Veteran CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, whose incendiary views on immigration and the economy made him the scorn of Latino groups and the darling of conservatives, abruptly resigned from the cable network Wednesday night.
Dobbs, 64, announced his plans to leave CNN immediately, explaining he was allowed to terminate his contract two years before it is to expire.
“This will be my last broadcast here on CNN,” Dobbs told viewers at the top of his 7 p.m. show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
A 30-year veteran of the country’s first 24-hour news network, Dobbs is the last of the original anchors who helped Ted Turner get CNN off the ground.
“I’m grateful for the many opportunities that CNN has given me over these many years,” Dobbs said. “I’ve tried to reciprocate with a full measure of my ability and my energy.”
Citing “strong winds of change” in the country over the past six months, Dobbs said he had been urged by media, political and business leaders to “go beyond my role here at CNN.”
He said he plans to “engage in constructive problem solving” of the issues affecting the country, including the growth of the middle class, health care, immigration reform and climate change.
“I believe these to be profoundly critically important issues and I will continue to strive to deal honestly and straight forwardly with those issues in the future,” Dobbs said.
“With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere. We respect his decision and wish him, Debi, and his family the very best,” said CNN President Jon Klein.
A Fox official insisted that discussions have not been held with Dobbs for positions at Fox News or Fox Business.
Dobbs critics declared victory last night.
“Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs – who has a long record of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos – does not belong on the ‘Most Trusted Name in News,'” said Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org.
In September, Lovato’s group started the BastaDobbs.com Web site, bashing what they describe as the anchor’s on-air xenophobic views and called for his ouster from CNN.
With Maite Junco
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