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Wednesday evening, Lou Dobbs shocked many when he announced that he was leaving CNN. Dobbs, who has been attacked for anti-immigrant rhetoric, said he was quitting "to engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day." Media outlets, however, reported tension between an outspoken Dobbs and CNN, which appears interested in carving out a market share in less-opinionated cable news. According to The New York Times, CNN told Dobbs he could either "vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN." Obviously, as The Times notes, "he chose opinion."

Initially, the reaction from liberal groups and bloggers was predictably celebratory. Media Matters president Eric Burns, for example, said it was "a happy day for all those who care about this nation of immigrants and believe in the power of media to elevate the political discourse." But some pundits on the left fear that Dobbs will seek a bigger platform for his anti-immigrant views, perhaps on Fox News, where many speculate he will reappear. Here's what they expect from Lou Dobbs's next act:

  • Dobbs On the Loose The New Republic's Jason Zengerle says CNN didn't do the country any favors by nudging Dobbs out the door. CNN, he writes, is "like a quarantine for dangerously demagogic talk show hosts." Now, he says, Dobbs is free to join forces with groups and networks who will encourage the anchor's "xenophobic, birther-conspiracy-mongering" sensationalism instead of checking it.
Now that Klein has released Dobbs from the CNN quarantine, what's to stop Lou from teaming up with Ailes, who is reportedly considering him for the Fox Business Channel? And then, well, we've already seen this play before. Anyone want to bet that a year from now, Dobbs will be flourishing with millions of viewers at Fox and the whole country will be a lot worse off for it? And CNN, of course, will still be mired in last place--which would be perfect, save for the fact that, thanks to Klein, Beck and Dobbs won't be stuck there with them.
  • Dobbs-Palin 2012? At FireDogLake, the Thers announces: "Lou Dobbs likely to annoy nation in new capacity." Thers is worried Dobbs may be headed for political office. "A Fox News gig seems likeliest, but it's just possible that he has his gimlet eyes set on the political sphere -- maybe even the Senate! And that would be great!" he writes. "Because if there's on thing we need, it would finally be to get an angry old paranoid white guy who yells a lot and gets stuff wrong into the Senate. It's a sadly underrepresented demographic." At The Washington Monthly, Steve Benen takes it further. "Sounds a bit like someone considering a run for public office (Dobbs/Palin '12?)" he suggests.
  • The Fox News Dream Team Azaria Jagger of Gawker says Dobbs is likely to move into an even more outspoken role at Fox News. "Between the additions of mustachioed libertarian John Stossel and ebullient racist cowboy Don Imus, FBN's on a hiring spree," she writes. "Dobbs would be a perfect fit; one mere lifetime ago, he was a well-respected business reporter, after all. The fact that he went off the rails into right-wing demagoguery will only sweeten this deal."
  • Dobbs Will Be Back Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog predicts that Dobbs "either ends up at FOX or runs for office. Either way, he's not done spewing his hate."
  • Clearly, He's Being Deported to Mexico Satirical newspaper The Onion reports that Dobbs had a secret all along:
Acting on anonymous tips from within the Hispanic-American community, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Wednesday deported Luis Miguel Salvador Aguila Dominguez, who has been living illegally in the United States under the name Lou Dobbs for 48 years.

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