Louis Carl Dobbs  born September 24, 1945, is an American television personality, author, radio host, and anchor of Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network. He is only outdone in scumbag rhetoric by Sean Hannity.  The two of them should be running neck and neck, hopefully standing on chairs with ropes from the ceiling and a herd of wart hogs running loose in the room.



Lou worked with CNN since its founding in 1980, serving as a reporter and vice president.  He was the host and managing editor for CNN's Moneyline, which premiered in 1980 and was renamed Lou Dobbs Tonight in 2003. Dobbs resigned from CNN in 1999, rejoined in 2001, and resigned again in November 2009. 

In 2011, he resumed anchoring Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network. He formerly hosted a syndicated USRN radio show, Lou Dobbs Radio, and has written several books since 2001.

Lou describes himself as an "independent populist" and is known for his pro-Trump coverage, anti-illegal-immigration views, promotion of birther theory, and opposition to NAFTA.

Most others including me describe him as a tired old scumbag with anti-establishment views and with TRUMP theology all there way.  If he had it his way he would be the next Dr. Goebbels of the HERR TRUMPP Nazi - Leninists coalition.

•  Dobbs joined CNN when it launched in 1980, serving as its chief economics correspondent   

• . Dobbs also served as a corporate executive for CNN, as its executive vice president and as a member of CNN's executive committee. He founded CNN financial news, serving as its president and anchoring the program Business Unusual, which examined business creativity and leadership.

•  After his CNN departure and founding of Space.com, Dobbs repeatedly clashed with Rick Kaplan, who became president of CNN in 1997. Dobbs said Kaplan, noted friend of then president Bill Clinton, was “ clearly partisan" and "was pushing Clinton stories" while Kaplan said Dobbs was "a very difficult person to work with".

•  On April 20, 1999, CNN was covering Clinton's speech in Littleton, Colorado, following the Columbine High School massacre. Dobbs ordered the producer to cut away from the speech and return to broadcast Moneyline.

•  Dobbs was countermanded by Kaplan, who ordered CNN to return to the speech. Kaplan later said, "Tell me what journalistic reason there was not to cover the president at Columbine soon after the shootings? Everyone else was doing it”. 

•  Dobbs announced on the air that "CNN President Rick Kaplan wants us to return to Littleton". A few days later, Dobbs announced that he was leaving the network to start Space.com, a website devoted to astronautical news.  

•  Kaplan left CNN in August 2000, and Dobbs returned the following year, at the behest of his friend and CNN founder Ted Turner, becoming host and managing editor of the new and initially more general news program Lou Dobbs Reporting, which later became CNN News Sunday Morning. He also regained the helm of the newly renamed Lou Dobbs Moneyline (which became Lou Dobbs Tonight in June 2003).

On the November 11, 2009 edition of his nightly broadcast Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs announced his immediate departure from CNN, ending a nearly thirty-year career at the network, citing plans to "pursue new opportunities".  CNN President Jon Klein said that Dobbs’ departure was not a result of organized opposition to Dobbs' viewpoints.

In July 2009, controversy around Dobbs began when he was the only mainstream news anchor to give airtime to the birther conspiracy theory. Several liberal advocacy groups, including Media Matters, and the Southern Poverty Law Center criticized Dobbs for his reporting. 

The controversy eventually caused CNN President Jon Klein to rein Dobbs in via an internal memorandum.  In September, advocates challenged Dobbs for appearing at a FAIR conference (Federation for American Immigration Reform), a leading anti-illegal immigration group. 

Multiple campaigns were launched, including "Drop Dobbs" (NDN, Media Matters), and "Basta Dobbs" (Presente.org).

The campaigns also attacked CNN for alleged hypocrisy towards Latinos, citing CNN's Latino in America special as incompatible with their continued support of Dobbs. The campaigns generated considerable anti-Dobbs press,[15] and are credited by some[who?] as pushing Dobbs out.

Dobbs was reportedly paid $8 million in severance pay when he left CNN prior to his contract being due for renewal.

