Dobbs Watch: Lou Dobbs Jumps the Shark

By November 4, 2005Dobbs Watch

Dobbs WatchIn all the shakeup at CNN earlier this week, the big news was that Aaron Brown was out and Anderson Cooper was in. However, little noticed in all the handicapping of the winners and the losers in this shuffle was a guy who got his time cut in half: our buddy, Lou Dobbs. His show, which is repeated at 11 p.m., will now be bumped in that slot by the aforementioned Mr. Cooper. One less hour a day of Lou Dobbs is a victory for free trade.

We of course find this all so amusing. Why? Because anybody who watched Lou Dobbs for any length of time — say, a week — realizes he does the same story night after night. So we think that cutting it by an hour is probably no great shakes. Fact is, they could show it an hour each year as far as we’re concerned and you’d get your fix. In any event, it is an auspicious day in TV journalism, no doubt about it, the beginning of the end of the esteemed Mr. Dobbs. Oh, sure, he’ll still kick around for a while, but this is the home stretch.

We know it’s not a zero-sum game (or maybe it is), but as we watch our blog traffic climb, we watch Lou’s viewers drop. Hey, maybe they’re coming over to our side! Or maybe after a few years of watching the same show over and over again, they’re realizing, to coin the phrase du jour, that Lou has at last jumped the shark.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Minnie Pearl says:

    Lou Dobbs has integrity & moral courage. Something seldom seen in News today, in ANY media. It is a pleasure to watch him, at any hour. I like Aaron Brown & AC, but both are lightweights in comparison to Lou Dobbs. He has given us more insights in the last 6 months, than most media have done in the last 6 years.

  • Pat Cleary says:


    Whaddaya mean? We’re still waiting for our invitation! Would help his ratings! He called us “silly” (I think that was the word he used) in the WaPo. His show is getting a little old, though, hence CNN’s move in cutting back his air time each day. Apparently even they are tiring of the same show night after night.

  • Chris says:

    How about this article: NAM jumps the shark for cowardly refusal to appear on Lou Dobbs Tonight.

    Everett, WA

  • R. Lawson says:

    Free trade has failed our nation, and if you really represented the interest of American manufacturers you would be opposed to it.

    Lou Dobbs points out what the rest of the media ignores. While manufacturers are exporting jobs to China and Mexico, some of us are trying to have a legitimate discussion about trade and the future of our nation.

  • jhupp213 says:

    Don’t know if you saw the Washington Post’s discussion of the lineup shakeup, but I thought of this blog when I read it. Columnist Lisa de Moraes writes, ‘Blitzer gets to take a breather from 6 to 7, which continues to house “The Border Is Falling, the Border Is Falling With Lou Dobbs.”‘ Hilarious.

  • David Barnes says:

    About Aaron Brown …

    Aaron Brown is the best thing on CNN right now; and it seems that “is” will soon become “was.” I have perceived that changes were coming over the past few months, since Anderson Cooper was placed alongside and above Aaron, and the overall quality of Newsnight declined because Aaron was obviously being squeezed out. Anderson is no doubt a fine man and a good reporter but he doesn’t have the maturity to carry it alone the way Aaron can and does. So I am not really interested in investing my time and attention in Anderson Cooper; he has a lot of growing up to do and it would have been nice to see him doing it under the mentorship of one like Aaron Brown. Further, Wolf Blitzer just doesn’t have the clout, and he has little that is penetrating and original to deliver. If Aaron was retained as the main anchor for Newsnight, and he was allowed to mentor Anderson and groom him as his prot駩, refining him under tutelage and apprenticeship, it could and would work having Anderson on Newsnight as co-anchor. As it is, hearing the news that Aaron is being replaced by Anderson, I predict that it won’t work for long, ratings will drop, and Anderson’s youthful zest will not be able to carry it alone; he simply doesn’t yet have the weight. CNN is losing a great one when they let Aaron go. I will continue to occasionally watch CNN, just to see what transpires, but already my interest in regularly watching Newsnight … and CNN coverage in general … has dwindled significantly since seeing and hearing that Aaron is moving on. We, in this household, will miss Aaron; and we will follow him wherever he lands as anchor on another station. I suspect that he will make lemonade out of this lemon, and we look forward to watching him move on to bigger and better things that showcase his insight, humor and elegant & insightful presence and abilities. These moves make the afternoon and evening of CNN much more light-weight. Somebody in CNN has really blown it! I think CNN is the loser in all this. Too bad. All the best, Aaron. We look forward to hearing where you land next, insofar as your media talents are concerned.

    David Barnes
    Kamloops, B.C. Canada