Last Wednesday, Media Matters Action Network issued a report, which found that cable news commentators Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck regularly “serve up a steady diet of fear, anger, and resentment on the topic of illegal immigration.”
Last night on his CNN show, an edgy Lou Dobbs hosted Media Matters fellow Paul Waldman to discuss the report’s finding. Waldman asked Dobbs to provide evidence of the “myth” he often promotes — that there is a “secret plan” to build a “NAFTA Superhighway” from Mexico to Canada. Having trouble providing evidence, an exasperated Dobbs said finally, “You’re charging nonsense.” “I reject it, I reject you, and I reject your position,” he angrily added. From the exchange:
WALDMAN: So the question is, do you have — do you have actual evidence that there — that there is a plan that is going to take this all the way from Mexico to Canada? What is the evidence there? [...]
DOBBS: The evidence is straightforward. … We haven’t enough time for this. … You are a left-wing advocacy group. You’re charging nonsense … I reject it, I reject you, and I reject your position!
In fact, Dobbs has a history of perpetuating myths on his show, previously linking undocumented immigrants with cases of leprosy, airing a report saying that the “invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans.” When CBS News confronted Dobbs and told him his claim was false, Dobbs simply replied, “If we reported it, its a fact.”
Last night, Dobbs similarly dismissed challenges to his fact-free claims, calling Waldman “an ideologue” and “a left-wing hack.”