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AMY GOODMAN: —not true.

AMY GOODMAN: —not true.

LOU DOBBS: —we said that. And that’s as straightforward as we can put it.

AMY GOODMAN: And you made an announcement on your show—

LOU DOBBS: Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: —and you will say it here—

LOU DOBBS: Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: —that it is not true. Illegal immigrants 

are not responsible for 7,000 cases of leprosy over last three years.

LOU DOBBS: Not over the last three years. But the likelihood is that illegal immigrants are responsible, because they are the ones who brought Hansen’s disease—

AMY GOODMAN: ”The likelihood”—based on what, Lou?

LOU DOBBS: Based on doctors at the Hansen Center,—

AMY GOODMAN: No.

LOU DOBBS: —who said that—listen to me. Hansen’s—I mean, if you guys—you guys are just ridiculous in your loss of proportion here. You’re talking about one report. But if you want to talk about it, tuberculosis and Hansen’s disease are both screened, and they are so similar in the symptoms and their presentation that doctors look for that in the screening. Without question.

AMY GOODMAN: But as you agree now, you’re formally apologizing for having a presentation on your show—

LOU DOBBS: I already have.

AMY GOODMAN: —and then backing it up.

LOU DOBBS: Wait, wait, wait.

AMY GOODMAN: Again, this is not just one show.

LOU DOBBS: Referring to three years, OK?

AMY GOODMAN: So you’re saying that illegal immigrants have caused 7,000 cases of leprosy—

LOU DOBBS: No.

AMY GOODMAN: —over thirty years?

LOU DOBBS: I’m saying the likelihood is that those cases of Hansen’s disease are, according to the doctors at the Hansen Center, most likely as a result of illegal immigration, because they’re not being screened.

AMY GOODMAN: You know the fear—

LOU DOBBS: But why contain this?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, the reason—

LOU DOBBS: How about tuberculosis?

AMY GOODMAN: Let me make a point.

LOU DOBBS: Does that concern you?

AMY GOODMAN: Let me just say something. Let me just say something.

LOU DOBBS: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: The reason we’re raising these issues is not any one particular case, though I think facts matter—

LOU DOBBS: You’re giving more focus to this issue—

AMY GOODMAN: —because—

LOU DOBBS: We put one report, eight seconds, and you are giving an entire broadcast to this.

AMY GOODMAN: No. It is well more than eight seconds. But I want to make a point here. Even when you were called on it by 60 Minutes—they played a clip—you came back the next day—

LOU DOBBS: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: —and you continued this fallacy. But the issue is, we’re raising different issues in different spheres of American life—prisons, disease—and in each of these cases, what many people are concerned about what you’re doing, because there is no question, Lou Dobbs, you are extremely influential in this country. You are a key part of driving the debate on immigration.

LOU DOBBS: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, I think it is important to be accurate—

LOU DOBBS: Oh, I do, too.

AMY GOODMAN: —to start there.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Yeah, but I think we should—

LOU DOBBS: Have you ever made a mistake on this broadcast, Amy?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

LOU DOBBS: How many, would you say?

AMY GOODMAN: I would say that each time it’s pointed out, we try to apologize for it.

LOU DOBBS: So do we.

AMY GOODMAN: And we try to correct the record.

LOU DOBBS: And the issue is, for me, the 7,000 cases—as soon as I understood the issue was the three years versus thirty years—I mean, to me it was a—

AMY GOODMAN: That’s not minor.

LOU DOBBS: To me, it frankly was of no interest. The issue was 7,000 cases on the registry of Hansen’s. That was the issue I was responding to when I understood fully the three-year thing. I mean, to me, the idea was whether the registry had been brought up to date or not. No one in their right mind thought that—you know, a year, or whatever, that a thousand cases had been created.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I’d like to move on. I want to play a report from your show covering former Mexican President Vicente Fox’s May 2000 visit to the United States. Your reporter Casey Wian—

LOU DOBBS: Wian.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Wian, I’m sorry—described the visit as a, quote, “Mexican military incursion.” This aired on May 23, 2006.

    CASEY WIAN: This Mexican military incursion was fully authorized. A Mexican air force jet carrying President Vicente Fox was not just invited to Utah, but encouraged to visit by Governor John Huntsman.

     

    PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX: We fully support the businessmen from Utah and Mexico…

     

    CASE WIAN: It’s estimated Utah has about 100,000 illegal aliens, and the number is growing rapidly. Utah is also a part of the territory some militant Latino activists refer to as Aztlan, the portion of the Southwest United States they claim rightfully belongs to Mexico.

