06/29/04 — Lou Dobbs: On both sides of ‘outsourcing’

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Lou Dobbs: On both sides of ‘outsourcing’

Lou Dobbs, a popular CNN business news announcer, has met himself coming down the other side of the street.

Dobbs has been on an almost nightly crusade against U.S. companies that export jobs — profiting by using cheap foreign labor at the expense of displaced American workers. His CNN Web site lists some 800 companies he criticizes for “offshoring.”

But Dobbs also publishes Lou Dobbs Money Letter, which is circulated to private subscribers across the country, giving advice on investments.

The stated mission of his newsletter is to present to readers people and companies that “bring a lot of value to the table” by running good businesses, looking after their employees and caring about their shareholders.

But Columbia Journalism Review took a look at Dobbs’ Web site list of the offshoring “bad guys” and his newsletter’s introduction of the folks wearing white hats — well-run businesses that look after their employees and their stockholders.

More than half of the companies Dobbs’ newsletter praised and recommended also appeared on his list of offshoring offenders.

Interviewed on the subject by The Wall Street Journal, Dobbs promised to be more sensitive to the concerns of critics in future issues of the newsletter. He said he would make sure that any offshoring record would be mentioned in articles on companies featured in subsequent issues.

But he also noted that under today’s circumstances, it is almost impossible to invest in good companies that aren’t sending some jobs overseas.

Just who is that fellow Lou Dobbs happened to meet — coming down the other side of the street?

Published in Editorials on June 29, 2004 11:15 AM