CNN has kind of a schizophrenic image with some Latino groups in the United States.
On the one hand, they are anxiously awaiting the debut of a series on the network called "Latino in America." On the other, they are pressuring CNN to dump Lou Dobbs for what they believe are his anti-Latino positions.
Dobbs, who hosts an hourly opinion and news program on CNN at 7 PM New York time, has made it a cause to oppose illegal immigration in the United States. To some groups, his position and demeanor translate into racial hatred.
They've launched what they call the BastaDobbs.com (Basta: it is enough) campaign which charges CNN with hypocrisy for running the special at the same time that it gives Dobbs a bully pulpit for his anti-illegal immigratiion rhetoric.
In a show of unity, Latino groups in 20 of the top U.S. Hispanic media markets held events today designed to increase pressure on CNN to jettison Dobbs.
“Our message to CNN is clear: You cannot have it both ways. It’s either promotion of hatred by Lou Dobbs or real news regarding the Latino community,” said Isabel Garcia, a civil and human rights attorney in Arizona who is highlighted in the “Latino in America” series and who is also participating in the BastaDobbs.com effort.
The campaign and its partners have collected more than 65,000 signatures on a petition to CNN President Jon Klein. They’ve also produced a video mixing scenes from “Latino in America” with clips of Dobbs’ anti-immigrant rhetoric that has received over 60,000 views in one week.
“Latinos in this country and throughout Latin America are recognizing the two faces of CNN,” said Roberto Lovato, a founding member of Presente.org which is coordinating the effort. “We won’t allow the network to court us as viewers while, at the same time, they allow Dobbs to spread lies and misinformation about us each night.”