When the news came the other day that Peter Gourevitch was leaving the esteemed Paris Review, we thought nothing of it. Now, with Lou Dobbs' surprise exit from CNN , it all seems as clear as a George Plimpton essay.
Just read Dobb’s farewell speech:
"Over the past six months, it's become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us," Dobbs said early in the program. "Some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving, as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day, and to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible."
How could it be clearer?! He said he’s being urged to “go beyond” and “engage in constructive problem solving.” What would be more likely to lead to international rapprochement of the big issues of the day – of the millennium – than for him to take the reins of the world's -- and perhaps the universe's -- premiere intellectual journal? And what language is more "honest and direct" than French?! When they say "non," they mean it, and heck, the French didn't even have a "w" until about twenty years ago.
“It’s hard,” Dobbs went on, shedding a tear that glistened in the harsh studio lights, “because Peter (Gourevitch) is a dear friend, and, let’s face it, my French is not what it should be. "Comme d’habitude.* The Dobbster will just have to buy a copy of Rosetta Stone and get to work. I'll be the young farm boy and the world will be my Italian model. This voice will not be silenced!”
When, though an open studio mike, a production assistant was heard to tell Dobbs that if he moved to France, Dobbbs would technically be an immigrant, Dobbs replied, "No, I won't. I'm a citizen of the world." He later added that he loves the French horn, and doesn't care if Richard Dreyfus did have an affair.
Dobbs’ replacement will be named Thursday. Is it too much to hope that Mr. Gourevitch will take over Lou’s empty chair? Some are already saying it’s a done deal. Watch this space.
(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!)
*That’s French for “as usual.” –Ed.