On his Monday radio show, Lou Dobbs announced that a few weeks ago someone shot at his house while his wife was just 15 feet away. And, that followed a series of threatening phone calls; the state police are currently investigating. Audio of his broadcast is attached, and a partial transcript (via this) is at . It goes without saying that if something like this had happened to a "liberal" broadcaster it would be a front-page story on the New York Times for the next month. However, at post time, this Fox News story about the incident is the most major source to cover this.
First, there's certainly the possibility that the shot had nothing to do with either the calls or with Dobbs' broadcasts. If it did, hopefully it's just one deranged person and not something more sinister. Assuming that it is related to his broadcasts, is it invalid to blame Dobbs-bashers like Geraldo Rivera, Rick Sanchez, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and all the rest? Not entirely. It would be scurrilous to directly blame Rivera, but it isn't invalid to point out that he and others have repeatedly vilified Dobbs and have helped create a toxic environment. And, it would be difficult to believe that someone who's familiar with Dobbs wouldn't also be familiar with his opponents.
Whatever the outcome of the case, it's vitally important for others to help Dobbs out in effective ways. The great majority of his backers aren't willing to do that. For instance, the FreeRepublic thread on this has over 2400 views (link) but when it comes time to actually doing something the vast majority of those folks have something else to do. If you'd like to actually do something, help discredit Dobbs' opponents. You can find a list of just some of them at the first link in this post. When they publish something online about Dobbs, leave a comment pointing out how they're lying, misleading, smearing, or enabling illegal activity. The same goes for those reporters who retail the thoughts of the SPLC or the Anti Defamation League. When a reporter posts something in which they try to re-sell the SPLC's line without any sort of skepticism, point out in comments how that reporter is misleading their readers. If you have a website, write posts similar to those at the first link in this post; try to arrange it so those searching for the name of a reporter in a search engine will be able to find why that reporter isn't credible. You can also help out by linking to the pages at the first link in this post. Those are all seemingly very simple steps, but few people are willing to actually do any work.
 From his 10/26 radio broadcast:
"But I want to tell you, when you talk about what they've done - they've created an atmosphere and they've been unrelenting in their propaganda... Three weeks ago this morning, a shot was fired at my house where I live. My wife was standing out and that followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls... And, as I told the state patrol, and by the way, the New Jersey State Patrol is absolutely terrific - they responded instantly. But this shot was fired with my wife not, I don't know, 15 feet away and we had threatening phone calls that I decided not to report because I get threatening phone calls... I now - it's become a way of life - the anger, the hate, the vitriol, but it's taken a different tone where they've threatened my wife. They've now fired a shot at my house while my wife was standing next to the car. It's become something else... But we've got to start being honest... Instead, the national liberal media has chosen sides and they've decided that they're going to focus on the liberal view, which is that they will embrace illegal immigration - no matter who is harmed, no matter how many laws are broken or how few consequences there are for breaking those laws."
UPDATE: Both the New York Post (link) and the Huffington Post (link) are trying to throw cold water on this story. The first says: police believe the shots were just from hunters... Sgt. Stephen Jones said, "At this time of year, hunter complaints go up." The second says that Jones chuckled out loud after he heard about Dobbs' account of the gunfire incident. Jones commented that he "wouldn't classify it [the gunfire incident] as very unusual." He also confirmed that there are hunters in the area, and stated that, "at this time of year hunter [shooting] complaints go up."... [another spokesman] explained that the bullet had hit the house in vicinity of the attic; it "hit the vinyl siding and fell to the ground" without penetrating the vinyl, he said. There are certainly a lot of possibilities here: Dobbs could be over-reacting, the cops could be playing a game in order to make the suspect complacent, the cops could be conflicted in some way, and so on. If the bullet didn't penetrate the siding, that would seem to indicate it had been fired from a distance, yet a hunter's bullet would probably be lower to the ground. Maybe Lou Dobbs should move to another state.
UPDATE 2: The CNN report presents the NJ police as more professional (link), with Jones saying among other things that "We want to take any incident like this seriously." It also says: Jones couldn't give his opinion on what kind of shooting this might be, and he said the incident is being investigated "further past a stray hunter's bullet" because of Dobbs' "public persona." Police have conducted interviews and patrolled the area, Jones said. And, per this, Dobbs lives on a 300-acre farm and A search of the area around Dobbs’ home did not uncover any hunters or recreational gun enthusiasts, [Jones] said.
"Our thoughts are with Lou and his family... Our community knows all too well the impact that extreme rhetoric and a hostile climate can have on an issue like this. Every year since the immigration debate started, hate crimes against Latinos have increased, as has the number of hate groups targeting Latinos... While it is unclear who or what was behind this particular incident, we know that violence has no place in this debate... We have appealed to the networks repeatedly over the past three years to tone down the demonization of immigrants that is purveyed nightly over the nation’s cable network news and talk radio. We will continue our work to ensure that cooler heads on all sides of this debate prevail."
1/29/12 UPDATE: I replaced the video that was here (Youtube ID Qjbgk1TKLWY) because it had been removed by the user.
Thu, 10/29/2009 - 09:34 · Importance: 4