It’s no surprise when CNN’s Lou Dobbs bashes immigrants on his TV and radio programs. But recently the factually challenged talk show host has been veering even further toward the far-right fringe.
Last week, as Media Matters documented, Dobbs approvingly introduced conspiracy hound Jerome Corsi as a guest on his radio program. “We’re going to be talking about, obviously, illegal immigration,” Dobbs said on the Sept. 15 show. “We’re going to be talking about border security. And … Jerome Corsi is a pretty good guy to talk to about all of that.”
The “pretty good guy” is a prominent figure in the so-called birther movement, which contends that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore is ineligible to hold the nation’s highest office. In addition to proclaiming on talk shows that Obama’s birth certificate is phony, Corsi announced last fall that he was traveling to Hawaii to investigate the matter and predicted that “there’s gonna be something damaging on the birth certificate.” (Dobbs himself repeatedly questioned the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate on air in July, falsely claiming that the document hadn’t been released.) Corsi also traveled to Kenya last October to investigate Obama. The trip didn’t work out too well for him. He was promptly detained by immigration authorities as he headed for a press conference after arriving in that country, then put on a plane back home.
Not only is Corsi pushing a discredited conspiracy theory, but he has made derogatory comments about Muslims and Catholics. He posted a series of bigoted comments on FreeRepublic.com in which he called Islam “a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion” and declared that “boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn’t reported by the liberal press.” (He later apologized for the posts.) Last July, he appeared on “The Political Cesspool,” an overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show hosted by avowed white nationalist James Edwards. Other guests who have been sympathetically interviewed on Edwards’ show make up a virtual Who's Who of the radical right, including former Klan boss David Duke, Holocaust denier Mark Weber and neo-Nazi activist April Gaede.
Corsi is perhaps best known for his error-filled books, including Unfit for Command about 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry and his New York Times bestseller, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality. The latter book “includes lines that some might consider racially insensitive,” according to Dobbs’ own CNN colleague Jessica Yellin. Among them is this gem about Obama’s stepfather: “Obama’s mother chose another Third World prospect for her second husband, a second man of color, to be her mate.” Corsi also co-authored a whitewashed account of the vigilante movement called Minutemen: Battle to Secure America’s Borders.
The Dobbs show on which Corsi appeared was broadcast from “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” an annual anti-immigration talk show blitz held in Washington, D.C., by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the SPLC lists as a hate group, in part because of its ties to white supremacists. At the same event last year, FAIR presented Dobbs with its “We The People” media award. The recipient this year was none other than Glenn Beck, who said in July that Obama was “a racist” who has a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”
We can’t wait to see who next year’s winner will be.