The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

SPLC Joins Campaign Calling on Dobbs’ Advertisers to Dump Him

By Heidi Beirich on September 15, 2009 - 4:00 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

In July, as you might recall, the SPLC called on the president of CNN to remove Lou Dobbs from the air after he repeatedly used his platform to nurture the totally discredited “birther” movement. The birthers, of course, are the folks who insist that President Obama was really born in Kenya – not Hawaii – and therefore is not eligible to be president. Their attacks are part of a wider, racially tinged campaign to de-legitimize Obama’s presidency by portraying him as some kind of foreign-born, Marxist, fascist, Muslim friend of terrorists.

As Dobbs continued to obsess over Obama’s birth certificate, CNN president Jonathan Klein decreed that the bogus controversy was indeed settled – in Obama’s favor – and that Dobbs would no longer talk about it on CNN. But Klein took no action to stop Dobbs’ further descent into loony land. Klein, in fact, stood firmly behind Dobbs’ authority to set his own agenda and exercise his own editorial judgment.

Well, now it’s time to revoke Dobbs’ journalistic license altogether. He can no longer lay any claim whatsoever to journalistic objectivity or integrity. This week, he’s headlining an anti-immigrant talk radio fest sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been designated a hate group by the SPLC.

Dobbs is one of 47 right-wing talk radio hosts who are broadcasting from Washington today and tomorrow to discuss immigration policy as part of FAIR’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” anti-immigration rally.

The avuncular CNN host has a long history of stirring up hate against Latino immigrants by reporting wildly inaccurate information and sneeringly focusing on the immigration issue day after day on CNN.

Now, by actively promoting the hate group FAIR and its efforts to demonize immigrants, he’s further damaging CNN’s credibility and making a mockery of the network’s tagline, “The Most Trusted Name in News.”

It’s clear that CNN executives care more about raking in advertiser dollars from Dobbs’ fear-mongering and falsehoods than they do about exercising sound editorial judgment.

That’s why today we are joining a coalition of groups calling for advertisers to stop supporting his show.

To read more about Dobbs’ history of false reporting and to add your voice, go to

  • LandOLakes

    Dear Sirs;

    I am dumbfounded! I am an American. You are Americans. Why are you so hateful towards those who disagree with you? Why do you expound on the virtues of big government and use the justice system against people who simply do not want you to criminalize anyone contrary to your ideas? Why would you pursue fellow Americans as criminals because they are not like you? There is the Constitution that insures individual liberties but NOT the right to prosecute against ideas. Your group is stunningly similar to the Muslim Counsel at the UN that is pushing a resolution to put into law an anti defamation of Religion Act that would establish an international law rendering any free person who disagrees with the teachings of Mohammed A CRIMINAL! So, if I don’t like you and your friends, and I have a gun collection, under the Constitution I am protected from your organization which is a hate group. Cheers!

  • beholder


    I stand corrected — all people everywhere should boycott, not just people of color. You are right.

    I only mentioned people of color as a starting point, not as an exclusive boycott.

  • texasgomer

    Actually, I see that the SPLC does track black hate activity. The thing you’ve got to remember is these guys are lawyers. Hearsay is not enough.

  • Agustin Perez

    Why did the SPLC not cover the racist groups Van Jones was part of ,also if Beck of Fox news is such a kook why was he the only one who did and was right??? Also why do you not cover all the racist groups in NYC,LA and Chicago which are not white??? I have seen more racist in the inner cities than anywhere , where is the SPLC in the cities??? I support the SPLC, but I feel your organization is out of touch with what is happening in the inner cities. Also have you listen to what the black owned radio stations are talking about lately?? Also hate speech is a protected right by something called The Constitution ,the very document that gives the SPLC the right to call anyone a racist , hater , anti-gay if they do not agree with your ideas!!! Sad day when an organization is not objective!!

  • texasgomer
  • CA Patriot

    I took a look and the link you provided and my pea sized brain didn’t scramble. In fact, those most watched TV program numbers prove nothing…or rather, they perhaps prove that there are thousands or millions of people who are drinking the poisonous Kool-Aid and one wonders why.
    You can’t call it journalism. I used to watch Lou Dobbs for fun and will watch Beck for the same reason–until I can’t stomach him any longer–for theater and entertainment. But believing I’m actually watching a substantive news program? No. I rely on CNN & MSNBC for Fair and Balanced reporting.

  • Semper Fi

    Wow…gomer that is scary stuff (of course the airwaves are public owned and policed by the FCC).

    Here is some good news for all – but if you are one of the few crazed leftist and against free press/media this story will scramble you pea sized brian…

  • texasgomer

    The concept of “freedom of speech” was intended to extend only to public venues and not private venues like radio and television stations.