After Dobbs left CNN in 2009, he gave an interview where he did not rule out the possibility of running for President of the United States in 2012, saying the final decision would rest with his wife. Former Senator Dean Barkley said he thought Dobbs should run for president. Many asked Barkley what he was smoking that day....

From 2009 to 2012, Dobbs hosted Lou Dobbs Radio on United Stations Radio Networks. The show was guest-centered and featured political discussion and listener calls. 

Dobbs was among the hosts who tried out for the position vacated by the cancellation of Imus in the Morning on WFAN, a position that was eventually filled by Boomer and Carton in the Morning. Dobbs mentioned on his radio show that he is currently seeking a position in the US Department of Treasury during the economic crisis. He stated that he believed he could "do more good than the clowns currently in position."

On November 10, 2010, Fox Business Network ( Home of many world famous scumbags) announced that Dobbs would host a show on the channel.  The network announced on March 3, 2011 the start date, show title, and time slot of Dobbs’ new show. 

•  Since 2009, Dobbs has made regular appearances to discuss issues on other news network programs including CNBC's The Kudlow Report and Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor. On October 5, 2010, Dobbs made a guest appearance on an episode of The Good Wife, entitled “ ouble Jeopardy",[22] in which he plays himself as a client in search of a new law firm to represent his legal interests.

•  Dobbs was a lifelong Republican.  However, he later registered as an Independent following a break with the Bush Administration. Dobbs is known for his anti-immigration views, prejudice, warnings about Islamist terror, and his opposition to free trade.   He is known for his pro-Trump coverage. According to The Daily Beast, by 2018, Dobbs had turned into a "full-on conservative nationalist-populist and culture warrior."  EG. TOAL SCUMBAG

•  Dobbs promoted the false conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. His willingness to raise the “ birther” issue repeatedly even though CNN itself considered it a "discredited rumor",led the Washington Post's TV critic to remark that this "explains their upcoming documentary: The World: Flat.    " We Report – You Decide.’"

•  The issue had come up in 2008 during the Presidential campaign, and had largely disappeared from the media spotlight until Dobbs picked up the issue again.  His statements in support of these conspiracy theories were dubbed "racist" and "defamatory" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

•  The controversy led to Media Matters airing ads critical of Dobbs and of CNN, and to Jon Stewart mocking Dobbs on the satirical Comedy Central television series The Daily Show.

•  The New York Times said that Dobbs had “  become a publicity nightmare for CNN, embarrassed his boss and hosted a show that seemed to contradict the network’s 'no bias' brand."  As a result, he became a frequent target of MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann's Worst person in the World.

•  Dobbs has been strongly opposed to both illegal immigration and foreign worker programs as the H-1B visa program and guest-worker program.  In a 2006 article, Dobbs expressed frustration at failed legislation to build a southern "border fence to stop the flow of illegal aliens and drugs across our borders." He argued that the "true victims of corporate America's lust for cheap labor" were "American working men and women, taxpayers all."

•  Dobbs’ show has made factually incorrect claims, such as the one that illegal immigrants were responsible for bringing 7,000 new cases of leprosy to the United States in a three-year period, where the actual timeframe was over the last thirty years.   In addressing the leprosy issue, Dobbs in May 2007 compared his critics from the left and right political spectrums to "commies" and "fascists."

•  Dobbs has criticized local officials for their approach to border security. In October 2007 he labeled then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer an "idiot" for advocating the issuance of driver's license's to illegal immigrants.   Hillary Clinton labeled Dobbs' illegal immigration segments as having "all that hot air."

•  At about 10:30 a.m. on October 5, 2009, a bullet struck Dobbs’ home as his wife stood outside it.   The bullet struck the vinyl siding of their attic without penetrating the vinyl and fell to the ground.   Dobbs attributed the incident to his stance against amnesty for illegal immigrants.T  he New Jersey State Police troopers' account of the incident attributed it to a stray bullet from a hunter in the vicinity.

