"Mr. Independent" really is now. Lou Dobbs quit CNN today to take his shtick elsewhere.
Where "elsewhere" is, we don't know yet. And neither does Dobbs -- at least that's what he's telling the public.
You have to wonder whether he's going to try -- now that he has no more "network supervision" (for what little that's worth) to worry about -- to out-Beck the sine qua nut of the airwaves, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck. Well, if he's going to try, he's gonna need a megaphone the size of the one he just left behind.
WHICH IS ODD, given Dobbs' stated reasoning:
Over the past six months it’s become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us, and some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day. And to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible.TRANSLATION: I was fired.
I’ve talked extensively with Jonathan Klein — Jon’s the president of CNN — and as a result of those talks, Jon and I have agreed to a release from my contract that will enable me to pursue new opportunities.
At this point, I’m considering a number of options and directions, and I assure you, I will let you know when I set my course. I truly believe that the major issues of our time include the growth of our middle class, the creation of more jobs, health care, immigration policy, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Either that, or there's going to be a Dobbs '10 campaign for something. That would be interesting -- frightening, but interesting.
Still, you have to wonder what happened to Lou Dobbs. He used to be a straight-laced business reporter and anchor. And there was nothing wrong with his questioning politically correct orthodoxies about immigration, particularly that of the illegal variety.
But. . . .
Apparently, there wasn't anything Lou Dobbs couldn't take too far. As in Too Far. As in playing fast and loose with facts.
As in, sooner or later, lapsing into inflammatory rhetoric that -- in a saner day in TV news -- would have gotten him fired on the spot.
And then there was his whole fascination this year with Birtherism, and his refusal to drop the subject when it became painfully clear not only that President Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, but also that the Birthers (and by association, Dobbs) were a bunch of paranoid lunatics.
COME TO THINK OF IT, Lou Dobbs had been trying to out-Beck Glenn Beck even when Beck was just another radio talk-show blowhard.
Unfortunately for Lou, he lacked the blackboard, the tear ducts and the madman charisma to lead an armored division of nutwagons to ratings glory. Instead, Lou now has been relieved of his command.
Mobilizing the Unhinged Corps has fallen to a bolder general . . . a regular George Patton will lead that googly-eyed irregular army.
Because nobody out-Becks Glenn Beck. Enjoy oblivion, Lou; you earned it.