When I worked there, as co-host of “Crossfire,” CNN was known as “America’s most trusted news network.”

And rightfully so. Alone among the cables, you could count on CNN to deliver the news right down the middle. Yes, there were commentators on the right and the left, but the anchors played it straight and stories with no legitimacy never made it to air.

Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Lou Dobbs has changed all that. And Jon Klein, CNN’s president, is letting him get away with it.

When he came back to the network, after a failed Internet business venture, Dobbs was something new for CNN: an anchor who freely gave his own opinions. That made a lot of people, including me, uncomfortable — but at least Dobbs was pontificating on legitimate issues, like immigration and the economic crisis.

For the last couple of weeks, however, Dobbs has gone off the deep end. He’s become a big “birther,” raising questions about whether President Obama was really born in Hawaii and might therefore be an illegal president.

That whole issue, whipped up by crazies like Alan Keyes, is utter nonsense. The Hawaii Department of Health has produced his genuine birth certificate. Two Honolulu newspapers reported his birth the day after he was delivered. CNN’s Kitty Pilgrim, filling in for Dobbs on his own show, categorically debunked the whole birther movement. But as soon as Dobbs returned, he stirred it up again — no doubt encouraged by Jon Klein’s telling the Los Angeles Times that questions about the legitimacy of Obama’s citizenship were a “legitimate” issue.

Now, that’s the kind of mindless partisan crap you expect from Fox News. But not, until now, CNN.

What I want to know is: Dobbs or no Dobbs, CNN will never be trusted by the lunatic fringe that watches Fox News. So why is CNN letting Lou Dobbs destroy the network’s reputation for honest reporting?

Visit Mr. Press's website at billpressshow.com.