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The departure of Lou Dobbs from CNN after 30 years leaves the network in a state of programming irrelevancy.

For years there has been just one reason to tune in to CNN. His name was Lou Dobbs.

What makes Lou Dobbs so special is his independence and fearlessness. Dobbs clearly set his own agenda. He had no interest in the “conventional wisdom” of his industry. Dobbs thinks like a real American newsman – a throwback to an age when journalists actually believed they were watchdogs of government and asked tough questions in the interests of the people.

When virtually his entire profession and elites in all the other political and cultural institutions of our time were making excuses for allowing tens of millions of illegal aliens to occupy our country, Lou Dobbs was alone in his focus on the issue critical to America’s safety and security.

When virtually his entire profession and elites in all the other political and cultural institutions of our time were making excuses for Barack Obama’s unwillingness to prove his constitutional eligibility to serve in the White House by simply showing the American people his long-form birth certificate, Lou Dobbs was alone in asking why.

Even this week, when virtually his entire profession and elites in all the other political and cultural institutions of our time were in denial that what happened at Fort Hood was a completely avoidable terrorist attack if only political correctness didn’t rule the day, Lou Dobbs was alone in stating the obvious.

Someone this good will be picked up soon by another network or news organization, right?

Sadly, I’m not so sure.

Let me be the first to say I would be proud to work with Lou Dobbs. He’s got his pick of assignments here at WND. I would be honored to work for him – and it’s been a long time since I worked for anyone.

Many assume the Fox News Channel will gobble him up.

Again, I’m not so sure.

I hope so.

But Lou Dobbs marches to the beat of his own drummer. I’m not so sure Fox is that daring.

We’ll see.

But until Dobbs lands somewhere with a high profile and real visibility, there will be a tremendous void in the American news media landscape.

His voice is desperately needed.

More than any other newsman of his stature and his era, Lou Dobbs is what American journalism is supposed to be about.

I’ve never met him. I’ve been a guest on his radio show a few times. He’s not a friend – though I wish he were. I’m just telling you what I observe.

I believe Lou Dobbs sees his job in the great tradition of American journalism – comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. He exposes corruption, fraud, waste and abuse in government and other powerful institutions. That’s what the entire press is supposed to do. It’s sad that so few of us actually do it.

America needs Lou Dobbs.

It needs more people like him.

That doesn’t mean I always agree with him.

But he is credible, sincere and has the best interests of his country and his profession at heart.

I can pay no greater tribute to a colleague than that.

He seeks the truth – not just “fairness” and “balance.”

That’s the highest calling of any newsman.

Despite the information explosion of the last 15 years, Lou Dobbs will be missed for whatever length of time he is away from that anchor chair.

We need his voice – now more than ever.

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