Bloggers Respond Warmly to Dobbs’ Fire and Brimstone

The CNN anchor launches another attack on Bush administration policies, and online commentators respond in kind.

CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is not one to mince words — especially when it comes to his personal crusade for immigration reform or his emotional advocacy on behalf of America’s middle class.

But yesterday, in an online screed entitled “Bush, Congress tell working folk to go to hell,” Dobbs’ anger seemed to reach a new level.

Touching on the president’s handling of Iraq and a new tax cut, and Democrats and Republicans’ maneuvering on immigration, Dobbs declared that “Never before in our country’s history have both the president and Congress been so out of touch with most Americans. Never before have so few of our elected officials and corporate leaders been less willing to commit to the national interest. And never before has our nation’s largest constituent group — some 200 million middle-class Americans — been without representation in our nation’s capital.”

Chiding Bush for lacking an effective strategy in Iraq, Dobbs continued, “Of course, he also wants a guest worker program and amnesty of millions of illegal aliens. And Congress, faced with midterm elections in just over five months, is intent on giving the president what he wants and telling working men and women and their families, American citizens all, to go to hell.”

From there, Dobbs said that Congress and Bush’s likely immigration reform plan poses “an outright assault in the elitist war on the middle class,” lit into a number of other problems afflicting the country, and concluded that “a third-world country is what we will be if elected officials don’t soon come to their senses.”

Cue the blogging fireworks.

“Lou Dobbs up there on his high horse attacks the president and Congress for not paying attention to the middle-class worker. Lou, are you a middle-class worker? No, you’re not,” wrote Litre Vision. “[N]ext time you feel like pointing out what you feel are all of the problems with the current government, why don’t you offer up some solutions? Your commentary puts you right in line with the rest of the masses who call for changes but offer no avenues to travel down. That accomplishes nothing.”

Saying Dobbs had gone off the deep end, Michael Martinez wrote that the anchor apparently “feels he is more qualified to determine wartime strategy than our generals.” Giving CNN some credit “for their yellow journalism,” Martinez added: “[T]hey are only Democrats for as long as it takes to get the Republicans out of office. And then they are Republicans until the next Democrat takes control. Responsible journalism is supposed to rise above the politics.”

That some bloggers hung Dobbs by the rhetorical noose he so freely offered is not that surprising. What is surprising, however, is that more bloggers than not came down in support of Dobbs.

“This article here from CNN’s Lou Dobbs is a must-read (did I just write that?) as he says that Bush & Congress are ‘telling working folk to go to hell,’” wrote Kemp at the “Bush”-Whacked Administration. “Well said, Mr. Dobbs … very well said.”

Dobbs’ latest commentary (they are posted every Wednesday on “is a little inflammatory,” said Mike at N2D33P. “Well, maybe it’s more than just ‘a little.’ All I know is it got my blood pumping and yelling out, ‘Yea! Right on Mr. Dobbs!’”

If anything, some bloggers concluded, Dobbs’ insights are decidedly unique.

“Financial dude (analyst? columnist? television commentator? hack?) Lou Dobbs has been all fire and brimstone lately, primarily about immigration, but today he’s basically tossed the entire government under the bus (perhaps deservedly so) and is even making analogies to, of all places and times, 18th century Russia,” observed It’s Matt’s World.

But it was the Chief Source’s Robert Hewitt who summed it up best.

“I have a confession to make,” Hewitt wrote, acknowledging he has “a sweet spot” for Dobbs. Sure, they have their differences — “He is such a hard-liner that he often stops just short of calling for the composting of illegal immigrants” — and yet, said Hewitt, “sometimes he still woos me.”

“Lou,” Hewitt concluded, “you had me at ‘hell.’”

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Edward B. Colby was a writer at CJR Daily.