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“Lou Dobbs led us to march with our feet on the streets and with our fingers on the keyboard – texting, emailing, blogging,” said Robert Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org, one of the main components of the Basta Dobbs campaign that culminated in the abrupt resignation of the longtime CNN anchor.
Basta Dobbs, a coalition of Latino and progressive groups, was able to gather 100,000 signatures in a month and a half demanding that Dobbs be dumped because so many people were fed up with “the hate and the lies” he spewed in his daily 7 p.m. show, according to Lovato.
“This has been historic because Latinos have joined blacks and Jews in their ability to respond in a powerful way to misinformation and propaganda disguised as news,” said Lovato.
“It reflects how we have taken important strides since the immigrants rights marches of 2006, and are now using the latest technology and organizing tactics to make our voices heard.”
Most of the signatures were gathered through the Present.org Web site, www.bastadobbs.com.
That Hispanics – immigrants or not – were fed up and willing to fight back, was only natural. After all, since 2003 CNN had provided Dobbs with a unique platform from which he attempted to pass as news his anti-immigrant and anti-Latino propaganda.
But words have consequences. Hate speech – of which Dobbs was a gifted practitioner – helped created a hostile environment for Latinos resulting in violence and death. The FBI says that in 2007, Hispanics comprised 61.7% of victims of bias crimes. In 2004, the figure was 51.5%. Since 2003, the number of victims of anti-Hispanic crimes jumped by 40%.
Basta Dobbs was effective, Lovato said, because it not only went after Dobbs, but also exposed CNN for its hypocrisy – and it became a credible threat to the network.
“We were telling CNN: We know you want to come into the Latino market, but you will have to deal with Dobbs,” said Lovato, who confesses that not seeing Dobbs’ sneering face on CNN gives him “infinite” pleasure. “The 100,000 signatures were a major expression of this credible threat.”
CNN’s decision to let Dobbs out of his contract early to pursue unnamed “new opportunities” was not only due to the campaign. It also had to do with the network’s desire to position itself as the neutral alternative to right-wing Fox and liberal MSNBC.
Dobb’s on-air embrace of the far-fetched wingnuts’ theory about Obama‘s birthplace was another blow to the credibility of “the most trusted name in news.” And it added strength to the campaign to dump him.
With his ratings rapidly heading south, the network appears to have given Dobbs a choice: Drop the hate speech and propaganda and become a real journalist, or go someplace else. We all know what happened next.
After its success, Presente.org is not hanging up the gloves. Along with other groups, it will be taking on other campaigns next year, Lovato said. It plans to use 21st-century technology and media to address issues important to the the Latino community.
“With the Basta Dobbs campaign, we sent a message that hate and distortions will be met with an effective response from Latinos,” Lovato said.
Adiós, Lou, and thanks again.
Ironically, Latinos should be grateful to former CNN blowhard Lou Dobbs have 553 words, post on www.nydailynews.com at 2009-11-19 13:18:28. This is cached page on USA Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.