     

    You could call this the Vicente Fox Aztlan tour, since the three states he’ll visit—Utah, Washington, and California—are all part of some radical group’s vision of the mythical indigenous homeland, Lou.

     

    LOU DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much.


JUAN GONZALEZ: The Southern Poverty Law Center criticized CNN for airing that report, in part because, as your reporter Casey Wian spoke, a graphic appeared on the screen. It was a map of the United States highlighting the seven Southwestern states that Mexico supposedly covets and calls Aztlan. The map was prominently sourced to the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is considered by many to be a white supremacist hate group.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Lou Dobbs?

LOU DOBBS: You know the response, and you know the reality. That—how long was that screen up? How long was that map up?

AMY GOODMAN: Enough to see it.

JUAN GONZALEZ: A few seconds.

LOU DOBBS: The field producer who—did you know it was from the CCC? Which is a hate group.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s attributed right there. It says Council of Conservative Citizens.

LOU DOBBS: Right. And it couldn’t be clearer, could it? I mean, we weren’t hiding anything. We had no idea what they were. The field producer who used it went on the web, pulled—did a “grab,” as it’s called, and put it up. And she was suspended for a day for doing so.

Did you guys know that we have sent our producers and our reporters down to the Southern Poverty Law Center years ago to make certain this sort of thing doesn’t happen? That’s how seriously we take the issue. And for you to talk about the incursion, you forgot to point out that that was coming out of rather jocular discussion of the incursions by Mexican forces along the border and the response of the US government.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But—

LOU DOBBS: And, I mean, are you offended?

AMY GOODMAN: Lou, did you say you have no idea what the Council of Concervative Citizens is?

LOU DOBBS: Did I say I don’t?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

LOU DOBBS: I certainly do now. Absolutely. What did I—you didn’t hear what I just said?

AMY GOODMAN: I just want to—

LOU DOBBS: They’re acknowledged as a hate group. Absolutely.

JUAN GONZALEZ: See, but the problem, this—

LOU DOBBS: What is the problem here?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Projecting the image to your viewers that there’s a Mexican desire to reconquer, the Reconquista of the Southwestern United States, does create images—and especially in people who are not necessarily as intelligent as you necessarily or who have studied as much as you have—

LOU DOBBS: Thank you for conceding that.

JUAN GONZALEZ: —that the country is under siege.

LOU DOBBS: My god, are you so self-important that you don’t think people have a sense of humor when Casey Wian says this is an authorized incursion by the Mexican government? You don’t think people have a sense of humor about that? The reality is, I think most people do. The other thing is, who are you trying to protect America from? I’m a little confused, because the reality is that there is a strong radical group of Reconquistas and Aztlan aficionados, and I have had them demonstrating against me in a couple of cities over the past few weeks. Don’t sit here being disingenuous—

JUAN GONZALEZ: I’m not.

LOU DOBBS: —and sanctimonious, because, let me tell you something—

JUAN GONZALEZ: I’m not being disingenuous.

LOU DOBBS: —there are many idiots on either extreme of this debate, and don’t kid yourself—

AMY GOODMAN: But, Lou, I think what’s important here—

LOU DOBBS: —and you know it.

AMY GOODMAN: —once again, is the pattern. It’s the pattern—

LOU DOBBS: The pattern—come on, please.

AMY GOODMAN: No, let me make my point, because what I talk about is facts.

LOU DOBBS: OK, let’s look at the pattern. The pattern is, for five years, we’ve been reporting on illegal immigration. The pattern is that we have been reporting on the impact of illegal immigration. It doesn’t suit your partisan views—and that’s understandable—or your ideological views. But don’t get carried away with yourselves, for crying out loud!

AMY GOODMAN: OK, Lou, let’s talk about some of the guests you’ve had on your show.

LOU DOBBS: Sure.

AMY GOODMAN: For example, Barbara Coe, leader of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform,—

LOU DOBBS: She’s not a guest. You’re reading from the Southern Poverty Law Center—

AMY GOODMAN: —quoted—just one second—

LOU DOBBS: She was not a guest.

AMY GOODMAN: I am going to look at the—as you said, you actually felt that the Southern Poverty Law Center was so important—

LOU DOBBS: It’s a joke.