  • Semper Fi

    SPLC is such a great group…and I agree we need to stop all this freedom of speech stuff…please.
    You bunch of bigoted knuckle heads…it is closed minded thought like this that builds the careers of Glenn Beck, Hanity and Limbaugh.
    The majority of Americans do no trust the media any more because of the one sided reporting we were given during the Bush years and now, now you want to start working on cleaning things up?!? Our new “state run media” will only serve to make these conservative talk shows more popular. If you want to support a cause how about fairness in reporting. Americans will then come to their own conclusions about issues. Or does this scare you???
    Please you have no moral compass and only one oar in the water.

  • texasgomer

    As far as the sad state of the airwaves today, you can blame that one on Ronald Reagan and his “government is evil” mantra which brought about a lot of unwise deregulation.

  • Hope

    I am pondering just when certain public acts against our President will move into the category of “hate” activities. And I am wondering how our public airwaves can be openly used to perpetrate hate against our president, and specifically against him? And I am totally perplexed as to why it’s OK to bring a loaded weapon to an event where the president is in attendance. Is this the same country that I was brought up to love and respect? What is happening all around us? Do we have to wait for the hate kettle to boil over? What can we do to intervene? Looking for answers, and HOPEFULLY in the right places.

  • Tezuka fan

    Through my time of being one of the few white kids in my school (Woodlawn, MD) and being called “white boy” and a few real insults, some would think I’d be on a “what about the plight of white people” garbage. Well, I’m not.

    Yes, I’ve experienced racism (at me), but, I know that it would be completely asinine and disrespectful for me to even think that gives me the right to say that my problem days at school are anywhere close to how much suffering anyone not in any of my demographics (white, hetero, male) has endured.

    Yes, there has been antagonistic behavior against people very similar (Germans in America during WWII, Irish immigrants in the early 20th century, Mennonites during any “popular” war) and there still are. But, that’s not a license to say that others have not suffered just as much as or a lot more than you claim to.

    Reminds me of what my mom said, “If a cop pulls you over for speeding (or a teacher disciplines you for something) don’t ask the cop, ‘well why aren’t you pulling all these other people speeding? You should let me go.'”

  • texasgomer

    Murdock does care about money. His son was squealing like a pig under the gate at the “BBC advantage” causing News Corp to lose billions in England. Maybe the Brits know something we don’t and are breaking Rupert Murdock.

  • mountaingirl08

    Can’t the President sue for defamation people like Dobbs and other “birthers” and so-called “patriots” and their ilk? They know their claims are untrue yet they keep pushing the envelope.

  • Snorlax

    Not surprising that some Reich Wingnut would bring up the school bus incident in here.

    He’s just mindlessly parroting his favorite fascist Junkie Rush Limbaugh, who is blaming a misdemeanor assault on a school bus on…get this…OBAMA.

    Yes, whenever some bully punches a kid on the school bus (which sadly happens every day in America) it’s Obama’s fault.

    These Reich Wingnuts all need to check in to the rehab clinic.

  • GrannyBev

    GrampaMark – Thanks for the link. These folks are certainly scary and I know we must not let our fear, nor ignorance of them, infringe on our rights. Daily battle, eh?

  • Kathrin

    re: John Smith’s comments up top

    The new Intelligence Report has several stories re: PoCs who are propagating hate. Specifically:

    p. 3 – “Nearly 150 Latino Gang Members Indicted for Racist Violence”

    p. 24 – “Prejudice in Paradise” re: Native Hawaiian hate speech and actions against non-Native Hawaiians who live on the islands


    p. 58 – “Anti-Roma Violence Surging Across Central Europe re: Roma who have been targeted in Czech Republic and Hungary. Whether Slavs are considered white will depend on who you ask, but clearly SPLC reports on all hate groups regardless of color of their skin.

    It helps to read beyond the headlines!

    p.s. poverty does not discriminate based on skin pigmentation!

  • GrampaMark

    GrannyBev questioned?

    “When will the hatred and hostility stop? When will people accept that others ideas or beliefs are not always wrong? Why must everything always be BLACK or WHITE? When will the rightwing stop telling lies, distorting things, enciting violence?”

    It really cannot end if you look at what drives right-wing conservatives these days. Read:

    I don’t see how you can expect a “change” in people who think that way. But, it is helpful to see how they think, react, and attack.

    Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, warned, “If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”

  • GrannyBev

    Beck is doing and saying EXACTLY what Murdoch and Ailes want – which is to bring President Obama down by any means. Most of the advertisers have simply moved to other programming on Fox. Even those who have been lost, represent nothing more than pocket change to Murdoch and he’s probably willing to lose a great deal more to achieve his objective.

    As for Lou Dobbs – beholder said ” all people of color everywhere should boycott”
    I disagree with you on one point and that is color – ALL PEOPLE should boycott. The hatred Dobbs shows towards many groups, affects all of us. I am an old white female, but willingly signed the ColorOfChange petition against Beck and have signed the one against Dobbs. Bigotry and divisiveness is something that none of us of any color should tolerate.

