotation, and is doing a particularly good job. 

I am very proud of the air time the NDN is getting.  At a time of national struggle, it is critical that mature, modern voices take the to airwaves, and engage in the critical debate about our future now playing out 24/7 on cable news.  Our team keeps getting invited back because we have something to say, are not afraid of the fight, and stick to our guns. 

And be sure to catch Alicia tonight on Larry King talking about the important AZ and FL primaries, and the broader lay of the land.   I will be Fox at 230pm tomorrow.  And look for more to come....

Wed AM Update - Will be on Fox today around 230.  If you see it would love your feedback.

Drop Dobbs: How You Can Help

So many folks have asked us - how can I help you and all those groups get Lou Dobbs off the air? 

It's easy:

1.  Visit the web site.  While there watch the video of Lou doing his thing.

2.  Sign the petition to CNN and Dobbs' advertisers asking them to Drop Dobbs.

3.  Share the site and petition with your networks.  Encourage others to do the same. 

Visit.  Sign.  Share.

In just a few days our compelling video of Dobbs' increasingly irresponsible behavior on the air has been seen more than 50,000 times, and thousands have already signed the petition.  When we really kick this campaign into high gear together—it’s going to be exciting to see.

So thanks for your interest and support for our efforts to fight back against the crazy talk on our mainstream news outlets.  And don't forget - visit, sign, share.  Lots of small little steps can add up to one big collective action. 

For more on why we've taken up this campaign, and to see our video, visit here.

And check back here and on DropDobbs for more each day.

Murguia: Join NCLR and the Drop Dobbs Campaign

NCLR President Janet Murguia posted this essay on the Huffington Post yesterday:

This Tuesday, my organization, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), joined with several national advocacy organizations to launch the Drop Dobbs campaign, an appeal to advertisers to withhold their advertising support for CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight program. We came to this decision in the wake of Dobbs' participation at an anti-immigrant rally in Washington, DC sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group.

According to SPLC:

- FAIR was founded by John Tanton, who also operates a racist publishing company and has compared immigrants to "bacteria."
- FAIR has employed members of white supremacist groups in key positions.
- FAIR has promoted racist conspiracy theories.
- FAIR has accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation devoted to eugenics and to proving a connection between race and IQ.
- FAIR president Dan Stein once suggested that Asians and Hispanics were engaged in "competitive breeding."

For two years, I have tried working behind the scenes with CNN to bring some fairness to the relentless bias of CNN programming due to Dobbs' show. I have documented a litany of issues involving Lou Dobbs, including:

- His regular use of guests representing hate groups, vigilantes, and nativists as experts on immigration
- His relentless repetition of stories on immigrants and crime that project an impression far from reality
- His association of immigrants as carriers of disease that has been both inaccurate and pejorative

I have appeared on the Lou Dobbs show to ask him to curtail his bias and distance himself from the vigilantes and nativists who have appeared on his show. I have also partnered with CNN to address the levels of diversity before and behind the camera in hopes that this would help. CNN's disregard for Dobbs' alarming appearance at the hate group's rally this week has forced us to reconsider our behind-the-scenes approach.

Words have consequences. The Latino community knows all too well the effect that extreme and polarizing rhetoric can have. Over the past five years, the often vitriolic debate surrounding immigration has created a toxic climate for our communities. During that time, we have seen a double digit increase in the number of hate crimes against Latinos and substantial growth in the number of hate groups targeting Latinos. As was illustrated less than one year ago by the murders of Marcelo Lucero and Jose Sucuzhanay, lives are literally at stake.

Lou Dobbs, as a private citizen, has every right to speak at whatever event he pleases. As a representative of CNN's "best political news team in America," however, Dobbs' appearance at this rally provides FAIR the legitimacy of the CNN brand and signals an intensification of the lopsided coverage Dobbs has provided during the debate over immigration reform.

This should be of deep concern to CNN and every one of its advertisers. The credibility of all of their brands is at stake. The Drop Dobbs coalition is compiling a list of those advertisers supporting the Lou Dobbs show and will be reaching out to educate them about this issue. We recognize that many advertisers may be unaware that FAIR has been designated as a hate group, so we are contacting those companies before publicly releasing the list. However, unless and until Dobbs and CNN disassociate themselves from this hate group, we will be asking advertisers to withhold their support.

Join us online at the Drop Dobbs campaign and ask U.S. corporations to drop their advertising from the Lou Dobbs Tonight show. Together we can make a difference and bring accountability back to CNN.

NDN is a proud founding member of this important effort.  If you haven't yet, please visit the site,, sign our petition and then ask others in your networks to do the same.

Read more at:

Dropping Dobbs

As you may be aware yesterday we joined a broad coalition of groups in launching a campaign to get CNN to drop Lou Dobbs from their thoughtful and respected airwaves.   The site can be found at  Check it out, watch the video if you have a few minutes and add your name to the petition in the take action section asking CNN and Dobb's advertisers to take a stand.

