Part one of Sharpton and Lewis vs. TV minuteman Lou Dobbs
I don't know what CNN's resident nativist Lou Dobbs thought he was doing when he invited the Rev. Al Sharpton and ACORN's Bertha Lewis on his program yesterday. But suffice it to say that the bottle-blond senior citizen got owned on his own show by Lewis and Sharpton, who were there to attack Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his racial profiling shenanigans under the federal 287(g) program.
The verbal bitch-slapping began from jump, with Lewis doing the slapping, and Dobbs being the, well, you know. Check this exerpt from the show's transcript:
DOBBS: Let's start. This is unusual and this investigation started with a call, Bertha, for an investigation by four Democratic senators -- excuse me -- Congressmen which looks on its face to be politicization of the U.S. Justice Department.
BERTHA LEWIS, CEO, ACORN: It didn't start there. It started two years ago. Sheriff Arpaio has been doing his reign of terror for a very long time.
DOBBS: Did you just say reign of terror?
LEWIS: Absolutely, I mean that.
LEWIS: It's been arresting people simply because of the color of their skin, or their language. You can't tell whether someone is legal or illegal, you know. And he's using 287-G so the outcry that had come up from citizens across Maricopa County forced these Democrats to at least take some action and the Department of Justice has him under investigation.
Part two of the TV donnybrook.
It continued on from there with Lewis and Sharpton ceding zero ground to Dobbs on the subject. I loved the part where Dobbs spat the blarney that ACORN is under investigation in 13 states.
DOBBS: Have you met [Arpaio]?
LEWIS: I've met him by his work. Our members in Arizona have been arrested time and time again; African-Americans who have been here for a long time.
DOBBS: What do you suppose would be said about ACORN, you're being investigated in 13 states, for crying out loud.
LEWIS: Oh, I'm glad you brought that up. That's not true. Check the facts. It's not true. You can get on the phone right now, call the Department of Justice.
DOBBS: I didn't say anything about the Justice Department.
LEWIS: ACORN is not being investigated anywhere in any state. You don't have your facts correct. If you're talking about people being prosecuted individuals, we are assisting in their prosecution so ACORN is not under investigation and has not been.
We asked the Justice Department in October, they confirmed it again and again, and you know what? Give them a call.
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DOBBS: We will. We'll do it. And I certainly will and I assure you it will be early tomorrow morning. How's that?
LEWIS: That's good.
Sharpton was excellent as well, but a bit muted by comparison with Lewis. Still, I'd like to see either Lewis or Sharpton on the same show as Arpaio. The old man wouldn't know what hit him.
Dennis Gilman's posted the Televised donnybrook on YouTube, with his own running commentary on Dobbs' various inaccuracies. (Keep your eyes on the scrolling headlines below the talking heads.) It's must-viewing for all Arpaio-watchers, con and pro.