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Lou Dobbs, busted.
October 7, 2010 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Lou Dobbs became notorious during his at CNN for his views on immigration, particularly advocating enforcement against those who employ illegal immigrants. Today, The Nation accuses him of just that. Lou Dobbs responds.
posted by mkultra (57 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another demagogue's hypocrisy is exposed. What else is new?
posted by reenum at 1:00 PM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everyone look over there! Mexican Lake Pirates!
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:03 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyone who is against anything secretly does that thing in private.





Wait till they hear his wife is Mexican-American.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:04 PM on October 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thanks for posting this mkultra, people need to expose this racist hypocrite as much as possible.
posted by waitingtoderail at 1:05 PM on October 7, 2010


Lou Dobbs also doesn't eat any fruits or vegetables.
posted by Eideteker at 1:05 PM on October 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sorry, I have to come down on Lou Dobbs' side on this. The claim appears to be that some of the contractors he hired had hired illegals. Why is this his fault?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:06 PM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


To be clear, he hired contractors who hired undocumented immigrants.

Now that's out of the way, did you know there were breeds of horses called "cold-blooded"? When bred with "hot blooded Arabian horses," you get "warmbloods." (I was derailed from the following sentance in The Nation: "Dobbs's daughter keeps five European Warmbloods, a breed that often fetches close to $1 million apiece.")
posted by filthy light thief at 1:06 PM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do or don't hire illegal immigrants, I could care less. But vociferously condemning something in public while you do the very same thing in secret... that's two-faced, cretinous, and represents an utter lack of integrity. Yes, I'd go as far as to call it evil.

(We're all hypocrites, in that there are things we wish to do but fail at; but if you're going to pound the pulpit with self-appointed moral authority for guiding the unwashed masses, you better first make sure your poop don't stink even a little.)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:08 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Nation Institute have found that Dobbs has relied for years on undocumented labor

Dobbs responds: "That's a scurrilous lie! I just have a wide stance!"
posted by quin at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2010


Why is this his fault?

If you had a show and railed against this very practice for hours on end, and insinuate that you're going to run for President with this as your centerpiece, you make damn sure you're not doing it yourself.
posted by waitingtoderail at 1:11 PM on October 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sorry, I have to come down on Lou Dobbs' side on this. The claim appears to be that some of the contractors he hired had hired illegals. Why is this his fault?

Because from the Nation article:

"Dobbs has heaped scorn on the government for using contractors that hire undocumented immigrants. On CNN in 2007, he called private firms that oppose verification requirements for their contractors' employees "ridiculous." Yet interviews with several such employees show that Dobbs has been far from vigilant about the status of workers laboring on his own properties."
posted by reformedjerk at 1:11 PM on October 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


2bucksplus: "Anyone who is against anything secretly does that thing in private.





Wait till they hear his wife is Mexican-American.
"

This is why I praise Jesus all day long in my little closet *shhhhhhhhh*
posted by symbioid at 1:12 PM on October 7, 2010


Sorry, I have to come down on Lou Dobbs' side on this. The claim appears to be that some of the contractors he hired had hired illegals. Why is this his fault?

Because hiring a contractor to do your dirty work doesnt absolve you from the fact that you hired a contractor to do illegal things and unethical things for you.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:14 PM on October 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Agreed with Lurgi. After having read the articles, Macdonald comes out looking pretty foolish (to be kind). It sounds like Dobbs took her to the mat in his interview with her.

Be advised: Other than that I've heard the name, Lou Dobbs is completely off of my radar in every conceivable way.
posted by Poppa Bear at 1:15 PM on October 7, 2010


Oh god, yes. Mm. Yes. More. Mmm.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:16 PM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Lou Dobbs hired a company that hired illegal immigrants: ...keep talking.

Lou Dobbs directly hired an illegal immigrant: OK, pretty busted.

Lou Dobbs is an illegal immigrant: Busted.
posted by circular at 1:17 PM on October 7, 2010


he called private firms that oppose verification requirements for their contractors' employees "ridiculous."

Cold busted.

What happened to that phrase, anyway?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:19 PM on October 7, 2010


He's SHOCKED! Shocked to hear there's gambling going on in this place contractors in his in his employ hiring illegals!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:19 PM on October 7, 2010


Because hiring a contractor to do your dirty work doesnt absolve you from the fact that you hired a contractor to do illegal things and unethical things for you.

