Watch CBSN Live

Dubai To Dobbs: Shut Up. Dobbs To Dubai: No.

In what liberals are calling a "rare display of cojones by the MSM," CNN's Lou Dobbs has publicly called out the state-owned Dubai Ports World, the company at the center of the ports controversy, for trying to get CNN to silence him:
"Dubai Ports World tonight is making what I consider to be a rather astonishing new attempt to silence me and our coverage of this ports deal and our reporting of what at least I consider to be legitimate national security concerns about this transaction. Dubai Ports World has actually refused to grant CNN anymore interviews from Washington or London, and it's refused to allow CNN to videotape its operations in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong if we were to show you the video on this broadcast."
He also said that this was "not the first time that Dubai Ports World has tried to silence" him, and added the following:
"Well, let me assure you that this latest attempt to silence our reporting and to explore the national security interests just like their last effort won't succeed. CNN's management, to its great credit, says it won't comply with any of Dubai Port World's demands, and I'll guarantee you that we're going to continue to report on the facts of this deal, we're going to continue to analyze it, we're going to continue to absolutely scrutinize our elected officials and administration officials who, in some cases, are not being straightforward about the national security interests and the reasons motivating this deal."
AMERICAblog has "a little advice" for Dubai: "In developed democracies the government doesn't get to tell the media to shut up or else."

Crooks and Liars has the video if you'd like to watch the rather indignant Dobbs yourself, who, as the Associated Press's David Bauder points out, has been "on attack" over the issue. There are two issues here: Dubai Ports World's tactics and Dobbs' crusade. The former is a no-brainer: Dubai Ports World was ham-handed, and they've hurt their cause. The latter seems more complicated. Is there a clear line between Dobbs the editorialist and Dobbs the reporter? Do we care? Dobbs told AP he believes "the issues are too important to feign any kind of neutrality, or pretend to some objectivity that simply doesn't exist. I'm not one of those journalists who's interested in doing he said-she said journalism. You know as a journalist, the truth is not about fair and balanced." Countered the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor, in the same article: "He and I have different views about what journalists are supposed to do. To me, you're either an advocate or a journalist. You shouldn't pretend to be both."