Before today, Lou Dobbs was perhaps best known as one of the major drivers of the racist Obama birther story. After today, he will be known as the guy who endangered the life of a woman whose only “crime” was speaking out against Trump and documenting the sexual assault he had allegedly committed against her. Quite a legacy, Lou.
In what can be seen as a retaliatory measure, as well as a warning to other would-be victims, Dobbs blasted out a link to personal information of Jessica Leeds, a 74-year-old woman who told the New York Times yesterday that Trump had groped her on a flight back in the 1980s.
Rather than sympathize with the victim or, if that was too hard, merely abstain from commenting altogether, Dobbs smeared the woman. In the tweet to his 792,000 followers, he posted her phone number and home address, and tagged the post with several hashtags used by Trump supporters, ensuring it would be seen by the people most likely to act on the information.
A Fox News anchor tweeted out the purported personal information of one of Trump's accusers (blacked out here for her privacy) pic.twitter.com/LgNh5ytpIC
— Polly Mosendz (@polly) October 13, 2016
This isn’t just scummy, it’s dangerous. For months, critics of Trump have been experiencing death threats and racial slurs if they dare speak out. Journalists, whose jobs it is to cover Trump’s campaign, are often sent messages wishing bodily injury. At Trump’s rallies, Secret Service agents often must protect reporters from throngs of angry supporters.
The women now accusing Trump of sexual misconduct are now facing millions of these Trump fans who view them as costing him the election. Dobbs is stoking the fire intentionally.
He’s also passing along bad information. His link directs users to a right-wing tabloid site in which the writer alleges Leeks’ phone number is identical to the “Clinton Foundation’s phone number.” A point that is both meaningless and also wrong.
A serious news organization would likely fire a person for this level of ethical and intellectual bankruptcy. Fox News, which hired Dobbs after he had made a name for himself promoting birtherism, will likely take no action.
UPDATE: Lou Dobbs apologized for doxxing assault victim, but tags the post “Make America Great Again” for some reason.
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 13, 2016
Here are a few things he didn’t do:
- Never explained why he decided to pass along the link smearing the victim.
- Never explained how he could be tricked by a site that was so clearly not credible.
- Never explained why he would take that information and direct it specifically to Trump’s supporters.
- Never deleted the tweet.
Newspeople have been fired for a lot less than this.
Featured image via Fox Business