He fucked with the wrong Mexican!
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


if paying a fair wage to documented workers was important to lou dobbs then he would have found a contracting company that collects SSNs. Asking your contractor for their hiring policies is not the same as a private citizen asking contracted laborers for their papers.

and he's a smart man that knows a lot about this issue. if they were working 50 hour days with zero overtime, lou or his people knew they were getting too good of a rate for this to be on the up and up.
posted by nadawi at 1:31 PM on October 7, 2010


>Because hiring a contractor to do your dirty work doesnt absolve you from the fact that you hired a contractor to do illegal things and unethical things for you.

This "dirty work" phrase is sort of working against you, in the same way that MacDonald's entire setup works against her.

Normal people can sympathize with Lou Dobbs, because every freaking day they either buy something that was made in a sweatshop, eat something that is made in less-than-optimal conditions, or pay someone to do something knowing that that person gets the job done in a way they can't always account for.

It's just part of life: We have to trust other people, and there's no evidence that Dobbs said, "ooh, illegal immigrants? Hired!!!"
posted by circular at 1:31 PM on October 7, 2010


This sounds like a pretty lame gotcha, amounting to he didn't try hard enough not to indirectly hire illegals, but even if he knowingly hired illegals as a matter of routine I would fail to see much sting. That would mean he was advocating policies that contradicted his selfish interests. That would seemingly suggest higher, not lower principles. A converse meme, equally inscrutable, is "limousine liberals," where rich people are somehow "hypocrites" when advocating policies which help the poor at the expense of their own social class.
posted by dgaicun at 1:31 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I call this the "I didn't fuck the pimp" defense.
posted by swift at 1:33 PM on October 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


This sounds like a pretty lame gotcha, amounting to he didn't try hard enough not to indirectly hire illegals

I'm not sure anyone in this thread is advocating this standard in a vacuum. Rather, they are noting who suggested this be the standard. Whoops.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:34 PM on October 7, 2010


Anyone who is against anything secretly does that thing in private.



Wait till they hear his wife is Mexican-American.

This is why I praise Jesus all day long in my little closet *shhhhhhhhh*


... and your second wife is named Mary?

reformedjerk got it right. Much of the online news noise on this topic is around Lou Dobbs hiring illegal immigrants. But he didn't. The point here is that "Dobbs has heaped scorn on the government for using contractors that hire undocumented immigrants", yet doesn't verify the hiring practices of his own contractors. That it the hypocrisy, yet it's too wordy for a nice title or soundbite.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Why is this his fault?

By Dobbs' logic everyone who hires illegals is not only at fault but committing a crime. Part of the hypocrisy is that Dobbs condemns [often and loudly] the use of illegal immigrants yet it is pretty obvious that all of us are directly or indirectly tied to the work done by illegals.

If he took more of a realistic view of illegal immigration while still opposing it and trying to find a realistic way to fix it then I suppose we could cut him some slack.
posted by Rashomon at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's just part of life: We have to trust other people, and there's no evidence that Dobbs said, "ooh, illegal immigrants? Hired!!!"

While that's true, Dobbs is on record having specifically criticized business that refuse to verify the credentials of the employees of their contractors. Which is what he is doing.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:36 PM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Anyone who is against anything secretly does that thing in private.

Usually I hear this most about masturbation.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:38 PM on October 7, 2010


"I didn't hire illegal aliens, I just hired the company that gave me such a better price than anyone else I knew they had to be hiring illegal aliens"
posted by nomisxid at 1:38 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


gotta join the chorus - to the "why is this a big deal,e veryone benefits from the work of illegal workers" - yeah, it's not a big deal unless you're lou fucking dobbs.

it's like george rekers - "why is it such a big deal that an older dude hired a younger dude for sex - that happens ALL THE TIME" - of course it does. and it's not a big deal. and it is illegal, but more or less accepted in a lot of circles. the big deal is that it was george fucking rekers.

to spend your entire career, to focus your pulpit to harm a class of people, and then to use them in private for your own needs? that's evil and gross and wrong.
posted by nadawi at 1:43 PM on October 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


rekers also works as an analogy because his excuse is just as flimsy and transparent "how was i to know that he was a prostitute?? i just had him massage me in oil and walk around carrying my luggage like prize pony! you know, good wholesome heterosexual christian stuff!"
posted by nadawi at 1:45 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


*Anyone who is against anything secretly does that thing in private.*

Me, I must clearly burn brides, hire people on basis of race or sexual orientation and murder in my basement. And um... refuse to marry gays.
posted by Phalene at 1:50 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, memories of 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney who was exposed twice for hiring illegal immigrants.
Illegal immigrants toiled for Governor Romney.

