Dobbs not right for Fox News

Lou Dobbs has resigned CNN, according to the New York Times (via Drudge).

The story mentioned that he had talked with Fox News in September. And even if that morsel wasn’t out there, there would be natural speculation that he might be making the switch to FNC – a la Glenn Beck not that long ago, and Greta Van Susteren not too long before that. Am I missing somebody? Of course, CNN did get Paula Zahn from Fox News, which I think was a loss for the network.  Speaking of anchors, though, I have enjoyed Kansas City’s own Harris Faulkner at the nation’s leading cable news network.

But back to the point of this post. Dobbs is not right for Fox. Not right now. First of all….Dobbs is out there. He’s also not a conservative, in fact, or at least at best could be called a paleoconservative, in the Pat Buchanan mold. FNC doesn’t need that. It would only reinforce negative, uninformed stereotypes about the network, and actually even about conservatism himself (Dobbs is often labeled a conservative by some).

I remember a few years back when I first saw Dobbs, and he seemed to be talking reasonably about something. I thought, “Hey, this guy’s alright, let’s give him a listen.” It didn’t take long to discover the real Dobbs, however. This guy is a jingoist, a nativist, and possibly even a xenophobe. He’s an old-school, anti-free trade populist Democrat, essentially. And perhaps he would even admit, something of a blowhard. He takes a simplistic view on many issues and often spins narratives along us-them lines  (one classic mark of a populist).

Let’s also be real – if crass – for a moment: Dobbs is an older middle age, white male espousing gut-level “conservative” and populist rhetoric on a network that has no problem with that demographic (again, he’s not a conservative, if I can make the distinction here…but he does have instincts which would largely be placed on the conservative  map by most observers). If Fox is going to add yet another conservative to the opinion programming lineup (and I’m not even sure in what slot they would do that right now), it should be somebody fresher, perhaps younger, or a minority, or a woman, and someone more eloquent. (At least one or two of any of those attributes). And if they’re going for a conservative – then again, Lou Dobbs is not that. Jingoistic rabble-rousing does not a conservative make.

Now, I’m the last one to advocate affirmative action…I’m speaking here from a marketing/business/political-reach sense, not anything else.  Just sayin’ that with Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck you’ve already got your bases covered for middle-aged white-male opinion voices on the middle to right side of  political spectrum. What would Dobbs add? What does he bring to the table? Nothing.

Anyway…sprawling and messy thoughts tonight. Hope you enjoyed.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Dobbs not right for Fox News

  1. Justin

    While I’m not a huge Dobbs fan, I don’t have the aversion to him that your writing suggests to me you do. I am curious, since you emphasize that he is “not a conservative” how do you define this term?

    I certainly understand the need for terms to differentiate various styles of conservatism, but what exactly is it about Dobbs that makes you feel he doesn’t belong in the conservative camp? Is it fundamentally his stance on free trade? If so, are you suggesting that conservatism is essentially a specific stance on trade or economic policy, which may (or may not) have social positions attached as well?

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