The campaign against hate speech was given a fresh impulse when CNN columnist Lou Dobbs used hateful extremist language against Gov. Howard Dean alleging he is someone who is out to advance the ideas of “liberal fascism.” Dobbs said, “He’s a blood sucking leftist” and continued, “I mean you gotta put a stake through his heart to stop this guy.” Media Matters posted an audio file of the Lou Dobbs hate speech on its website.
Democracy for America is circulating a request to call on CNN to fire Dobbs. “Enough is enough,” Democracy for America says. They continue, “With violence from right-wing extremist groups on the rise and Republican-backed mobs hanging cardboard versions of members of Congress in effigy, Lou Dobbs’ statement is un-American, irresponsible and dangerous. It’s time for Lou Dobbs to be pulled off the air.” You can hear the Dobbs attack on Howard Dean and find the CNN phone number to call
Last week CNN refused to air a commercial critical of Dobbs on its cable broadcast and pressured others to do likewise. Dobbs has been repeatedly questioning President Obama’s right to the presidency claiming he was not born in the U.S. This right-wing “birther” movement has grown increasingly strident as the health care debate heats up, as have other extremist groups and personalities, like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
According to one analyst, the motive behind this hate speech is cold cash. Writing for the Baltimore Sun Jay Hancock says, “The answer is simple, and it’s all about the economics that Dobbs is supposed to know something about. Economics is about how incentives change behavior. The incentives for Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter etc. are to say outrageous things that attract a fringe, disaffected and not especially well-educated audience. The audience is a minority in the American polity, but it’s large enough to support a very nice living for the screamers.”
Dobbs is a pioneer in CNN’s television business news.