Lawn work at Romney's home still done by illegal immigrants.
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief : That it the hypocrisy, yet it's too wordy for a nice title or soundbite.

Let me try: "Dobbs comically fails to meet standards he angrily demands in others"?

Change "comically" and "angrily" depending on audience: "tragically", "unsurprisingly", "drunkenly"... the list of usable adjectives here is nearly endless.
posted by quin at 1:57 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Another example of "he doth protest too much!"

Those who take hard stands for political advantage seem these days to be guilty of that which they rail against.
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on October 7, 2010


I favor enforcement against employers hiring undocumented workers.

I recently hired a contractor to paint my house. The contractor appears to be reputable, and I could find no warning signs in my researches on him.

Most of the actual work was done by two people who were not the contractor (as explicitly permitted by the contract.) Now, I really can't be sure these weren't undocumented workers... but I'm also not sure what mechanism exists by which I could find out. What should my due diligence have been here? Pretend I'm an Arizona cop and ask them for their papers?

(Note that it wasn't a crazy-low price that of itself should raise suspicion; in fact, it was the highest price I was quoted, 'cause every other contractor's quote was for work that wouldn't have followed lead paint regulations.)
posted by Zed at 2:02 PM on October 7, 2010


Zed, is it against the law to ask?

I'm not being sarcastic about this, I genuinely don't know...
posted by lumpenprole at 2:04 PM on October 7, 2010


Zed: What should my due diligence have been here?

That depends. How famous are you for your opposition to hiring illegal workers?
posted by mkultra at 2:08 PM on October 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Zed - if you guys drafted a contract and you know enough about his lead paint dealings - you could have asked the contractor "how do you verify employment?"

and if you're lou dobbs, you can ask your friends and producers and errand boys for recommendations for contractors who verify employment since you've rallied so hard for people to be held accountable for the immigration status of people they contract work to.
posted by nadawi at 2:08 PM on October 7, 2010


Dgaicun: That would mean he was advocating policies that contradicted his selfish interests. That would seemingly suggest higher, not lower principles.

So, I guess we could say the same for Jim and Tammy Faye Baker?

And of course folks like Larry Craig, a republican family values man with a stance as wide as Brokeback Mountain?

Dobbs made a mark and developed a following based significantly on his immigration stance. He makes money based on his "higher principles" as both an expert commentator and radio personality. I fail to see the altruism or nobility here.

If he is going to take the government to task for not being more diligent on certifying that firms in it's employ do not hire illegals, he can do the same for his own properties.
posted by prodigalsun at 2:15 PM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Lou Dobbs is an illegal immigrant: Busted.

Here you go.
posted by qvantamon at 2:53 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The fundamental gotcha here is that Lou can't run his ranch without illegal workers (who he finds personally offensive) doing the work. No, he isn't responsible for crimes committed by his contractor, but that doesn't give him a pass on this issue.

Bottomline - Lou Dobbs' reality is directly at odds with his core principles. Busted.

Dobbs and his ilk in this country want to deny the underlying reality - This country has a strong history of slavery, was founded by slave owners, and continues to be a place where Americans are too lazy to get the work done. We in aggregate, and Lou Dobbs specifically in this case, have replaced slave ownership with cheap undocumented workers that we can deport at any time. Undocumented workers aren't here because they are criminals. They are here to feed their families and make a living. And lazy rich people like Dobbs are the ones making that possible. They are here because Dobbs *needs* them.

Busted.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:15 PM on October 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


Maybe if he got his way and shooting Mexicans was made legal it would all be better?
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on October 7, 2010


Also, Dgaicun, I have to address this flaw in your logic as well:

A converse meme, equally inscrutable, is "limousine liberals," where rich people are somehow "hypocrites" when advocating policies which help the poor at the expense of their own social class.

No, that's completely different. Limousine Liberals are hypocritical when they criticized gas guzzling cars while being driven around in their limousines.

Wanting to help the poor or espousing for instance that the inheritance tax in place because you're not poor or would be damaged by a lower inheritance tax just because you're rich is not hypocrisy. Warren Buffet believes these things because while unbelievably rich, he believes that without an aggressive inheritance tax you would enable a class of people in our country that would not have to work for generations, just like nobility in Europe, which would be detrimental to democracy. Because he's rich himself is not hypocritical. You don't need to take a vow of poverty to help the poor.
posted by prodigalsun at 4:14 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


That would mean he was advocating policies that contradicted his selfish interests. That would seemingly suggest higher, not lower principles.

