John King, a so-called veteran CNN reporter who toes the mainstream media line, will replace departing host Lou Dobbs in a new weeknight political program, according to CNN.
CNN’s naming of King as a new prime-time host follows Dobbs' abrupt resignation Wednesday before the end of his contract in 2011. The cable network has released Dobbs from his contractual obligations, so we may see him pop up on, as they say, on another network.
Various multicultural advocacy groups had attacked Dobbs for his views on illegal immigration.
King, who now is chief national political correspondent and host of Sunday political show "State of the Union," will start his new show early next year. It is destined to be a ratings flop.
But why the abrupt departure by the long-time host Dobbs?
Dobbs was not particularly well-liked at CNN, which has been marketing itself as the hard-news alternative to Fox and MSNBC.
"I think it's safe to say that he won't be missed among the rank-and-file employees at the network," a CNN staffer told Politico.
"The Dobbs show has existed in its own little universe for the last several years, in many ways cut off from the rest of the editorial process at CNN. Most people will be left wondering what this means for the primetime lineup and whether Klein can now deliver on his 'down the middle' mantra."
Down the middle means, as Beyonce would sing, “To the Left.”
Dobbs calls himself an independent with a strong populist streak. Although he didn’t mention it on his final show, a perilous incident may have influenced Dobbs to take a break. New Jersey State Police have been investigating the fact that a bullet struck Dobbs' home in rural northwest New Jersey, about 50 miles northwest of New York City.
Dobbs' wife and his driver heard a gunshot outside the host’s home around 10:25 a.m. on Oct. 5, said State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones.
A bullet hit the house near the roof but didn't penetrate the siding, then dropped to the ground outside. The bullet was given to the state police ballistics unit for testing.
Dobbs told his cable audience in late October that "a shot was fired at my house" and said it occurred after a series of threatening phone calls.
It may be small game hunting season in the area where the host lives, but the concern is over those who could be hunting Lou Dobbs.
In his farewell, Dobbs noted that major issues today are “defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion.”
“Thanks for being with us,” Dobb said in signing off his final CNN show. “As they say, 'I'll see you next on the radio.'"
Speaking of CNN, former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean threatened to walk off on a CNN talk show when Larry King demanded to know why she and Miss California pageant organizers recently settled dueling lawsuits.
King was well aware of the reports that Prejean had been shown a copy of a sex tape to induce her to settle her case.
Prejean had appeared with the understanding that discussion of her youthful indiscretion, the sexting recording, was off limits.
King treated Prejean like she was a criminal defendant.
"You sued the pageant after they fired you, they countersued, and then you accused them of a number of things including religious discrimination, clearly an issue important to you," King said. "Why did you settle? You don't have to tell me the terms of the settlement, but why settle since you had a fight to carry on?"
"Everything that was discussed in mediation,” Prejean replied. “I'll say it again, is completely confidential. I'm not, I'm not gonna be able to talk about that.”
It is routine for lawyers to insist on a confidentiality clause in most settlement agreements.
Prejean had acknowledged creating the tape for a former boyfriend. TMZ reported that pageant organizers had obtained that tape and used it as leverage in their legal negotiations with Prejean.
But King persisted, "So, you can't even say why you settled? . . . How does that break what you settled for?"
Prejean insisted it was a confidential agreement, "Larry, you're being inappropriate. You really are."
"What?" asked a shocked King, "I'm asking you a question."
Again his guest said it was confidential.
Mr. Kid Glove is clearly selective with which guests he tosses his usual softballs and when the CNN host gets his suspenders in a twist.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, commentator, media analyst, and law professor. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit: Newsmax TV Hollywood: http://www.youtube.com/user/NMHollywood.
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