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Fox News Trots Out Lou Dobbs To Validate Sen. Kyl’s Disputed Accusation That Obama Used Border Security As A Bargaining Chip For Immigration Reform

Reported by Ellen - June 22, 2010 -

Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) told a group of tea partiers on Friday that Obama was using border security as a bargaining chip to pass comprehensive immigration reform. According to Kyl, Obama told him, “If we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.” Kyl told his audience, “In other words, they’re holding it hostage.” The White House has denied having made such a comment. It’s easy to imagine that Kyl misinterpreted, that Obama’s words in a larger context meant something completely different or that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. But Fox News was so eager to paint Obama as a liar willing to sell out national security for his political agenda, that they brought on virulently anti-immigrant, birther-promoting Lou Dobbs to declare Kyl the truthteller and attack Obama over immigration. Dobbs must have greatly pleased Fox News in his first appearance because they brought him back for a later, prime time encore.

It’s not as though Dobbs had any real inside knowledge of what had happened. But he wasted no time in his first outing, on America Live with Megyn Kelly, arguing that Kyl was telling the truth. “I find it fascinating that a man with Senator Kyl’s record of public service – this man… is among the straightest. This man speaks carefully, he is intellectually rigorous. To accuse this man of lying would suggest that in that one moment… he took leave of his entire record, all of his values and frankly that strains credulity to the breaking point.”

Kyl’s record is not quite as squeaky clean as Dobbs maintained but, again, it’s quite possible he was not lying but conveying a misapprehension. But Kelly seemed intent on not recognizing that possibility as she kept saying that one side or the other must be lying.

Dobbs not only believed Kyl, he thought the statement was “obvious." Dobbs added, "I don’t believe that the president, if he said this, thought that there would be any news value in it… He was just admitting the obvious.” When Kelly read a statement from the White House detailing steps Obama has taken to secure the border, Dobbs called that “laughable.”

Kelly said provocatively, “Do you think it’s possible… that it is possible we have a president… sitting there saying, ‘I’m not going to secure the border because I want comprehensive reform and I can’t get the votes I need from the GOP side unless I leave those folks down in Arizona and other southern states unsecured? I mean, people are being murdered down there!”

As if that weren’t biased enough, even though America Live is supposed to be one of Fox News’ objective news shows, Kelly later said, “You really gotta feel for Arizona, right? Because they’ve got this problem. Now they find out that, according to Sen. Kyl, the border’s not gonna get secured until comprehensive reform is passed. So they pass this law and now the DOJ is gonna challenge it.”

Dobbs returned later that evening and, basically, repeated the same talking points on Hannity.

Sean Hannity didn’t bother to give Obama the benefit of any doubt but went straight to announcing, in the introduction, that Kyl had “reveal(ed) the cynical political game the president is playing with our southern border.”

Although Hannity asked later in his introduction, “Who’s lying?” his choice of Dobbs as the sole guest (at least Kelly brought on Alan Colmes later in her show), made the answer a certainty. But Hannity must have thought we were too stupid to see the set up because he said disingenuously, “I’ve known Senator Kyl for a long time. And I have my suspicions about who I believe. But I want to hear yours.”

Some of us already had heard Dobbs’ opinion. But even those who hadn’t could probably have guessed what Dobbs would say. He repeated his comments about Kyl, this time asserting, “The man has never misstated nor misguided me at any point.”

I find it hard to believe that anyone has never misstated. But less than five minutes of searching turned up three instances when Kyl had: He falsely said Sen. John McCain had never opposed drilling offshore; he distorted Obama’s comments about “calling out” opponents of health care reform; and he got his stimulus math wrong on On The Record.

Hannity immediately dragged in the Joe Sestak case that he has been salivating over, hoping it will lead to Obama's impeachment, along with the “Louisiana Purchase,” and “The Chicago Way” as further “proof” that Obama must have lied. “It’s that typical quid pro quo,” Hannity said.

But accusing Obama of lying wasn’t enough for Hannity. “The thing is, it doesn’t seem to me the Democrats in any way, shape, matter or form are committed to securing our borders,” he said.

“It’s no longer, I think, debatable,” Dobbs said.

“What if Kyl is telling us the truth here? And the President of the United States of America will not secure our borders because he wants a bill passed?” Hannity asked, in what has to be one of the greatest “Cavuto Mark” questions ever on Fox.

“I think he’s made it very clear,” Dobbs said.

And what if Senator Kyl made up this inflammatory accusation, knowing full well he’d have a national news network get his back?

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