Using Hate Group Materials, Dobbs Slams Illegal Immigration

Anti-Immigration Movement

In recent months, CNN's Lou Dobbs, who hosts "Lou Dobbs Tonight" every weekday, has come under increasing attack from those who disagree with his nightly tirades against illegal immigration. His "reporting" has come under fire as repetitive propagandizing rather than real news. He has also been criticized for failing to note the connections of many leading anti-illegal immigration activists to hate groups and racism.

On May 23, Dobbs' show appeared to cross yet another line.

That night, the show featured a tendentious account from CNN correspondent Casey Wian, a Dobbs regular, who referred to a state visit to the United States by Mexican President Vicente Fox as a "Mexican military incursion." Wian went on to say that Fox's trip could be called "the Vicente Fox Aztlan tour," referring to the conspiracy theory, popular among anti-immigration zealots, that Mexico is plotting to "reconquer" the American Southwest.

As Wian spoke, a graphic appeared on the screen -- a map of the United States highlighting the seven southwestern states that Mexico supposedly covets and calls "Aztlan." Remarkably, it was prominently sourced to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist hate group that has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity" and compared pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape.

It was an embarrassing moment for Dobbs, who has repeatedly and angrily rejected the idea that racism animates the anti-illegal immigration movement or its leaders. Executive producer Jim McGinnis told the Intelligence Report in an E-mail that "a freelance field producer in Los Angeles searched the web for Aztlan maps and grabbed the Council of Conservative Citizens map without knowing the nature of the organization. … The freelance field producer has been disciplined."

McGinnis didn't address what appeared to be the show's endorsement of the Aztlan conspiracy theory that is also widely touted by hate groups. In fact, aside from the comments of a few left-wing radicals in the 1960s, the so-called conspiracy is nothing more than a paranoid fantasy.