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Gary Shapiro: Reflections on Lou Dobbs’ Turbulent Departure

Imagine 2050 Staff • Nov 14, 2009

Shapiro posted this great piece on Huffington Post, making sure the coffin on Lou Dobbs’ mainstream media career is nailed shut for good.

Lou Dobbs quickly and unexpectedly announced his resignation from CNN this week, terminating his reported multi-year contract with the cable network. I have been calling publicly for months for CNN to stop putting Dobbs on the air, so I think it worthwhile to reflect for a moment on why his resignation was the right decision.

Although some have decried CNN’s censorship of a self-labeled opinionated voice, I reject that notion. First and foremost, I am a champion of the First Amendment. The Media Institute, a non-profit organization that includes CNN and many other major news outlets as supporters, recently honored me with their annual First Amendment award for my work in championing free speech.

I believe free speech includes the right to be heard, but not everyone has a right to his or her own television show. Lou Dobbs exploited his position as a news anchor with his own nightly show and used it as a platform to advance his xenophobic and anti-business agenda. Now that he has lost that platform, he can pitch an op-ed as readily as anyone else can - and indeed his opinions belong somewhere other than on a serious news network.

What I found most troubling about CNN’s nightly airing of Dobbs’ opinions and rants was the fact that CNN was carried on screens in our nation’s airports. Why, I wondered, did airport managers force Americans, our overseas guests, and airline workers to watch the worst face of America?

Read the entire post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-shapiro/reflections-on-lou-dobbs_b_356592.html

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