Dobbs Tells O’Reilly He 'Discerned' a Different Tone from Critics Under Obama Versus Under Bush
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs stuck to his guns when questions were raised if he was forced out at CNN in an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
However, Dobbs did make one distinction - how his detractors decided to pile on when he was critical of President Barack Obama instead of former President George W. Bush. He elaborated on this on Fox News Channel's Nov. 16 "The O'Reilly Factor."
"I discerned more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration, whom I was criticizing and now when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken, not so much in the case of CNN management certainly, because there is no - my contract is very explicit. I have absolute editorial control. What I reported is what I chose to report."
In fact, Dobbs even suggested Bush should have been impeached during the summer of 2008 for the tainted-tomato salmonella scare on his June 19, 2008 broadcast. However, it was shortly after Obama's inauguration when the anti-Dobbs bandwagon kicked into high gear by the left-wing noise machine.
However, Dobbs said it was only recently that CNN President Jonathan Klein told him he decided he wanted to take the network in a different direction.
"The only issue that came up in the last 90 days of my employment there was John Klein and I talked about the issue of opinion itself and advocacy journalism," Dobbs said. "He wanted to take the network in a different direction. I quite understood that and tried to accommodate him."
And Dobbs reiterated his point that CNN management never tried to exercise editorial control over him in his 27 years with the network. He did take issue with those who conflated his anti-illegal immigration stance as being anti-immigrant, but he didn't outright say CNN's management treated him differently between the Bush and Obama administrations.
"I don't know if that was the distinction that triggered any response or difference in perspective on the part of CNN's management, but it is the only difference in between the way I was conducting myself under this administration and the previous administration," Dobbs continued.
O'Reilly pressed further and asked Dobbs if he had "heard" any rumblings over his opinionated program.
"What I heard, very directly, was they decided to take CNN in direction in which advocacy journalism would not be a part of it," Dobbs said.
O'Reilly said he was perplexed over that decision because CNN continues to struggle in the primetime cable news ratings, even against its sister network, HLN - which features opinionated hosts including Nancy Grace and Joy Behar.