This kind of campaign is not the usual thing NDN does.  But the decline in civil discourse that we've seen this year (what I call the rising "politics of intolerance") and Dobbs' increasingly wild and irresponsible performance on the air of late convinced me - and the whole NDN team - that it was time to take a stand.  Lou Dobbs is free to say whatever he wants on his own website, in his books, on his own radio show.  I am all for free speech.  But he should not be given a daily platform on the globally respected CNN, or on a brand owned by the well-regarded and innovative Time Warner.  It is time for them to drop Lou Dobbs.

There is a precedent for something like this - what Disney/ABC did when Rush Limbaugh was bounced from Monday Night Football for racially offensive remarks.   Mainstream, respectable network bouncing a hate talker off their air because it simply didn't fit their brand, their values, their vision for America.  Every day CNN and Time Warner keep Dobbs on their air they are telling us a great deal about their values - that they care more about making money than they do about creating a civil and just America; that they are willing to tolerate divisive, ignorant talk to make a few extra bucks here and there.  I'm not sure about you but that is not how I see CNN or Time Warner.  Dobbs is antithetical to their brands, and it is time for them to make clear that they believe this is so.  Leave all that crazy talk to News Corp, am radio, blogs and the angry, intolerant right.  But please my friends take Lou Dobbs off CNN.  Your brands, and the country, will be better for it.

I offered up some thoughts, and some video, on all this Dobbs and Beck stuff a few weeks ago.  For me this new campaign is about taking a stand against the rising politics of intolerance we've seen spread across the country in recent months.  As a nation we are better than the screamers, and it is time that those of us who believe that to do more, to take a stand - and in this case lets start by getting Lou Dobbs off CNN.

Beck Loses Advertisers, Dobbs Should be Worried

UPDATE 8/18/09 - More advertisers drop Beck.

The Times has this encouraging report this morning:

ABOUT a dozen companies have withdrawn their commercials from “Glenn Beck,” the Fox News Channel program, after Glenn Beck, the person, said late last month that President Obama was a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

The companies that have moved their ads elsewhere in recent days included ConAgra, Geico, Procter & Gamble and the insurance company Progressive. In a statement that echoed the comments of other companies, ConAgra said on Thursday that “we are firmly committed to diversity, and we would like to prevent the potential perception that advertising during this program was an endorsement of the viewpoints shared.”

The campaign against Mr. Beck is rooted in an advocacy group’s objection to the commentator’s remarks on July 28. Given the number of advertisers that have pledged to remove their spots, it appears to have been unusually successful.

At Netroots Nation yesterday I was on a panel with James Rucker, head of the advocacy group mentioned above, Color of Change, where we discussed all this.  The success of this effort reinforces what I said yesterday - the center-left has the power to get wild, irresponsible demagogues like Beck and Lou Dobbs off mainstream news outlets.  It will require intense focus, patience and a broad based campaign.  But it is possible.  And it is not for their conservatism, or even their opposition to the Democrats.  It is that their consistently articulated understanding of race, of immigrants, of people not like them, of who we are as a people is offensive, anachronistic, and has no place in this age of greater racial understanding offered by our new President. 

We cannot forget that several years ago a Dobbs and Beck fellow traveler, Rush Limbaugh, was given a shot to go mainstream, joining the booth of the Monday Night Football.  Within just a few games he was fired for making racially insensitive remarks.  As a veteran of a network news division, I am very much for freedom of speech, and believe that folks like Limbaugh, Dobbs and Beck are entitled to make their case, grow their shows, do their thing.  But not on a network owned by Disney, or Time Warner.  One of the main reasons I have switched my cable news allegiance from CNN to MSNBC in recent months has been CNN's unwillingness to get rid of Dobbs, who really has no place on CNN, and whose views are wildly out of sync with the CNN brand. I for one will not start watching CNN again until they get Dobbs off their network.

At a forum two weeks I talked about Dobbs and Beck.  A conservative news site, CNS, covered it this way. Their video is included below.

Congrats to James Rucker, Media Matters and those who have worked so hard to hold these awful demagogues to account.  There is much more we can and need to be doing to be building on their success.  More on that soon.

Right Wing Site Features Simon Talking Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck

At an event we held last week, Simon argued that Lou Dobbs's racist, xenophobic blather has gotten so bad that he should be banished from CNN to FoxNews, where Glenn Beck has normalized insane rantings.  He was captured on film by the folks over at CNS News (The Right News. Right Now.), who covered Simon's speech in an admirably impartial manner.

Why is Lou Dobbs on CNN tonight?

Does CNN realize that Lou Dobbs is an offensive figure to many people? That he is not a newsman, but a divisive ideologue who toyed with running for President? That for those of us who have worked closely with the Latino community he is seen as an angry racist? And that he is in essence the antithesis of the Obama argument about America and thus not suited to be a commentator on the what is happening on the Democratic side?

I am a CNN guy but Lou Dobbs shouldn't be on this primetime election show tonight. It demeans this once proud network.

Update: Even though John King and his modern map has been the best thing in campaign coverage this year, I've switched to MSNBC. I will not watch any future CNN election night coverage if Dobbs in on.

Update: Unfortunately, MSNBC joins CNN in putting Florida and Michigan in the Clinton camp.  ABC keeps them open, uncommitted, as they should be. 

Syndicate content