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Lou Dobbs’ revelation and $8 million payday from CNN

I don’t generally stray into the mainstream, but comments by Lou Dobbs yesterday were embarrassing to journalists everywhere.  And yes, as a former newspaper and magazine reporter, I still feel a kinship to those who work in the profession.

Here’s what Dobbs said about his recent departure from CNN and his $8 million payoff;  “I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I’ve said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being.”  Then why, Lou, did you pretend to “report” the news on CNN?  You didn’t report, you reported your opinion about the news.  Just because you’ve said that neutrality is not part of your being does not make what you did right.  I believe it’s just another dagger in the heart of objective journalism everywhere.


The network stated that Dobbs’ increasingly opinionated reporting ran counter to CNN’s stated goal of becoming a fact-based, opinion-free network nestled between the right-leaning FOX News and left-leaning MSNBC.  But wait, CNN actually stated that their goal was “of becoming a fact based, opinion-free network.”  I thought CNN was already a fact-based, opinion-free network.  What’s this about their goal.  Jesh.  Here’s the story:  http://miniurl.com/21651.

I never liked Dobbs, but I was flabbergasted at his comments.  Sure he was opinionated, but he was presented — and presented himself — as a news professional.  Now, as we already knew, Dobbs admits he was nothing more than an entertainer.  A shill.  A charlatan.  Good bye Lou.

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1 Anna Rzewnicki { 11.18.09 at 12:05 am }

I would check in now & then to see what he was up to, but as a journalist by training and former newspaper writer/editor, I too was frustrated by his op ed approach to what was billed, I once thought, as a news slot. I certainly won’t miss his rants in the CNN lineup. This all points to the importance of stopping to distinguish between fact and opinion, whether we’re watching TV, surfing the Web, reading, or joining in a conversation.

2 Jenny Weston { 11.23.09 at 5:44 am }

You make a great point here about what has happened to “news.” I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who are incapable of recognizing opinion dressed up as news. Have you seen John Stewart’s rant on Fox? It’s worth the watch:

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