    The only difference between Beck and Dobbs is the method by which they deliver their messages, which are mirror images. Beck rants and screams and cries. Dobbs talks in a calmer, almost civilized and intelligent manner.

    John Smith – If you really watched that video, there were also WHITE kids cheering on the beating of their own. And the kid wasn’t beaten *senseless*. You apparently haven’t seen many videos of white-on-black, but there are far more of those attacks occurring, and have been for decades. You must be a Limbaugh-listener as that’s his latest mantra. I lived in St. Louis for nearly 3 years – actually Granite City IL, not far from Belleville – and I can tell you that the blacks take massive abuse from whites, for no reason at all, except for being black and walking through Wal-Mart or McD’s. If I was black, I’d be mighty sick of it……hell, I’m white and mighty sick of it!

    Carrie – Most of us don’t give a dang about the ratings. It isn’t censorship when we choose to not watch something. It isn’t censorship when we choose to let sponsors know how we feel and that we won’t purchase their products. It is free choice and the sponsors have the choice of continuing or not. What we do care about is the hate-mongerers like Dobbs, Beck, Limbaugh, and the others at Fox, along with white supremacists, bigots and racists, plus the religious fanatics who want to revert this country to pre-Civil Rights days where old white men run everything and preach their *christian family values* while being hypocrites.

    When will the hatred and hostility stop? When will people accept that others ideas or beliefs are not always wrong? Why must everything always be BLACK or WHITE? When will the rightwing stop telling lies, distorting things, enciting violence?

  • Snorlax

    John Smith said, “How come you guys never speak out on all of the black-on-white violence?”

    SPLC does track all kinds of dangerous groups, including several BLACK seperatist ones who can be violent.

    They don’t just cover all criminal activity, though. They look for stuff done by racist groups. If that bus incident had anything to do with a racist group, SPLC will report it.

    And I checked news stories on that bus incident. Witnesses are saying the kid was beaten up NOT because he was white. http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....llies.html

    Looks like you Reich Wingnuts are LYING again.

    And as for you, Carrie, Beck’s ratings are no longer through the roof, and he has lost 67 sponsors. As for Dobbs, this is not “censorship” since SPLC and others are talking about broadcast standards. It would be one thing to censor Dobbs for supporting one candidate over another, but what Dobbs has been saying is NOT legitimate speech, it is hate speech that does not belong on TV.

  • Carter

    I believe PHIL has a point. The best method to deal with this is to deal with the issues on a specific basis.
    I seriously doubt that they will take this guy off the air; the level of boycotting product-line support would need to be astounding. Not too many people care that much to hunt down all the advertisers and boycott.
    This is NOT journalism…..I don’t know why people would ever consider it to be…….It’s entertainment. That’s what many can’t live without – bread and circuses.

  • Phil

    Advertisers may move for a while, but CNN isn’t going to pull Dobbs no matter what. In fact, your actions will prevent it. Think of it this way: If CNN does what you want, it sends a signal they can be had with any similar campaign from anyone. That’s worse than losing a little money now on Dobbs until this blows over.

    Yes, he is a fool and a mean one at that, but this sort of pressure will not bear fruit. It is better to do as you already have begun to do, show how shoddy his “journalism” is and how he hangs around with hate-mongers. That might get something done.

  • Carrie

    Hopefully this attempted leftist censorship will make Dobbs’ ratings go though the roof like we saw with Beck.

  • John Smith

    How come you guys never speak out on all of the black-on-white violence? The VASTLY disparate interracial rape violence? Just for an example. I find your motives dubious. You are NOT the good guys. By the way, did you hear police are NOT going to charge that busload of black thugs in St, Louis with a hate crime after the black kids on the bus denied the one white kid a seat and then beat him senseless after he tried to sit down–all the while to cheers from the other black kids? Have you issued a statement? P.S. I’ve seen numerous videos like this of blacks assaulting whites, even white women. But I’ve NEVER seen a similar video of a gang of whites assaulting a black like that. Why is that? Poverty? Ugh.

  • Snorlax

    Don’t hold your breath.

    Glenn-or-Glenda Beck was boycotted after he called Obama a racist white-hater. 67 sponsors dumped Beck.

    Beck now runs fewer ads and they are “marginal” ones, not the big advertisers FOX News usually gets.

    FOX News is losing money on Beck. But they will continue to carry him.

    Because this is not about making money at all.

    This is about propagating partisan political propaganda disguised as news.

    Don’t hold your breath. They haven’t fire Dobbs yet and he has gone over the line. They will carry him even if he loses money because they’re pushing propaganda like FOX.

  • beholder

    It is not as satisfying as suing Dobbs into penury. But there is every reason to mobilize against advertisers — all people of color everywhere should boycott.

  • J Charles Ferrari

    Dobbs has not been able to lay any claim whatsoever to journalistic objectivity or integrity for at least a decade.