•  In a November 2009 interview with Telemundo, Dobbs said that the US needed a “ National, effective humane policy" for immigration that included enhanced border security and also "the ability to legalize illegal immigrants on certain conditions."

•  In March 2009, Dobbs said he thought that there should not be a St. Patricks Day.

•  In October 2010, The Nation published the results of a yearlong investigation detailing undocumented workers who had worked on Dobbs’ personal properties. The labor involved upkeep of Dobbs' multimillion-dollar estates in New Jersey and Florida, including the horses belonging to his daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper. The article featured interviews with five immigrants who had worked without papers on Dobbs' properties. Dobbs and his daughter had declined to comment to The Nation as part of the story.  Speaking to the Associated Press, Dobbs referred to the article as "a political assault," claiming it was a lie that he hired illegal immigrants. He said: "I have never, do not now, and never will."

•  Dobbs' critics, including columnist James K. Glassman, author of Dow 36,000 and member of the American Enterprise Institute think tank, have accused him of inciting xenophobia.   Others have accused him of Hispanophobia, a charge he denies and one which he has said offends him deeply, as his wife Debi Segura is a Mexican-American.

TRUMP -  On his show Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs stopped short of a full endorsement of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying, “ whatever you think of Trump, whatever your politics, Trump has taken on enormous risk and threats in seeking the presidency ... promised to restore the voice of the people ... and a government that will respect all that our Constitution assures.” 

•  Dobbs has since endorsed Donald Trump.  In October 2017, Dobbs said that the Trump presidency "may be the most accomplished in modern American history."  Trump praised Dobbs in return.  Later that month, Dobbs interviewed Trump, with numerous observers describing Dobbs’s interview style as fawning and sycophantic.  

•  Dobbs opened the interview with "You have accomplished so much", and later said to Trump that he was "one of the most loved and respected" presidents "in history." The New York Times described the interview as a love-fest and “  courtier-like session”, as Dobbs "didn't so much ask questions as open his mouth and let rose petals fall out".

•  On October 13, 2016, Dobbs publicized by Twitter a link which contained the address and phone number of a woman who was among several who had come forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

•  Trump repeatedly calls Dobbs to get his views on various policy issues. In 2017 Trump patched Dobbs into senior-level Oval Office meetings multiple times, sometimes interrupting officials to ask for Dobbs' opinions.

•  Dobbs is a proponent of the Deep State conspiracy theory. In January 2018, Dobbs called for a "war" on the "Deep State", which he described as the FBI and the Department of Justice.  Dobbs said that the FBI and DOJ had destroyed evidence and that they were clandestinely working to bring down the Trump presidency. 

•  In June 2018, Dobbs promoted a conspiracy which originated on Reddit and the far-right conspiracy website Gateway Pundit that “the FBI May have initiated a number of spies into the Trump campaign as early as December of 2015."  Shortly after Dobbs promoted the unfounded conspiracy theory, Trump retweeted Dobbs’ assertion and praised Dobbs for a "great interview".

•  After Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not investigating alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in the investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election, Dobbs attacked Sessions, saying that he had become physically or mentally unwell.  Dobbs said, “  Sessions has fallen ill, he’s incapacitated in some fashion, or he's been coopted or captured: to preserve any dignity, for the good of the country he needs to resign."

•  In July 2018, Dobbs defended the Trump administration's decision to ban a CNN reporter from a press event.   Multiple Fox colleagues, including Fox News President Jay Wallace, had shown solidarity with CNN and called on the White House to rescind the ban. 

•   2012, when a Daily Caller reporter was criticized by the White House for shouting out a question during an address by Obama, Dobbs defended the reporter, saying, “What is rude is a president not speaking to the American people and taking the questions of the White House press.

•  CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested that Dobbs was hypocritical, saying, “  Lou Dobbs, it might surprise you to find out, had a very different take on the situation.... Sometimes I find some people in this environment, you will be interested to know, say the exact opposite thing about President Trump than they did about President Obama.”