AMY GOODMAN: —in getting information—

LOU DOBBS: It’s a joke.

AMY GOODMAN: —that you sent your producers down there to get information so that you wouldn’t represent hate groups on the air.

LOU DOBBS: In their responses, they’re nothing but a fundraising organization—

AMY GOODMAN: So let me—

LOU DOBBS: —and they’re indulging in pure BS.

AMY GOODMAN: OK. Now, let me just—

LOU DOBBS: And so are you, when you quote them.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me just talk about some of the guests that you have had on—

LOU DOBBS: Sure. They’re not guests.

AMY GOODMAN: —or quoted on the show.

LOU DOBBS: Barbara Coe was never a guest.

AMY GOODMAN: No. She was quoted on the show—

LOU DOBBS: That’s different.

AMY GOODMAN: —bitterly attacking Home Depot for betraying Americans, apparently because Hispanic day laborers often gather in front of the store looking for work. Not mentioned were her group, listed by the Southern Poverty Leadership Council as a hate group, or the fact that she routinely refers to Mexicans as “savages.” Coe recently described herself as a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, the white pride group formed from the remnants—

LOU DOBBS: What year was that?

AMY GOODMAN: —of the segregationist White Citizens’ Council of the ’50s and ’60s,—

LOU DOBBS: What year was she—

AMY GOODMAN: —which Thurgood Marshall called the “Uptown Klan.”

LOU DOBBS: My god, Amy, what year was that on our broadcast? What year?

AMY GOODMAN: Not clear. You can tell me what year was it on your broadcast.

LOU DOBBS: Well, actually, I can, but it was years ago. And it was before we knew what the heck was going on.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m going to talk about a few other people.

LOU DOBBS: Sure.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Spencer, head of the anti-immigration American Patrol, has been interviewed at least twice on the show in 2004, maybe many more times after—I don’t know. Spencer’s website is jammed with anti-Mexican vitriol. He pushes the idea the Mexican government is involved in a secret plot to take over the Southwest—

LOU DOBBS: OK.

AMY GOODMAN: —facts never mentioned on your show. His group is regarded as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

LOU DOBBS: You know, well, I really don’t care what—

AMY GOODMAN: Spencer has spoken at least twice to the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.

LOU DOBBS: You know, I got to be honest with you. I have no knowledge of this fellow. I have no idea—and you’re not telling me when he was on the broadcast.

AMY GOODMAN: You had him on the show. I said—

LOU DOBBS: No, I did not have him on the show. He was quoted—

AMY GOODMAN: January 7th—

LOU DOBBS: He was either quoted in a piece—

AMY GOODMAN: No, no, no. No, no, Lou. On January 7, 2004, and June 4, 2004—

LOU DOBBS: Ah!

AMY GOODMAN: —he was interviewed on your broadcast.

LOU DOBBS: He was not on our broadcast. He may have been in a field report. He was not on our broadcast. And, Amy, let me ask you a question: have you checked to see how many guests we’ve had on our show in the course of—what is that?—

AMY GOODMAN: You have had many.

LOU DOBBS: —three-and-a-half years? No, I mean—

AMY GOODMAN: You have had many.

LOU DOBBS: —let’s get a number. What do you think? Why are you focusing on two or three?

AMY GOODMAN: I can go on and on.

LOU DOBBS: OK, keep going. How many?

AMY GOODMAN: But I think the important point here—

LOU DOBBS: Give us a total. Give us a total of the number of guests you object to.

AMY GOODMAN: Lou, I just want to say something here. You just said to Juan, can’t he take a joke, when you talk about the incursion, Mexico taking over the United States. Yet, it is a growing theme. It is a continuing thread in your broadcast. This guy, Glenn Spencer, whether he said this on your show or not, Dobbs has not—

LOU DOBBS: Oh, no, no.

AMY GOODMAN: Just one second—has not mentioned his ties to American—

LOU DOBBS: Now I’m supposed to be—

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, you have to know who—

LOU DOBBS: I’m supposed to be responsible for what he says off my broadcast?

AMY GOODMAN: No. You should know that he was tied to American Renaissance, the group that says blacks are genetically inferior to whites. You didn’t report those ties or mention Spencer’s—

LOU DOBBS: Do you think we knew it?

AMY GOODMAN: —more wild-eyed contentions—

LOU DOBBS: Do you think we knew it?

AMY GOODMAN: —such as his—

LOU DOBBS: Amy, do you really think we knew it?