OK, how about you give me your wallet and I'll explain my plan for ending the exploitation of naive people.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:36 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I didn't hire illegal aliens, I just hired the company that gave me such a better price than anyone else I knew they had to be hiring illegal aliens I couldn't say no! What am I, a Communist? Free hand of the market FTW!"
posted by filthy light thief at 4:50 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why oh why do right wingers have the inability to recognize hypocrisy? Is there a hypocrisy awareness gene that some people are simply born without? Should we teach the concept starting in grade school or something?
posted by zardoz at 5:10 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This sounds like a pretty lame gotcha, amounting to he didn't try hard enough not to indirectly hire illegals, but even if he knowingly hired illegals as a matter of routine I would fail to see much sting.

99% of the folks in the horse business work under the table. And most of the grunt work level foreign born people are here illegally or at best, very questionably (Mexican, S American & European all). If Dobbs didn't know that after all the time his daughter has been a competitor (nice girl btw) then he's blind, deaf and stupid. Let me reiterate- there is NO chance, ZERO chance, nada, zip, nowaynohow he didn't know this. It is not possible.

And warmbloods aren't a "breed". It's just a term for a kind of horse developed in Europe post WWII specifically for the sport and recreational riding market by cross breeding cavalry and farm mounts with race horses (over simplification but that's basically it). And only the Olympic caliber ones sell for $1 million, same as any other kind of horse. So shitty reporting on that part for sure.
posted by fshgrl at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2010


During a three month hospital stay, I got a huge heaping of Lou Dobbs. I don't have a TV so I was amazed and mesmerized by the hateful bile spewing out of his mouth.

If this was a weak gotcha, I will save my glee for the real one. 'Cause haters, man. They gotta do what they do, I guess.
posted by angrycat at 6:56 PM on October 7, 2010


Shocking! You mean that right-wing corporatists actually profit from the cheap, non-unionized, easily disposable labor provided by undocumented workers? I would have never guessed.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2010


The only reason illegal aliens are in this country is because rapacious capitalists (currently under the guise of conservative republicans) need them. These conservative republicans, who need to have workers who won't unionize, who won't make workman's compensation claims, who won't claim rights to overtime, etc. That's why these rapacious capitalists are against regulation of all forms - it prevents them from enslaving. But illegal immigrants are a back-door safety valve, allowing them to get everything they want while waiting for their utopia to come true.


In the republican dream world, we are all illegals (except of course for those who serve their country in war, or pay a tithe to the proper church, or claw their way to a high enough tier in the "free market").
posted by yesster at 7:44 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


When you look up the word "smug" there should be a picture of Dobbs' mug on the page.

Remember when he was forced into the logical position of opposing Saint Patrick's Day as un-American ethnic separatism?

He hasn't expressed an opinion on Columbus Day, which we all know was just a sop to the Italian immigrant community, leaving us stuck with a holiday that celebrates the onset of genocide for the indigenous peoples of the New World (New to you, buddy!). Now that's American, dammit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:27 PM on October 7, 2010


What a vile little man he is.
posted by bardic at 10:52 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]




stuck with a holiday that celebrates the onset of genocide for the indigenous peoples of the New World

Berkeley replaced it with Indigenous People's Day. The city gets up to some goofy stuff sometimes, but that one I take pride in.
posted by Zed at 8:06 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do or don't hire illegal immigrants, I could care less. But vociferously condemning something in public while you do the very same thing in secret... that's two-faced, cretinous, and represents an utter lack of integrity. Yes, I'd go as far as to call it evil.

(We're all hypocrites, in that there are things we wish to do but fail at; but if you're going to pound the pulpit with self-appointed moral authority for guiding the unwashed masses, you better first make sure your poop don't stink even a little.)


So you are not a hypocrite for pounding the pulpit about hypocrisy while being a private hypocrite because:

(a) you are anonymous;
(b) Metafilter is too insignificant a pulpit; or
(c) we may be masses, but we're not unwashed?

Otherwise, I would say your poop stinks a little, and so you shouldn't complain about Dobbs, at least not on this ground.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 12:30 PM on October 8, 2010


I'd prefer if, when a person was found to be working in the US illegally, if it was their employer rather than the employee who were punished. The employer has too much power for exploitation. When people make it their business model to pay low wages by hiring illegal immigrants who can't complain about it, that is a dick move.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 1:14 PM on October 8, 2010


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