•  In August 2018, Dobbs called CNN journalist Jim Acosta “ delicate” and "triggered" after Acosta recorded a hostile crowd Trump supporters at a rally harassing him.

•  Dobbs has also been criticized for his journalistic ethics by liberal news journalist Amy Goodman. She accused him of flagrant errors in his reporting and his staff’s association with disreputable sources, complaining that "he has a special responsibility to rely on facts and to correct misstatements of fact."

• He is not well thought of in the industry as having .... derailed handoff the tracks...


In the past four years, from this very perch, the still-cherubic-looking Dobbs, who hosts Lou Dobbs Tonight, has done just that: morphing from spokesman for the country’s wealthy and powerful — the CEOs’ golfing buddy — to Middle America’s valiant crusader, waging, according to him, an unending battle against the “corporate imperialists,” whom he blames for an untenable increase in illegal immigration, a destabilization of the middle class, and an erosion of national sovereignty.

To watch Dobbs work, to trust him, as many do, the way we once trusted Walter Cronkite, is to see America as a nation under siege. We are, if we’re to believe Dobbs, suffering from policies that have encouraged undocumented workers to cross the Mexican border only to depress wages, overwhelm public schools, and blaze the way for infiltrating terrorists. At the same time, we are under attack from within, he says, from multinational corporations: the same grand companies that once provided the middle class with decent jobs and pensions but now find it easier and cheaper to ship out jobs to India and China.

It’s clear that Dobbs’ sentiments don’t originate with a corporate directive from CNN or even its parent company, Time Warner. I visited him on “World Refugee Day,” and for hours CNN had been highlighting the plight of the planet’s most poor, culminating with a two-hour interview by Anderson Cooper with U.N. goodwill ambassador Angelina

Jolie. Dobbs’ staff had ignored the heart-tugging stories buffering their program as they put together the night’s hour-long show. It would include: a report on the House leadership’s desire to have a tougher immigration bill than the White House and Senate had floated; a story on “the rising importance of illegal immigration and the border security crisis in the upcoming midterm elections”; and a piece from Los Angeles on “a significant new blow against the criminal empire that supplies many of the forged documents to illegal aliens.”

Such a show fits comfortably within the cable television news landscape that changed so irrevocably when Fox News muscled its way onto basic cable, burrowing into homes with robust personalities like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Shepard Smith. What drove viewers to the Murdochian outfit was its ability to harness the collective anger of large swaths of the country that felt ignored. And, in igniting populist wrath, Fox changed our expectations of news “talent” forever. We expect, no, in fact demand, that Anderson Cooper, floating in what was once New Orleans, lash out at FEMA officials, just as we expect Dobbs night after night after night to attack whomever he damn well pleases.

Perhaps more than his peers, Dobbs has used cable’s niche messaging and agitated viewers to refigure the role of news anchor. While Brian Williams may, in gross numbers, have more viewers, Dobbs’ daily interpretation of the news flickers more brightly both on the 13-inchers sitting next to microwaves as supper’s being readied, and on the flat-screens tucked into offices on the Hill.

“One of our goals at CNN is to reassert our primacy in political coverage,” says Jon Klein, the network’s president. “If you think of political coverage, you typically think of Washington-based political reporting. But here’s Lou, in New York, primarily doing stories on the heartland, on the impact of policies on ordinary Americans, and that’s filtering back to Washington.”

“That’s profound,” Klein adds. “It shows you something about the power media can have away from the centers of power. That’s one of Lou’s strengths. He speaks to the people and he also speaks to the influencers.”

By design, Dobbs’ show offers little in the way of token rebuttal. He has no use, he says, for “he said, she said” journalism, the kind that has reporters scrambling for an opposing quote five minutes before a story goes to the copydesk. His journalism is a driven, singularly focused, advocacy sort that doesn’t have the time or the patience to toss in a throwaway statement from an opposing think tank.

