The months leading up to Lou Dobbs’ sudden departure from CNN saw network brass becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the long-time anchor’s use of his show to advance his personal political agenda.
Back in July CNN President Jonathan Klein ordered network researchers to halt efforts to investigate the birth circumstances of President Barack Obama, declaring that the story was dead. That came after Dobbs had given air time to claims of the so-called “birther” movement that Obama was actually born in Kenya, not Hawaii.
Dobbs’ constant reporting on illegal immigration had also brought pressure on CNN from many Hispanic groups, demanding that the anchor be reined-in or fired. Dobbs, it seems, was not one to be reined-in.
In a statement issued after Dobbs announced that his Wednesday broadcast would be his last, Klein issued a statement that praised Dobbs for his years of service, but made it clear that his “advocacy journalism” was not what CNN wants to air.
“Lou Dobbs is a valued founding member of the CNN family. For decades, Lou fearlessly and tirelessly pursued some of the most important and complex stories of our time, often well ahead of the pack. All of us will miss his appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger than life presence he brought to our newsroom, and we’re grateful to have known and worked with him over the years. With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere. We respect his decision and wish him, Debi, and his family the very best,” Klein said.