William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Will Lou Dobbs run for political office and fulfill dreams of “Journotainers” everywhere?

    When CNN forked over whatever amount they had to in order to get Lou Dobbs off the air, one could imagine that Dobbs was sufficiently chastened for his Birther/Mexican-hate ideologies. That would be far from the truth, however, as Dobbs is already making it clear that he should be the one making policy, not discussing it.

    “I have come to no conclusions and no decisions,” said Dobbs. “Do I seek to have some influence on public policy? Absolutely. Do I seek to represent and champion the middle class in this country and those who aspire to it? Absolutely. And I will.”

    It will be interesting to see if Dobbs does make a run. The American mainstream media has made an irretrievable turn over the past decade or two, as “Journalism” has been redefined. Today, the general public could name any number of “Journalist-Entertainers,” (or the catchier “Journotainers”) from Dobbs to Glenn Beck to Anderson Cooper to Rush Limbaugh and so on. But it’s highly unlikely that more than a minuscule percentage could name one actual reporter at the New York Times.

    With this shift, Journotainers have noticeably reached the point where they now believe that their often poorly thought-out commentary has political gravitas and historical importance. Dobbs could very likely be the first journotainer of this era to attempt to make the switch from preacher of ideology to political campaigner. He has the name, face value and hubris to believe he is up for any job, even the Presidency.

    Of course, he isn’t. The guy at the bar telling you that Obama’s a secret Muslim is just as qualified for higher office as Dobbs. Being near politicians does not make one a politician, and it’s difficult to envision Dobbs doing much more than making some noise before falling in a primary, or being a distant third as a third-party spoiler.

    But that shouldn’t stop Dobbs. Look for him to be a candidate for office in 2010 in New Jersey.

    “Right now I feel exhilaration at the wide range of choices before me as to what I do next,” Dobbs said.

    The pure narcissism that drives Journotainers means that it’s highly unlikely that Dobbs will be the only one to make the attempt. Journotainers from Jake Tapper on one end of the scale to Beck on the other and all in between will be emboldened by any success that Dobbs has, and see themselves as the better choice.

    Because that’s where American journalism is today. Reporting on stories or breaking them is considered below the celebrity journalists that rule the MSM landscape. Because for today’s journotainers, simply cozying up to and making concessions to power is very likely nowhere near good enough. After all, what’s the use of a pulpit if you don’t have the power?



    Good evening Bill,

    Lou Dobbs a journotainer? That's a stretch. Dobbs was the last of the original journalist at CNN, almost 30 years with one network. Only until the last few years did Dobbs get away from covering only the financial markets. Lou Dobbs probably knows more NYC journalists that O'Rielly, Olberman and Beck combined.

    Forget the drivel you may of heard on Fox or MSNBC. For the most part, O'Rielly, Matthews, Beck, Olberman, Hannity and Maddow are employed for one reason only, entertainment for those who are more interested in non-sense than real news or real solutions to fixing Americas many problems.

    The DNC and RNC are controlled by the elite. That's not opinion but fact. How can I say that? Did either the RNC or DNC leadership go public to hammer their elected member of Congress when they decided to give 700 billion to crooks on Wall Street? Speaking of crooks, wasn't McCain one of the Keating-5? Why would a non-corrupt political party nominate someone who interfered with federal bank regulators who were merely doing the job we pay them to do?

    Go to loudobbs.com and find out what his position really is on the birthers. He's publically stated that he believes Obama is a US Citizen. His comment was, Why doesn't Obama simply produce a document I could produce in about 10-20 minutes (hidden away in a box upstairs). As for illegal immigration. Hey, if you don't like the current laws on immigration then change the laws. Dobbs wants any law that's on the books enforced. Why have laws if those in charge with enforcement don't enforce the rule of law.

    Have you ever heard of the Prompt Corrective Action Law? This was passed following the Keating-5 investigation of Lincoln Savings and Loan. It states that any FDIC insured bank become insolvent then the federal government is mandated to take that bank into receivership, period, end of story... That's the law... What does Bush/Obama do? Can you spell bailout...

