Opinionated ex-host of ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight’ told Bill O’Reilly on Monday night that the election of Barack Obama was partly to blame for his departure from CNN.
“I don’t know whether that [Obama taking office] was the distinction that triggered any sort of response or a difference in perspective on the part of CNN’s management, but it is the only difference between the way I was conducting myself under this administration and the previous administration.”
The self-proclaimed “Mr. Independent” who has been repeatedly criticized for using his eponymous show to express his strong views – most recently on illegal immigration and President Obama’s place of birth – parted ways with CNN, the supposedly neutral network, last week.
The New York Post claims that CNN execs were eager to push the last original CNN anchor out and paid Dobbs $8 million to leave.
But according to the Associated Press, when Dobbs was asked if he was bullied out, he responded, “Not at all, I don’t know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting. I spent 29 years there and I wish everyone there nothing but the best.”
As with all partings, there are many sides to the story. On his radio show, Dobbs said that he was asked by CNN President Jon Klein to tone down his personal opinions and make it more of a straightforward newscast. But after months of trying, it didn’t work for anybody.
“What they do is their business,” said Dobbs. “I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I’ve said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being. I have strong views about a lot of issues that are important to the country and I think are important to my audience.”
His fans may not have to wait long to hear the passionate newscaster air his thoughts once more. There has been speculation that he’s already in talks with ultra-conservative, Fox News, which Dobbs denies is occurring.
Instead, he wants to do right by some of the hoards of people he’s infuriated over the years. “I’m going to reach out to everyone with whom I’ve had a disagreement and see if there’s a way in which we can calmly and dispassionately discuss our differences and talk about solutions,” he said.
But could the next step for Dobbs be a run for office of some sort – maybe Southern California where he can see his border patrolling views to fruition?
He neither denies nor confirms these suspicions, but he does say: “I know certain things that are immutable and one of them is that I’m going to be engaged in the public arena.”