Showing posts with label Lou Dobbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lou Dobbs. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here's $8 million. Please go away.

You heard it here first.

As I was saying last week, Lou Dobbs' departure from CNN was, shall we say, less than voluntary.

according to the New York Post, but not exactly "Mr. Independent's" idea:

CNN was so sick of Lou Dobbs, it gave him an $8 million severance package to leave, The Post has learned.

"They wanted him out," according to a source.

Dobbs, who a source said had a year and a half to go on his $12 million contract, shocked viewers last Wednesday by announcing he was quitting.

CNN boss Jonathan Klein and Dobbs, 64, had been publicly feuding over the kind of reporting Dobbs was doing on his show -- especially stories about illegal immigration and the anti-Obama "birther" movement, which contends the president was not born in Hawaii and is not an American citizen.

But it was not clear until now that CNN was willing to pay Dobbs so much money to leave.

"What they do is their business," Dobbs said yesterday. "I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I've said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being."

THUS, LADIES AND GERMS, we discover the key to prestige and financial success at The End of the World as We Know It -- screw up so badly, behave so outrageously, embarrass your employer so profoundly that the suits will pay you anything to just leave them the f*** alone.

Lou Dobbs was allowed by Cable News Network to sit in front of the camera and act like a lunatic -- a regular bomb-throwing Cassandra of Whack -- for a number of years, getting crazier by the day, and CNN did nothing more radical than a "tsk tsk" here and there.

Lou Dobbs publicly feuded with the president of the network, and nothing more happened than dueling fusillades of public statements and press leaks.

Lou Dobbs got his facts wrong again and again . . . and nothing happened.

BUT THEN, after Screwy Louie kind of calms down after his "birther" moment . . . only then does CNN finally decide it can't take it anymore. What, did the supply of crystal meth run low in the executive suite?

The next thing we know, Dobbs is announcing his immediate departure from the network. And today, we find out he was paid off handsomely to go quietly.

How very Wall Street of everyone.

Of course, if you're a member of the middle or working class in this country nowadays, you don't have the freedom to act like a paranoid ass, screw up repeatedly and still keep your job. More than likely, your job is far from secure no matter how exemplary and talented an employee you might be.

And, more than likely, when you get the old heave-ho, not only will you not walk out of the building with a check for $8 million, but you'll be fortunate indeed if you can box up your personal effects before security escorts you off the premises.

No, you have to fly high before you're issued a golden parachute . . . and the correlation between high fliers and high performance is, as they say, a construct that is no longer operative.

IN A PHONY COUNTRY with a flaky economy, it's always far better to be a well-heeled and self-styled "defender of the middle class" than an actual member of its shrinking ranks.

Life never has been fair, and it never will be. But this kind of nonsense just isn't sustainable. Never has been, never will be.

Ask Marie Antoinette.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lou de Loop flies the coup

"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.

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.
TRANSLATION: I was fired.

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.