Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Spanish newspaper El Diario La Prensa on Thursday, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera said, “One of the aspects of our reality in the United States now is the defamatory tone of the immigration debate and how that immigration debate has slandered an entire race of people.” Rivera proceeded to lay much of the blame at the feet of CNN’s Lou Dobbs:
Lou Dobbs, a man who was an accomplished journalist, and who left to go and start his own venture in the digital media, having to do with space, I believe, and then came back to CNN, and nobody was watching his program. He discovered that one of the way to get people to watch was to make of the image of a young Latino trying to get into this country a profoundly negative icon. Lou Dobbs is almost single-handedly responsible for creating, for being the architect of the young-Latino-as-scapegoat for everything that ails this country.
Rivera’s criticism echoes that of his Fox colleague John Stossel, who said he doesn’t “subscribe to Lou Dobbs-kind of rants about immigrants wrecking America.” (Dobbs subsequently called Stossel a “self-important ass” with “myopic idiocy.”
The New York Times reported recently that Dobbs met with Fox News chief Roger Ailes to discuss possibly joining the Fox Business network. Rivera said in his speech that he was so opposed to Dobbs joining Fox News that he called his boss and received assurance that the network was not going to hire the CNN host:
No more of these lies, no more of this slander, no more of this stereotyping. I can tell you proudly, when this man [Dobbs] was widely rumored to be coming to my network, I called my boss couple of weeks ago, and he said it’s absolutely untrue. Lou Dobbs is not coming to Fox News. He belongs at CNN if they can justify his presence there that’s their problem.