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Dobbs, Master of Fear-Mongering, Warns Obama, Pelosi Are “Fear-Mongering” to Pass Stimulus Bill

On the February 4 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs declared that, in recent comments about the state of the economy, President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have been “fear-mongering” and “blatantly using the politics of fear to push for even more so-called stimulus measures.” But Dobbs has repeatedly engaged in “fear-mongering” of his own.

In just the past few days, for example, Dobbs has been stirring up baseless fears that the economic recovery bill would provide money for undocumented immigrants and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) — two frequent scapegoats of Dobbs, Republicans, and conservative media figures. Among other things, Dobbs has also defended the false claim by CNN correspondent Christine Romans that the United States has seen a dramatic increase in leprosy cases, which Dobbs said was in part because of “unscreened illegal immigrants coming into this country primarily from South Asia”; repeatedly promoted the idea that the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are secretly planning to form a North American Union; and defended a report on his program that featured a map of “Aztlan,” the portion of the American Southwest that purported supporters of the “reconquista” movement are said to believe belongs to Mexico, that was sourced to an organization linked to white supremacists.

From the February 4 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: President Obama and other top officials are blatantly accusing — blatantly using the politics of fear to push for even more so-called stimulus measures. They want that bill in the Senate passed without any scrutiny, without any thinking. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, today, topping Barack Obama, however — Gordon Brown saying the world is in depression.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her own contribution to hyperbole today. She said 500 million Americans lose their jobs every month. She misspoke of course. The total is about a half a million in December.

And President Obama today warning about the danger of an economic catastrophe.

OBAMA : A failure to act and act now will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future. Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred.

DOBBS: The Obama administration is just a little over two weeks old, and it appears already that the politics of hope have given way to the rhetoric of fear. Say, it is in my opinion, frankly, time to stop talking down our economy, for our political leaders to stop using fear-mongering to pass economic legislation, and to insist on more thinking and a lot less rhetoric.

—A.S.
Media Matters for America

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