Lou Dobbs opened his syndicated radio show on Thursday laughing off the Nation’s report, published earlier in the day, claiming that Dobbs employed illegal immigrants at his homes in New Jersey and Florida, even as he spoke out against others who did.
“Welcome everybody, I’m delighted to have you with us,” Dobbs said at the top of the show, laughing. “We’re going to have an unusual show.”
First, Dobbs announced the birth of a new granddaughter. "My daughter Heather gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Sarah, at 9 a.m. this morning."
“I was going to take the day off,” Dobbs said, but the calls about the Nation’s article “kept coming and coming.”
“The Nation put together a fairly typical hit piece, a smear piece,” he said.
Isabel Macdonald, the author of the Nation report, was Dobbs’ first guest.
“This article was 100% fact-checked, legally-vetted,” Macdonald told Dobbs.
“Have I or the Dobbs Group or any of my companies ever hired an illegal immigrant?” Dobbs asked Macdonald.
“No, but your contractors did,” Macdonald responded.
According to the Nation, Dobbs “relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.”
“You understand my sensitivity going after my 22-year-old daughter,” Dobbs told Macdonald. “That doesn’t sit well with me.”
Macdonald urged Dobbs’ listeners to go to TheNation.com and read the article for themselves.
“This is a hit piece, and the national media played right along with it,” Dobbs said after the Macdonald segment. "The mainstream media picked it up and never called me." (Later in the show, Dobbs said he planned to call CNN president Ken Jautz to ask for a retraction of an assertion on the "Joy Behar Show" that he had hired illegal immigrants.)
He called the Nation a "left-wing, activist, advocacy publication" and criticized media outlets for not pointing that out in their coverage of its claims. "The Nation does what it does; you expect them to do this sort of nonsense."
Dobbs then blasted the Associated Press for running the headline "Report: Lou Dobbs Hired Illegal Labor."
"We just had the reporter on, who admitted neither I nor my company ever hired anybody." Dobbs also laughed at the notion that Dobbs should have checked the status of his employees himself. "Can you imagine the public relations nightmare if I started doing that?"
He added: "I have never nor will I ever hire illegal immigrants. I have never hired an illegal immigrant in my life and my companies have never hired an illegal immigrant. Ever."