AMY GOODMAN: Just listen to this—such as his prediction—

LOU DOBBS: Do you really believe we knew that?

AMY GOODMAN: —that thousands will die in a supposedly forthcoming Mexican invasion.

LOU DOBBS: Oh, come on! You’re giving Glenn Spencer and other detestable people who would make such comments about more air time than anybody.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Lou—

LOU DOBBS: You have just given him more air—

AMY GOODMAN: But, Lou—

LOU DOBBS: —than I would have ever, and I—

AMY GOODMAN: But, Lou, let me make a final point.

LOU DOBBS: Go back and look at the quotes.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me make a final point.

LOU DOBBS: Who’s giving him more air time? You.

AMY GOODMAN: Your colleague, Wolf Blitzer—

LOU DOBBS: Yeah?

AMY GOODMAN: —on the other hand, also featured Spencer on his own show, but reported Mexico’s official response that SPLC, Southern Poverty Leadership Council’s hate group designation, said that he was a member of a hate group, as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center. So we’re not—

LOU DOBBS: What year was that?

AMY GOODMAN: What I’m saying is that Wolf—

LOU DOBBS: What year was Wolf Blitzer?

AMY GOODMAN: —Blitzer identified him; you did not.

LOU DOBBS: What year? What year?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I just know when you had him on your show, and you may have had him on since then.

LOU DOBBS: But do you know when Wolf Blitzer had him on?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, soon after that, I suppose. I don’t know.

LOU DOBBS: OK. After we found out that there was a problem.

AMY GOODMAN: But you know what the fact is? I don’t know. And I admit when I don’t know. And I try to get my facts straight.

LOU DOBBS: Sure. Sure. So do we.

AMY GOODMAN: Another guest that you’ve had on the show—now, this is a very important point, and this is one that you would agree that you’ve covered, and that is Arizona—this is very important—the Protect Arizona Now referendum. In late 2004, it was revealed that the new head of the national advisory board to Protect Arizona Now, an anti-immigration organization, was a longtime white supremacist who was also an editorial advisor to the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. Although Virginia Abernethy’s controversial selection was reported prominently in virtually every Arizona paper, and despite the fact that Lou Dobbs heavily cover the anti-immigration referendum that Protect Arizona Now was advocating, you never mentioned the affair at all, her controversial selection as head of this group.

LOU DOBBS: And she was featured in how many reports?

AMY GOODMAN: The point is, you covered Protect Arizona Now extensively, and this is certainly significant, when it turns out that the head of the board of Protect Arizona Now is—

LOU DOBBS: And when was the last time she was on the show?

AMY GOODMAN: No, the important point is, you didn’t report the news of this very controversial—

LOU DOBBS: Is it possible—

AMY GOODMAN: —racist woman who headed Protect Arizona Now, which was virtually in every Arizona paper. The question is—

LOU DOBBS: Concurrent with our reporting?

AMY GOODMAN: —what you report and what you don’t.

LOU DOBBS: Concurrent with our reporting?

AMY GOODMAN: Of course. This is in 2004. The point is, what you report, Lou, and what you don’t report.

LOU DOBBS: Well, you know, Amy, I don’t know what to tell you, because, you know, based on your focus here today, you have focused on probably three or four reports, as best I can figure, out of more than five years of reporting on the issue. If that smacks at all to you of reasonable proportionate journalism on your part, I mean, God bless you. If that’s what you believe, God bless you. But I think you’re coming from an ideological position that has just absolutely skewed that perception and that perspective.

AMY GOODMAN: I admit my ideological position, which is that I think that the Council of Conservative Citizens is a racist group, and it’s problematic—

LOU DOBBS: OK. And I think that you are a wonderful, pure and absolute infallible human being.

AMY GOODMAN: —not to identify guests that you have on your show that are connected with this group.

LOU DOBBS: Unfortunately, I am a fallible, and I am a man who has made some mistakes. But the reality is, the body of work stands for itself, and you know that. And the reality is, the facts are irresistible. Illegal immigration into this country is absolutely not in the American interest. And that is a reality you’re going to have to contend with.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Lou, no, that fact is not clear. You know, first of all—

LOU DOBBS: Not to you.

JUAN GONZALEZ: No, exactly. And I have a different perspective on that—

LOU DOBBS: Sure.

JUAN GONZALEZ: So you’ll indulge me.

LOU DOBBS: Sure.

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