    Lou Dobbs should be congratulated for not being a stoolie for government fraud and corruption. Laws are in place to follow and if you don't then be prepared to suffer the consequences.

    In closing, go to wiki and search the word populist or populism. What the clowns of cable and mainstream news won't talk about is the real problem with US government at every level, local to federal... The haves (elite) run the show. The have-nots are now out of work thanks to Clinton/Gore/Bush/Obama unbalanced trade deals and government fraud and corruption. Who owns the media? The same elite who'll steal you blind if you give them the opportunity.

    The real news tonight? Ron Paul's HR 1207 amendment passes in committee. What did all the bloviators talk about tonight? Palin today, balloon boy yesterday, my soiled underwear tomorrow...

    Steven Thompson, editor

    Freedom From The Press

    So many moving targets here, I'll just fire randomly into the crowd.

    First, I gotta disagree with the Wolfman's airy dismissal of Dobbs's electoral prospects. Despite being a self-described "Mr. Independent," he'll run as a Republican. And he'll aim high. Despite their newfound swagger, the Republicans lack any potentially viable challenger to Obama in 2012. Their internal culture clash is even worse than it was when they grumpily settled for McCain. They need a white knight to ride in, unbeholden to any party faction. Dobbs is nothing if not white. And he's already got almost as much name recognition, and certainly a solider base, than Sarah Palin. I see him as a "credible" Republican presidential nominee.

    Next, "Journotainers from Jake Tapper on one end of the scale to Beck on the other." What kind of bizarre scale is that, Wolfie? Mealy-mouth right wing to foaming-mouth right wing? There are journotainers on the left, you know: Olbermann comes to mind. And, on a much loftier level but still within the journotainment category, Jon Stewart. I'm sure Stewart would disdain to actually roll in the partisan mud, but he's smart enough and principled enough to make an impact if he did. In passing, I believe Al Franken will mature into an important, respected, multi-term senator. He's in this for keeps.

    I still have one bullet. Ah yes, Dobbs's position on birtherism. Mr. Thompson, Dobbs's challenge to Obama to "simply produce a document" is premised on the birther lie that Obama has failed so far to "simply produce a document." I've seen his birth certificate reproduced online. I"ve also read the convoluted (and often self-contradictory) birther arguments for why this document is a forgery. BS. But given that Obama has posted his birth certificate online, and the State of Hawaii has declared it to be authentic, the discussion can no longer be "Why doesn't Obama produce it?" It has to be, "Why has he produced a forgery (and somehow pressured state officials to collude in the fraud)?" A much more serious accusation.

    That's where the birther case rests at this point. You can't half-embrace their argument. Which is what Dobbs has tried to do: ride along on their shared distrust of all things governmental, all things vaguely foreign-ish and disquieting. It's cynical and hypocritical, and Dobbs deserved to be fired for it. I'm just pissed off he got his golden handshake.

    I'm guessing you never saw the "never disagree with Bill" bylaw, so I'll forgive you, ac.

    But seriously, a very good comment. One thing about Dobbs popularity is this - even though he's better known nationally than, say, Bernie Sanders or Richard Lugar* he's still not THAT well known. What exactly were his viewer numbers at CNN? 2-3 million? He's not even close to Palin's popularity

    So while he'd bring name recognition to a point, in any election for higher office, his opponent will have at least as much, whether it be local or national.


    * - SEO tricks in the comment section, live it, love it.

    Man that sucks for Dick Lugar. At least he's not running again, so hopefully his wife can just own up and deal with the consequences instead of his campaign trying to damage control it.

    He's a good senator. He's much too conservative for me and I disagree with him on most things and wish he wouldn't vote with his crazy party on almost everything. But at least he's not a raving lunatic.

    They need a white knight to ride in, unbeholden to any party faction. Dobbs is nothing if not white.

    FWIW, this made me LOL.

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