The New and Improved Lou Dobbs

In a book review for The Times by David Sirota, Lou Dobbs reveals a new side, one that possibly panders to the audience at CNN and conjures questions disingenuousness, as the anchor was never a champion of the little man until recently.

"Dobbs seems an unlikely general to lead this fight. A financial journalist, he was the longtime anchor of CNN’s 'Moneyline,' where, as The Wall Street Journal noted, 'his opinions generally were seen as unabashedly pro-business,'" writes Sirota.

Pro-business and Wall Street are hardly bastions of liberalism or known for championing the causes of the middle class. Clearly, something brought about an epiphany for the anchor. Aside from the cynical thought that market forces drove the 180 degree change, what caused the anchor to be born anew?

"That changed when Dobbs returned after a two-year hiatus from CNN and revealed a new personality: the pinstriped populist. His current program, 'Lou Dobbs Tonight'… follows his book’s central thesis: 'Our political, business and academic elites are waging an outright war on Americans,'" wrote Sirota.

With recurrent shape-shifting of television personalities, often the viewer is left with a deep sense that personalities have ulterior motives, a play for Q scores. "Q Score is asking people whether they like an actor or a TV series. If they like it, Q Score wants to know why; if they don't, Q Score is even more eager to find out why -- because the data could help the producers make changes to the show, saving it from cancellation," wrote John Dempsey in a Variety article.

Not suprisingly, TV news personalities are judged in the same categories. Important to note, CNN is favored by viewers with left of center sympathies. So in this vein, Dobbs could be playing to his crowd.

But for all of this hypothesizing, Sirota writes Dobbs' book is true to its cause. "He examines this economic war in chapters on wages, corruption, trade, outsourcing, immigration and health care, showing how moneyed interests devise policies that harm the public, and offering up his own set of solutions," wote Sirota which are all genuine concerns of the middle class.

"The book is driven by Dobbs’s seething yet remarkably matter-of-fact style. His refreshing prose, like his on-air persona, combines seemingly unmixable ingredients — one part Ted Koppel authority, one part Bill O'Reilly bluster and one part Howard Beale 'I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore' outrage," wrote Sirota.

If Sirota's last description of Lou Dobbs comprised of "part Bill O'Reilly" is correct, then Dobbs might have remade in himself in the mold of his conservative counterpart; he just shifted the populist message a little to the left, seizing on an open market.

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