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Lou Dobbs Defends Himself Against Illegal Worker Charges

Oct 8, 2010

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Frank James

Lou Dobbs pushed back against The Nation investigative piece, headlined in part "American Hypocrite", which charged that he used undocumented workers to do landscaping on his estate and to care for the horses his daughter rides competitively.

Dobbs' defense seems to be that he didn't do anything illegal and that his businesses never hired any illegal workers.

The other part of his defense seems to be to throw up a lot of chaff, as he did in an appearance on MSNBC in "The Last Word With in Lawrence O'Donnell." There he faced his accuser, Nation reporter Isabel MacDonald.

For instance, he essentially said a few times that The Nation was a liberal publication that was attacking him. Not that it should matter, he said. But clearly, he was hoping that he could just spin the article as a partisan attack.

Here's an exchange from the program that gives a taste of how much twisting Dobbs did to defend himself:

MACDONALD:  The testimony that I got from the workers who've labored on his estate and labored with his show jumping horses.  I think we need to — we need to be clear that Lou is splitting hairs here, Lawrence.

He has —

O'DONNELL:  Well wait.  This is — this is pretty simple.  Lou, as she says, there are people she has spoken to who have worked at your home who are illegal.  That means you've hired these illegal workers working at your home, doesn't it?  If what they are telling her is true.

DOBBS:  I think you're — I — I would say that that is categorically wrong.  It fails logically and — and just straight forward causality.

The only person who would have been an illegal in any context would have been a landscaper who was working for the contractor working on my house in Florida.  That may have happened.  But that isn't my employee nor is it the reason I would  have contracted with that landscaper.

And to suggest I hired the person who is illegal if, indeed she can document there was someone illegal, is an absurdity.  I absolutely did not.

As MacDonald pointed out to Dobbs, the broadcaster used to routinely lambaste people, like homeowners, who used the kind of defense he has trotted out.

But Dobbs remained combative throughout, apparently under the assumption that the best defense was a good offense.

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