Wrong Portrayal of Indian-Americans/India by Mr. Lou Dobbs

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We, the undersigned, believe the image of the Indian-American community in the US, and the expanded viewing audience of CNN in India, has been tarnished by the programs run on your network - particularly the Exporting America series run on Lou Dobbs Tonight. The program continuously and deliberately generates hatred towards the Indian-American community and India by falsely portraying Indians as job-stealers and holds the Indian-American community directly responsible for the unemployment in the US. The program insults the Indian-American community by generalizing that Indians get jobs in America only because they are paid less, ignoring the fact that most Indian-Americans even those on H1 visa are hard-working, dedicated, have excellent skills and are hired purely on merit getting an equal pay as their American-American counterparts. The contributions of Indian-Americans which is exemplified by the late Kalpana Chawla and other hard-working Indian-American NASA engineers (who incidentally were not hired due to lower wages), the entrepreneurial skills of Vinod Khosla who co-founded Sun Microsystems and Sabeer Bhatia who founded hotmail go completely unmentioned.

For the many millions of Indians and Indian-Americans, CNN indeed is The Most trusted Name in News. Every day tens of millions of Indians (both in India and in America) tune automatically to CNN to get an unbiased opinion and know the real deal of current events. CNN in turn has an obligation to provide responsible journalistic coverage and has an obligation not to create an atmosphere of harassment, intimidation and hostility towards the Indian-American community and hatred towards India among its viewing public.

CNN through Lou Dobbs Tonight has failed to provide balance in reporting to enable the viewing public to discern the advantages of outsourcing on the US economy and the contributions of Indian-Americans to the US economy. Many of the skillful Indian-American entrepreneurs have set up shop in America Creating American jobs a point which is completely glossed over by Mr. Dobbs as well as other CNN programs. By all accounts America wouldnt have become the centre of the Internet revolution and unemployment in US wouldnt have dropped to historic lows in the first place, but for the Indian-American contribution.

The host Mr. Dobbs seems to have a personal contempt against the Indian-American community and H1/L1 visa holders and is propagating the same through his hour-long program everyday on CNN. He intends to scare the American public and in-turn hate Indian-Americans by broadcasting false reports like H1 visa is initially valid for 5 years and can be extended giving an impression that this visa can be extended indefinitely whereas the truth is that H1 visa are initially issued for 3 years and can be extended to a maximum of 6 years. This report on H1 visa was also repeatedly carried on CNN Headlines.

Mr. Dobbs's coverage on such crucial topics is certainly biased because it doesn't report on the other side of the story. And due to a covert, implied bias on topics such as "Exporting America," "Borderless America," a strong anti-immigrant tenor is very much evident. Mr. Dobbs doesn't even represent the economics involved behind such topics of interest, rather, he merely trumpets the issue with a seething anti-immigrant rhetoric. We must admit that Mr. Dobbs's coverage on Tonight is devoid of micro/macro economics and seems to be more like a diluted version of Mr. O'Reilly's show at FNC. If Mr. Dobbs cannot add gravitas to his program by delving deeper into the economics realm, either CNN should change its host or the name of the program itself. Failure to carry an in-depth analysis of the business and economics in his program is one of the reason why he takes recourse to much inflammatory topics. It would behoove well for Mr. Dobbs and CNN if the rhetoric can be toned down and an honest attempt be made to present the program with some real economic number$, instead of resorting to soporific litany of verbose prose on immigrants and Indians in general.

It is sad to see The Most Trusted Name In News propagating such hate-propaganda and intending to create mass-hysteria in America against the Indian-Americans just to be up in the ratings-game.

We the undersigned protest the continuing derogatory, degrading, inflammatory and absolutely false portrayal of India and Indian-American in the program Lou Dobbs Tonight.

We pray for relief and rectification and request the following:
1.An official apology broadcast in a future Lou Dobbs Tonight program by CNN anchorman Mr. Dobbs, mentioning the contributions of Indian-Americans to the American economy, and correcting the perception that Indian-Americans are low-paid job-stealers.
2.This petition in its entirety be put on CNNs Tonight web-page.
3.A concerted and conscientious effort by CNN to include the voices of Indian-Americans and Indians to offer a more broad-based perspective on all programs particularly those programs about US job losses which point finger on the Indian-American/Indian community.
4.A concerted and conscientious effort on behalf of CNN to control radical, offensive, and hate-generating remarks made by CNN anchormen, staff, and speakers.
5.If Mr. Dobbs refuses to tone down the rhetoric we request a change of anchor be made for the "Tonight" program.

We will be constrained to create awareness on this issue and may move the offices of the Indian media to seek for a boycott of CNN within India as well as within the Indian community in the United States, if CNN does not redress this grievance of ours, especially with regards to Mr. Dobbs's partisan coverage.