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Lou Dobbs And Bill O’Reilly Commiserate Over The Difficulties Of Hiring Legal Workers

Reported by Ellen - October 9, 2010 -

After years of railing against illegal immigration and the employers who hire undocumented workers, Lou Dobbs has been caught with his own hand in the undocumented-worker cookie jar. In the wake of the harsh media spotlight, Dobbs took to The O’Reilly Factor last night (10/8/10) where he and anti-Immigrant ranter Bill O’Reilly lamented how hard it is for guys like them to make sure their workers are legal. Yes, the rich are different. They take a pass for doing what they make money off attacking others for doing. Or, as O’Reilly put it, “I’m not going around, climbing up on the ladder, saying, ‘Jose, can I see your passport?’ I mean, if I did that, I’d be a racial profiling guy.”

On a certain level, it makes perfect sense that Dobbs would hire illegal workers and, as The Nation reported, pay them less than a decent wage, too. After all, this is the guy who made much of his dough exploiting illegal immigrants on the air. Why wouldn’t he do it off the air as well? But it was more than a little surprising to me - especially considering that the Dobbs news broke right in the middle of Meg Whitman’s “maid-gate" - that Dobbs displayed absolutely no outrage or shock. I don't know about you, but I'd be more than a little indignant if I staked my reputation on this issue only to find out that a company I employed to hire a slew of workers had made a fool out of me. Unless I suspected as much all along and had turned a blind eye to it.

Instead of taking any responsibility for the illegal workers hired by the company he contracts with to take care of his horses, the stables, the grounds and gardens Dobbs said, “It appears to be the case. I have no knowledge of it. We have asked for guarantees that it wouldn’t happen… We go to great lengths to make certain it just doesn’t happen.” Or to cover his you-know-what. The Nation found not one, not two but five illegal workers who had worked for Dobbs.

O’Reilly never asked what "great lengths" Dobbs went to but was sympathetic. “And I want to just tell the audience that I have almost the same problem," O'Reilly said. "... I subcontract out, too and I have people that come in… and I don’t go around asking for their passports and taking fingerprints. I trust the company. I say to the company, ‘I want all legal workers,’ …and ‘Oh, yes, Mr. O’Reilly, they are all legal.’ …But I’m not going around climbing up on the ladder saying, ‘Jose, can I see your passport?’ I mean, if I did that, I’d be a racial profiling guy.”

“Exactly,” Dobbs said. “And that is essentially what The Nation is suggesting that I should have done.”

Not if you ask all your workers to provide proof of citizenship. For a guy who seems to care so much about this issue, it’s frankly surprising Dobbs didn’t.

Then, as if to prove what a good guy he is, Dobbs said he was not going to fire the landscaping company. “Not in this environment” would he be responsible for anyone losing a job, he said. “And that’s their responsibility.” Right. It’s their responsibility to find suitable workers which, by Dobbs’ own standards, they didn’t do.

O’Reilly advised Dobbs to give the company “one more chance.” Now Dobbs told O’Reilly he had captured “the gist of that conversation.” So if the company blew it again would Dobbs be willing to let someone go "in this economy" or would he keep an illegal worker on until the economy turns around? Again, O'Reilly didn't ask.

"Unless you’re going to do a personal body search check," O'Reilly said supportively. "I mean… You know, come on! The people, they’re doing the work for you, you’re trying to be a good guy and you’re paying ‘em good money (well, not in Dobbs’ case, according to The Nation)… Ay, yay, yay."

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