7 a.m.: Our story exposing Lou Dobbs’ use of undocumented labor goes live on our site, The Nation’s website, and in Spanish on El Diario’s.
9 a.m.: Reporter Isabel Macdonald runs back to the office after doing NPR’s The Takeawayand Democracy Now! Joy Behar on CNN had done a sneak preview of the piece the night before, on which Huffington Post’s Roy Sekoff pointed out that Dobbs, just like other anti-immigrant conservatives, “want to deport them but not until dinner’s been served, the lawn has been mowed, and the car has been washed.”
12 noon: Our Twitter feed has gone crazy. Romenesko, Olbermann, and David Carr are all tweeting it. The Huffingon Post has it front-paged; Politico calls it a “PR bomb” for Dobbs;Salon gleefully announces that Isabel Macdonald “nails [Dobbs] to the wall”; and it’s getting picked up by dailies such as the New York Daily News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Los Angeles Times, which, after making a passing comparison to fellow immigration hard-liner Meg Whitman, says “Dobbs is the worse offender — in a league with Thomas Jefferson, who eloquently railed against slavery while indulging in the practice himself.” Univision, AOL Latino, MSN Latino and other Spanish-language news sites are abuzz.
2 p.m.: Lou Dobbs invites Macdonald onto his radio show to discuss her piece. My favorite part is when he seconds her suggestion that his listeners read the article for themselves: “She wants you to read the article — so do I. Go to thenation.com.” At one point Dobbs says, in reference to one undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, “Not only did I not hire him directly, I didn’t hire him indirectly.” But that’s exactly what you did, Lou: you hired him indirectly through your contractor.
Third cup of coffee — not sure what time it is anymore: Michael Tomasky at the Guardiancalls the story “un-freakin-believable” in a piece headlined “Lou Dobbs, Evil Idiot.” By the end of the work day, I counted USA Today, Time, CBS News, CNN, The Washington Independent,Slate, the Atlantic Wire, New York magazine, the New York Post, The Associated Press, UPI,The New York Observer, NPR, and literally hundreds of other outlets. (Try typing “Dobbs” into Google News — it’s surround sound.) Dobbs’ only defense seems to be that he personally didn’t hire any undocumented workers, but that’s not what our story alleges anyway — our focus was his landscape contractor in Florida and the tony horse stable he pays to care for his million-dollar horses. On Twitter, Dobbs is resorting to blaming “the liberal media” and that “left wing house organ,” The Nation. That’s because the facts are on our side.
10 p.m. tonight: Planning to pour a stiff drink and catch our gutsy reporter Isabel inMacdonald v. Dobbs, the Rematch, on MSNBC’s The Last Word, tonight at 10 p.m. EST. Tune in with me.