The Magazine

No Amnesty for Lepers

Hansen's Disease is a cancer on America.

Jul 16, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 41 • By JOE QUEENAN
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"Dobbs is engaging in a kind of hale-fellow-well-met way, but he's still basically your chubby, middle-aged, blow-dried newsman," says Chick Gallagher, a media trainer specializing in finding work for news anchors with bad skin. "But CNN has an ancient audience, and as Americans get older and their vision gets weaker, I'm not sure that most viewers would even notice if a leper was manning The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper would probably put a few perky leper correspondents on his show just to remind the public that he's a champion of the sick, as well the poor, the black, the Hispanic, and the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa. So this could all come down to one thing: Lou Dobbs isn't so much afraid of illegal aliens with leprosy; he's afraid of illegal aliens with pizazz!

"And, if you've seen his show lately, you can understand why."

Joe Queenan is the author, most recently, of Queenan Country: A Reluctant Anglophile's Pilgrimage to the Mother Country.