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Media Matters to CNN: Should Dobbs Headline for Hate?

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Dobbs grainyToday, a media watchdog group, Media Matters For America, just launched an open letter to CNN President Klein asking why in the world they would let one of their anchors headline for a recognized hate group, FAIR, during its DC rally this month. According to the MMFA press statement:

Today, Media Matters for America President Eric Burns issued an open letter to CNN President Jonathan Klein regarding prime-time anchor Lou Dobbs’ scheduled appearance on September 15 and 16 at the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” legislative advocacy event and rally sponsored by the anti-immigration organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR, an organization that has been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center and that has been sharply criticized for its racially-tinged ads, was founded by John Tanton, who has a long history of making racist statements and espousing racist beliefs.

The MMFA letter to Klein gets at the heart of CNN’s Dobbs problem, and highlights the type of hate toward immigrants being “mongered” at the DC rally. Here’s an excerpt:

There should be no doubt concerning the content of the upcoming rally. It will give a platform to precisely the type of radio host you, Mr. Klein, reportedly said would no longer be invited on CNN.

Speakers last year included Les Kinsolving, a WorldNetDaily.com columnist who asked Robert Gibbs at a White House press briefing why the president won’t release his “long-form birth certificate.” Another speaker from last year, South Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman, has reportedly said of undocumented immigrants: “If you commit a crime while you’re here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it.” […]

As Media Matters has highlighted repeatedly, Mr. Dobbs represents an ongoing threat to CNN’s credibility as a serious news organization, in no small part because of his polemical coverage of immigration issues and his continued use of his CNN show to lend prominence to groups such as FAIR.

Look, the Federation for American Immigration Reform has a long-standing history of stirring up racial animosity to promote its agenda. What’s unclear is why CNN, the “Most Trusted Name in News,” would go anywhere near that kind of an event, or allow its nightly anchors to, either.

You can learn more and sign the MMFA letter here.

Update: Rachel Weiner of Huffington Post has the latest in “Dobbs To Rally Anti-Immigrant Fans On Capitol Hill.”