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. His decision came after a slew of campaigns by pro-immigrant and Hispanic groups calling for just that.
Since Dobbs broke the news during what would be his last show on the network, the statements, tweets, Facebook updates, YouTube videos, newspaper editorials and other forms of victory declarations have been streaming in.
The anchor’s resignation caused a “wave of happiness” among those who wanted an end to his anti-immigrant rhetoric, wrote La Opinión political reporter and FI2W contributor Pilar Marrero in the Los Angeles newspaper.
“Lou Dobbs’ departure from CNN is not only a sign that the network is interested in restoring its credibility but also that immigrants and Latinos will stand up firmly to hate mongering (sic),” said an editorial on New York newspaper El Diario/La Prensa.
“…the victory of the national mobilization, as Presente.org, put it, communicates that organizations will not be able to profit from promoting hate without a firm backlash.”
Presente.org was one of the groups that pushed hardest for Dobbs to be dropped from CNN. Founder Roberto Lovato struck a less euphoric tone on his Huffington Post blog.
“…while slightly moved by Dobbs’ personal drama, I cried primarily because, as a member, relative and friend of the groups most vilified by Dobbs for so many years — Latinos and immigrants — I was inspired by the power of the movement to oust him, a movement that these same groups and their allies led.
“In the words of many a jubilant Twitterer and Facebook friend celebrating Dobbs’ transition as a victory,”Si Se Pudo” (Yes We Could).”
Media watch organization Media Matters for America wasn’t so subtle when putting together a celebratory video it labelled: “Victory, Adiós Lou Dobbs.” The group’s president, Eric Burns, said on its website:
“For too long, CNN provided Lou Dobbs with its stamp of approval as he pursued a dangerous, one-sided and all too often false conspiracy tinged crusade against immigrants.
“This is a happy day for all those who care about this nation of immigrants and believe in the power of media to elevate the political discourse.”
Lest they be forgotten, Media Matters also listed on its site the long litany of complaints against Dobbs’ reports.
Democracia USA, another organization that had joined the campaigns against the anchor, said on its blog: “Tonight’s news is a victory for immigrants, for Latinos, and for America. Mr. Dobbs’ announcement should be a wake-up alarm for all those who are infusing America’s much-needed health insurance and immigration reform debates with inflammatory propaganda.”
The National Council of La Raza also joined in the celebration. “We hope this resignation begins to undo the climate of intolerance fostered against the Latino community, restore journalistic integrity to the CNN brand, and bring civility and truth back to the immigration debate,” said president Janet Murguía in a statement.