Needless to say, such fervor is not necessarily shared by his peers. Men like Reese Schonfeld, the former CNN executive who hired Dobbs, call his focus, or overfocus, on illegal immigration a “one-trick pony.” Likewise, Mike Wallace, who likes Dobbs and his program, told me, “He has a fixed and predictable and occasionally excessive preoccupation with broken borders and immigration.”

Yet to call Dobbs a traditional conservative, or even a know-nothing populist, is an ill-fitting label. Yes, the lifelong Republican (though no fan of the current president and since 2006 a registered independent) shares certain sentiments with professional howler Pat Buchanan, who also lashes out at border policy. But it is in his anti-corporate stances that Dobbs distances himself from the bulk of the mainline right, even as he refuses to align himself with the left. Indeed, Dobbs shares no contemporary comparison, but a historical one, to “The Great Commoner” William Jennings Bryan, who, along with his anti-Darwinism rants, railed against the influence of the robber barons, monopolies, and trusts.

He is, in short, his own man. And unlike Buchanan, Dobbs holds your attention on-screen and in person. Because despite the hammering rhetoric, Dobbs in person is amiable and funny, simply a decent sort of guy. The kind of man you’d like to meet up with for a drink, who seamlessly finds a way to open the door for you, and who’ll tap you on the shoulder and call you “pard’ner.” And unlike Buchanan, reared inside the Beltway, Dobbs, like you, actually came from somewhere real.

Born in 1945 in the Texas Panhandle town of Childress, Louis Earl Dobbs came of age in Rupert, Idaho, raised by a mother who kept the books for a furniture store and a father who worked in the propane business. In 1964 Dobbs left Idaho, where he’d spent most of his youth working the bean and potato fields with Mexican migrants in the summer and playing football in the fall — because that is what you did when you grew up in Idaho in the early ’60s — and came east, to Cambridge and Harvard, to Quincy House and “Cliffies,” never really to return. Dobbs had never heard of Harvard before his guidance counselor and English teacher had put his application together. He arrived on campus at a time when the great mischief consisted of Animal House-like panty raids and road trips. When he left four years later, the whole place was up for grabs — full of intellectual wrath and student demonstrations over a far-off but emotionally close war that almost everyone knew would never be won.

He could have stayed the course, could have held down the banking job in Los Angeles he went into straight after graduation, raised a family there, returning east only for “The Game,” where he’d sip martinis with old friends outside the Yale Bowl, remembering the punks they all used to be. But instead he grew restless, not to mention jealous of his friend who’d gone to work at the Los Angeles Times, and called nearly every television and radio station in the country looking for work.

He found work, if not money, at a television-radio outfit in Yuma, Arizona, a border town with border problems. It was here Dobbs reported on César Chávez, as Chávez was working to build the United Farm Workers Union. “He was almost alone in his fight to win better wages and working conditions for farmworkers, and he was being fought by the growers associations, labor contractors who brought in ‘green carders’ from Mexico to undercut the UFW, and the Teamsters union who tried to create their own farmworkers union… and of course the farmers themselves, and the big agribusinesses,” recalls Dobbs. “Nearly all the activists today forget that he was one of the most vocal opponents of illegal immigration because they were, in his eyes, working as scabs… setting up the so-called wet line”—UFW border militias —”to stop the entry of illegals.”

In 1980, Dobbs, who by then was in a weekend anchor’s slot in Seattle, returned east, to New York and the brand-new network launched by Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld that would report the news over cable wires. Dobbs, the two believed, had the charm and presence to anchor CNN’s daily financial show, Moneyline.

And so he did. Every night, for almost two decades, the pudgy redhead addressed what he called the “political economy” just as workers were finding their pension plans and profit sharing replaced with 401(k)s, and people not named Rockefeller or even Boesky were beginning to transfer their savings into the stock market. He led the uninitiated through price-to-earnings ratios and hostile takeovers and pro forma accounting. He had the ability to take in the language of power and finance and shoot it straight back at us as something comprehensible.

