All hail Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, for challenging protectionism and its most prominent agent in the media world, Lou Dobbs. The CEA’s news release this week speaks for itself, and in a pretty hard-hitting fashion, too:
CEA TACKLES FEAR MONGERING ON TRADE
CEA’s Gary Shapiro Challenges Protectionist Cable News Personality to Free Trade Debate
Calling international trade a vital component of the nation’s economy, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® President and CEO Gary Shapiro today announced a campaign to challenge protectionism. Shapiro also decried the unbalanced support of protectionism expounded by certain opponents of international trade, such as CNN’s Lou Dobbs, and challenged the CNN anchor to a live debate on his show.
In an October 2007 poll of more than 10,000 Americans conducted by Zogby International for CEA:
Seventy-eight percent believe a television news anchor who speaks out against international trade while his network promotes his program overseas and garners foreign advertising revenue can be labeled a “hypocrite”; and Among those who had an opinion, a 2:1 ratio of respondents say criticizing international trade sends the wrong message that the U.S isn’t good enough to compete globally, and that it fears foreign competition.
“The facts are indisputable—without international trade, our nation would not have the greatest economy in the world,” said Shapiro. “If we accept messages of fear without acknowledging the facts, we will adopt a defeatist approach that will only hurt our economy and the innovative businesses and talented workers that would otherwise bring more jobs and opportunities to Americans than ever before.”
Shapiro issued a direct challenge to Dobbs to present his viewers with a balanced view of international trade. “I am prepared to debate Lou Dobbs live on his CNN show,” Shapiro said. “His anti-trade comments on his cable show and his refusal to grant equal time to opposing viewpoints are inconsistent with CNN’s great legacy as a pioneering news network. We are hopeful that CNN will wish to retain its credibility and allow equal time for pro-free trade viewpoints.
Really, don’t see how Dobbs and CNN can refuse Shapiro’s challenge without appearing….unfair and lacking confidence. That’s a polite way of saying it.
Thanks a lot to Sean Garrett at The 463: Inside Tech Policy blog for bringing the CEA’s challenge to our attention. He has a fun post with videos, background and more on Dobbs’ many anti-trade blusteries. The 463 even resurrects a 2005 NAM blog post with a photo-caption contest over Dobbs’ appearance in a clean room. For a caption, Sean suggests: “”Sorry, Mr. Dobbs, that life-saving medical device can’t be used. It was created in Japan.”
And good luck, Mr. Shapiro. We’ll be rooting for you.
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