Fire Jim Dean

Fire-Lou-Dobbs-NoYesterday, I received an email from Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy For America. Frankly, it was a shockingly anti-democracy appeal asking me to contact CNN and demand Lou Dobbs be taken off the air. No. I will, however, contact CNN and demand they protect journalists (in the broadest sense of the word) and free speech.

Quoting the email (links added), “Yesterday, our friends at Media Matters for America, who are dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media, caught Lou Dobbs promoting hate and inciting violence towards Governor Howard Dean.

With violence from right-wing extremist groups on the rise and Republican backed mobs hanging cardboard versions of members of congress in effigy, Lou Dobbs’ statement is dangerous. Enough is enough.

It’s time for CNN and the United Stations Radio Network to fire Lou Dobbs.”

The email supplied this link to justify its point. In the audio clip while Dobbs was rambling about the resurgence and resilience of the former Vermont Governor, former Democratic National Committee Chairman, and former family practitioner, Dr. Howard Dean, he said, “He’s a bloodsucking leftist – I mean, he’s a, you gotta put a stake through his heart to stop this guy.” While I disagree with Dobbs’ political stance and his remarks, Dobbs was obviously making a vampire reference. Not a call for violence.

Jim, as you might know, is Howard Dean’s brother and runs the fundraising mailing list that remains from Howard’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. I think it is a wonderful thing for Dr. Dean to help out his brother by creating a job for him. But Jim is doing damage to the cause and maybe it is time for him to go. If he had asked in his email for me to call CNN and tell them what I think about Dobbs’ remarks, that would have been fine. He didn’t.

Time was, and still is, that ratings rule the network decisions on anchors and commentators. Boycott Dobbs and CNN will trade him to Fox where he might fit in better. Ask for him to be fired and you put everyone speaking publicly at risk. Sure, Dobbs long ago crossed the line from a popular, if not respectable, business anchor to promoting his own political agenda. He didn’t just cross the line, among other things, he is a blatant immigration-reform and public option-healthcare opponent. Sure, Dobbs’ “relentless promotion of debunked, racially charged conspiracy theories about President Obama’s birth certificate have already seriously damaged CNN’s credibility” – again, quoting the email. But Jim Dean is advocating a mob-style action to shut down free speech – a similar type of mob-style action that many have accused conservatives for using in the recent town hall meetings – it is reprehensible. It is anti-democratic for America.

Please don’t call or write asking for him to be fired. That, too, would be anti-free speech. But do tell them what you think. Oh, yeah, and boycott Dobbs.

7 thoughts on “Fire Jim Dean

  1. Meg Gerrish

    While Dobbs’ reference to putting “a stake through [Dean’s] heart…” is obviously a vampire reference, ergo, not a literal call to action, these days calling for blood in any form IS a call to action. There are fixated people who take these references very seriously, and those who enjoy employment as spokespeople for a segment of the demented masses should measure their words. Dobbs can provoke conversation about Dean’s politics all day long, but to say something (on top of many stupid things) that is the equivalent of inciting violence is reason for dismissal. (Is Dobbs finally done stoking the embers of the Obama Birth Certificate nonsense or is that ongoing?)

  2. Lee Leslie Post author

    Meggo: Glad you weighed in. So, are you going to call CNN or what? Regarding your question on whether he’s finally stopped stoking on the birth certificate thing -- beats me. I’m not watching.

  3. Meg Gerrish

    …and another thing, as my mother used to say: for CNN to fire Lou Dobbs because we, the public, say we’re sick of him, is not an infringement on his freedom to speak. He’s free to say just about any darned thing without risk of going to jail. But nowhere does the Constitution demand that CNN is beholden to provide a platform for Dobbs, anymore than they are required to give me an hour a day to rant. That’s why we have street corners and Sundays in Hyde Park.

    Okay. Phew! I think I’m done. I’ll slink back to the laundry chores now…

  4. Meg Gerrish

    Well Lee, I believe I will call. Because really, he and his Kla…clan are just grating on my last nerve. Thanks for bringing the appeal to my attention! (Jim Dean NEVER writes to me.)

  5. Tim Oliver

    Oh, thank God I read this one ! I thought it was a call to fire that country guy who sells sausage ! Ah, the good Dr. Dean…all I remember about him, is, his war whoop sounded like “Yergie !” If he couldn’t do any better than that, he should’ve just kept his mouth shut !

  6. Lee Leslie Post author

    It is actually Jim’s brother. It was for Vermont governor and Doctor Howard Dean who is most famous for his presidental-campaign-ending war whoop and more recently the 50-state strategy to elect Democrats.
    Nor should you confuse Jim with Jimmy Dean of sausage fame.
    This Jim, is an ex-pollster, then political fundraiser, now talking head/activist who is “committed to strengthening grassroots participation and the recruitment and election of fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates to all levels of government” through Democracy for America.”
    The Dean brothers have done a lot of good. Most of Howard’s life has been preparing him for this, his defining healthcare moment (he’s also married to a doctor). Howard is a fiscal conservative and anti-war. He has direct experience from the inside and out into the problems and possible solutions in the healthcare debate. One might not agree with Howard’s ideas, but he has paid his dues to have his voice heard. Jim should not be distracting the debate by attacking the “media” or trying to hush the voices of those he disagrees with.


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