By 1999, Dobbs had been charged with heading all financial news for CNN, including its international outposts and CNNfn, a financial news network designed to provide the same sort of minute-by-minute stock market pornography that General Electric had mastered with the never-ending ticker of CNBC.

But by then it was no longer a good time to be at CNN, which Ted Turner had (with fiery regret) turned into a subsidiary of Time Warner. Dobbs feuded privately, then very publicly, with then-CNN president Rick Kaplan. Retreating to his horse farm in New Jersey in 1999, Dobbs was widely ridiculed when he took the reins of Space.com, a website devoted to astronomy and space exploration, subjects that had interested him since boyhood. From a distance he watched the tumult of the 2000 presidential election and the tumble not only of Moneyline under his replacements (hip tag-team Willow Bay and Stuart Varney) but also of the NASDAQ and Dow themselves. CNN eventually showed Kaplan the door, which led, in April 2001, to the reentry of a new Lou Dobbs.

This Dobbs was harder, darker. The bubble had sickened the people who’d watched the CNBC crawl with the same frenzy as a football game. They no longer wanted to hear from Judy on the floor. And then came WorldCom, Enron, and other scandals that left Dobbs, as well as his audience, lost. The system he had trusted and promoted had betrayed him.

“I never dreamed that we would see the major corporations committing that kind of fraud,” Dobbs told me as we sat in his office in the Time Warner Center overlooking Columbus Circle and, beyond that, Central Park. “President Bush would call them evildoers. That’s what they were, and it was rampant.”

“You have to understand,” Dobbs continued. “I’m a guy who believed in the system. I truly believed that if a person was running a Fortune 500 company, that he was playing by the rules. That disappointment, that failure to live up to standards, is something I think we all share. It drove me ballistic.”

Daily he pressed for indictments in the Enron investigation, then, in 2003, he changed the name of his show from Lou Dobbs Moneyline to Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs claims the change occurred to mark the larger focus the show had taken. Conveniently, it also wiped away any connection to the CEOs and CFOs the program had had in the past.

“Once again he didn’t fight the tide,” says Dobbs’ college classmate and New York businessman Michael Holland. “The tide went out on the stock market shows and CNBC shows. It was a clearheaded business judgment.”

“He transformed himself from a guy known primarily for business news to one known as a generalist,” CNN’s Klein told me. “That’s an impressive transformation to make that deeply into one’s career. It would be like Roger Clemens becoming a shortstop.”

This new Dobbs chafed both on air and in print — in columns for U.S. News & World Report and the Daily News — at the politically correct who failed to recognize terrorism as a logical outgrowth of radical Islam. When outsourcing became part of our everyday language, Dobbs was there again on air and later in his 2004 best-seller, Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas. In it, Dobbs not only ticks off countless towns where factories have been closed due to outsourcing, but also rants about cartoons sent to Korea to be animated and Cold Mountain being filmed in Romania. He followed up two years later with War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back. Writing from an “American perspective,” Dobbs defends groups like the Minutemen and applauds politicians such as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who’ve called for tougher standards for teachers. But like its predecessor, the book is thin on solutions; Dobbs urges more voters to register as independents, calls for having a “cooling off” period before politicians can become lobbyists, and agitates for eliminating the presidential authority to fast-track trade deals.

“We’re told by the faith-based free traders that all is well,” Dobbs told me. “It’s mindlessness. We’re not exporting. We’re told it’s free trade. It’s an absurdity. There are 25 percent tariffs on our automobiles going to China and 2 percent here. What are we exporting? We’re exporting scrap metal, waste products, and soybeans. They’re exporting to us electronics, computers—and we’re supposed to be the technology country.”

This past summer, Dobbs attended a luncheon panel on immigration on enemy turf, the annual meeting of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), held in a white-hot Fort Lauderdale. He sat in a darkened room with 1,600 people, most of them Hispanic and, well, journalists, and defended his views on illegal immigration on a panel narrated by PBS’s Ray Suarez; the other panelists were New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, reverend and professional do-gooder David Beckmann, and former Mexican secretary of foreign affairs Jorge Castañeda.

