Aarti Shahani, a public service fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a writing fellow at Justice Strategies, talks to Roberto Lovato, the face of the campaigns to demand Lou Dobbs’ ouster from CNN by Hispanic and pro-immigration activists.
It’s not often that the disparate collection of organizations, individuals, websites and media outlets that are pushing for progressive immigration reform can enjoy such a clear-cut victory as former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs’ announcement Wednesday that he was leaving the network.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Some Latinos among CNN’s audience feel the network is adding insult to injury. This week CNN started broadcasting a four-hour special on “Latinos in America” without addressing the controversy over one of its main stars, Lou Dobbs, and his frequent statements against immigrants in general and Mexicans in particular.
Protests were held across the country to coincide with the launch of “Latinos in America.” One activist even tried to complain about Dobbs in an interview on CNN, but claims the network censored her.
San Antonio civil rights lawyer Isabel García told The New York Times‘ blog “Media Decoder” that the channel edited her comments out of a taped interview in which she debated with Phoenix-area Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
She said she called Mr. Arpaio and Mr. Dobbs “the two most dangerous men to our communities,” and added that “because of them, our communities are being terrorized in a real way.” She also asserted that CNN was “promoting lies and hate about our community” by broadcasting Mr. Dobbs’s program. The comments were not included when the interview was broadcast.
A CNN spokeswoman said: “The segment was tied to CNN’s documentary ’Latino in America,’ which is a far-reaching look at the successes and challenges Latinos are facing — including illegal immigration. As with all pretaped interviews, they are edited for time and relevance to the topic of discussion. The debate between Isabel Garcia and Joe Arpaio was no exception.”