Outsourcing Smackdown!

In the protectionist corner, Lou Dobbs. In the free trade corner, James Glassman. Round two: Lou Dobbs and James Glassman are taking off the gloves. The CNN talk show host and the Washington Post columnist went at it last month in a strikingly personal debate on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” And that was before things really got heated. Dobbs has mounted a sustained electronic assault — a “crusade,” as the Wall Street Journal put it — against American companies that send jobs overseas. The “Exporting America” series drew a sharp rebuke from Glassman, an American Enterprise Institute fellow, who argues that trade benefits the economy and that Dobbs has become “a table-thumping protectionist.” Now Glassman is taking aim at Dobbs’s $199-a-year newsletter, saying it is praising companies such as Boeing and General Electric that are on Dobbs’s own CNN list of more than 200 firms he accuses of exporting jobs. “I find it hypocritical for him not just to be recommending these companies but to be praising them to the skies,” Glassman says, calling Dobbs “disingenuous.” Pitchfork Pat Buchanan has nothing on Lou. Take this: “Mr. Glassman should not infer from that criticism that I’d like to shut down the public exchanges and strip these companies of their charges. Perhaps we should let them stay in business while they improve their performance.” Perhaps we should let them stay in business? (Missed round one? Here it is: CNN Transcript)