But before, during, and after, it was Dobbs who drew the most attention. He posed for pictures with pretty young women straight out of journalism school who were heading (if they were lucky) to weekend anchor jobs in Topeka and Des Moines, shook hands with a San Diego columnist who called Dobbs’ audience (and by extension, him) “certifiable” and “racist,” and sat onstage shielding both his ideology and his methods, saying: “I don’t really believe in something called ‘fair and balanced.’ That’s another news network. I’m not too interested in what some call, with a wink and a nod, objective journalism…. I don’t put my thumb on the scale. I stop the damn thing. I want people to know exactly where I’m coming from.”

“I happen to have an interest in independent, nonpartisan reality,” Dobbs told Suarez. “You may not agree with it.”

“Whether I agree or not,” Suarez replied, “is completely immaterial.”

After the other panelists had dispersed, Dobbs found himself defending his views for 45 more minutes. Before he could leave, three Hispanic journalists cornered him, demanding a change in his vocabulary. They weren’t asking for much. They had long ago conceded that Dobbs wouldn’t reverse his stance on the issue itself. What they wanted was simply for Dobbs to no longer use the term “illegal alien” on the air. Couldn’t Dobbs use “undocumented worker”? Or, at the very least, “illegal immigrant”?

“‘Illegal immigrant’?” Dobbs said, with his wife, Debi, a former sportscaster who is herself of Hispanic origin and who refers to Dobbs as “Husband” — he calls her “Momma” — not far away. (In 2003, Debi was arrested after trying to board a plane at the Newark airport with a gun the Dobbses keep on their farm for protection.) “Do I need to say ‘legal immigrant’? Do I need to put a modifier on that? Do I tell someone who’s entered the country legally, ‘You’re a legal immigrant’?”

“No,” said a short, dark man with a shaven head and a goatee. “You would refer to them as ‘immigrants.’ When you’re trying to make the distinction between those who entered the country legally or illegally, then you use the modifier.”

“Then I won’t concede the point,” Dobbs said. “It’s not up to the individual to make the distinction to immigrate without the consent and authority of the United States government; therefore, if I say ‘illegal immigrant’ I’m working at cross-purposes.”

As the conversation began to fade out, Regina Medina, a director of NAHJ and a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, approached Dobbs, asking him if he’d consider handing over $1,000 for a membership in the group.

“You know I’m not Hispanic,” Dobbs said. But when Medina assured him there were other members in the same position, Dobbs measured the situation. On record he deplores the existence of hyphenated Americans, going so far as to oppose staples of immigrant identity such as St. Patrick’s Day. But while he would have gladly argued the linguistic merit of “illegal immigrant” for another four hours, saying no to this monetary gesture might have led to an even more heated argument about the existence of the NAHJ Itself. If anything, Dobbs has shown the uncanny ability to recognize the precise moment to get the hell out, and this was sure it. Knowing there was a car out front waiting to speed him and Debi away, Dobbs whispered into Medina’s ear: No, he wouldn’t take one membership. He’d take five.

Shaking his head over the incident a few days later, Dobbs repeated to me, “Five of them.”

Dobbs would go on the air that night, as he has been since his rebirth, a man alone. He would do so as a traitor to the corporate leaders and the free-market theorems that have influenced much of the modern conservative movement, but also as a man who finds no kindred spirits among liberals, who see a racist strain in his form of economic nationalism.

“The United States was once considered the greatest can-do country on the face of the earth,” he told me, “but this insidious libertarianism suggests we can’t change the educational system. We can’t control our borders or our ports, but we can send men and women to Iraq to install democracy? When we don’t have the wherewithal to preserve it here? Where is the reason? It’s a failure of leadership. It’s a failure of leadership in so many of our institutions. Someone said to me that the far right hates you and the far left fears you, and that’s perfectly fine with me.”

*07-2018 aljacobsladder.com