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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Lou Dobbs’ Future: A Prediction

For many CNN viewers and fans, Lou Dobbs’ decision to leave CNN, after 30 years of dedicated service to this cable network, was rather shocking. He was, after all, one of the last original CNN anchors that have stayed with CNN for this long. But for me, this was not the most interesting fact of this moment in media history.

In his farewell speech, Mr. Dobbs said something interesting that stood out in my mind. Roughly 36 seconds into this discourse, he told the viewers that, “Over the past six months, it’s becoming increasingly clear that strong winds of change are buffeting this country and affecting all of us. And some leaders of media, politicians, and business have urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day. And to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible, I’ve talked extensively to Jonathan Klein, the President of CNN, and as a result of those talks John and I have agreed to a release from my contract that will enable me to pursue new opportunities.”

To me these sentences represent a veiled announcement of Mr. Dobbs’ desire to enter the American Political Arena. It’s especially clear with the second sentence about being “encouraged” by the leaders to “engage in constructive problem solving,” because as we all know the only way to truly bring about changes in this country is by becoming a politician on Capitol Hill – though it’s not an absolute rule in the matter. His release from his contractual obligations is another sign that the enterprise he is contemplating requires time and involves the great issues of our day – both of which are related to an agenda familiar to U.S. politicians.

My point is proven as he continues his speech. “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 the major issues of our time include the growth of our middle class, the creation of more jobs, healthcare, immigration policies, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. But each of those issues is, in my opinion, informed by our capacity to demonstrate strong resilience of our now weakened capitalist economy and to demonstrate the political will to overcome the lack of true representation in Washington D.C.”

All of the issues that he wishes to engage and explore are ones that every politician brings up when they intend to run for office. The state of the U.S. economy, healthcare, immigration policy, and our military operations overseas, are all issues that every prospective and current member of Congress must confront. The last sentence, in this part of his speech, tells us that he believes that he will bring “true representation” to Washington D.C. for the American People – as all successful politicians must when he or she plans to run for office.

Finally, Dobbs tell his viewers that, “I believe these to be profoundly critical issues and I will strive to deal honestly and straightforwardly with those issues in the future…As for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive to be a leader in that conversation.”

He has told us his intentions loud and clear. He wants to be a leader in the national conversation about the most pressing issues of our day and restore “inspiration to our great free society and market economy.” If he wanted a pulpit to address these issues on media outlet, he already has one. If he wanted to teach or enter a think tank, I seriously doubt that he would need to talk to the President of CNN to be released from his obligations to his old network.

elieve that Mr. Dobbs’ next course of action will be to seek a political career on the national stage. His words speak for themselves.

About the Contributor
Dillon Zhou served as opinions editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2010-2011