Lou Dobbs: “If You’re Not Engaged In The System, You’re A Damn Fool”

By Gail Shister 

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Lou Dobbs‘ recent tonsillectomy hasn’t dulled his ability to just say no.

Will he talk about the operation?
No.

Will he talk about how he quit smoking?
No.

Will he talk about Fox News’ Shep Smith, his soon-to-be competition at 7pmET?
What do you think?

“We don’t focus on who is doing what on other channels,” says Dobbs. “We never have. It’s not productive. We’re just excited to have the opportunity to reach a larger audience.”

Well, maybe he’ll throw us a bone about one-day-old Fox Business Network…

“You’ve always got to give Roger Ailes his due. He’s a terrific competitor. He’s up against a strongly entrenched network in CNBC. It’s going to be an interesting competition to watch.”


Dobbs’ move from 6pmET is part of CNN’s programming strategy to ratchet up political coverage. It’s no coincidence that the new lineup debuts Nov. 5 — one year before the ’08 election.

Ditto for Dobbs’ latest dialectic about the beleaguered middle class, Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit.

In the book, Dobbs examines “some of the things we have to overcome in the political system to make changes in 2008 for the welfare of the country.”

Speaking of independents, some journalists — ABC News political director Mark Halperin, for one — say media folk should not vote as a way to protect their objectivity.

Nay, nay, nay, says Dobbs.

“I always vote. If you want to look for conflicts, you can always find them. It’s naval gazing. It’s a bore.

“If you’re not engaged in the system, you’re a damn fool. Everybody is engaged; journalists are engaged, neurosurgeons are engaged. It’s specious, silly nonsense. It’s very yesterday.”

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