CNN host Lou Dobbs is expressing some regret for referring to former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean as a "bloodsucking leftist" who could only be stopped if one "put a stake through his heart."
In a statement to the Huffington Post on Tuesday, Dobbs made a quasi-apology, wrapped in a dig at his critics.
"I'm sorry if a Bram Stoker allusion is too literary for some, and for those who could not make what was seemingly an obvious connection, my deepest apologies and I'll gladly withdraw the latter part of my remark," Dobbs said.
The partial retreat came a day after Dobbs, appearing not on CNN but his syndicated United Stations Radio show, declared that Dean was hitting the airwaves to advance his cause of "liberal fascism."
"I thought we had gotten rid of this left-wing pest for a while," Dobbs said. "But I guess he is just resurgent. He is a blood-sucking leftist. You have got to put a stake through his heart to stop this guy. So you have to give him credit for resilience even if he is a lefty."
The progressive watchdog group Media Matters jumped all over the comment, and like-minded bloggers followed suit. In private, Dean allies are fuming at Dobbs for a comment that not only equates the former Vermont Governor to a vampire, but raises the specter of violence during an emotionally charged health care debate.
UPDATE: It looks like Dobbs' pseudo-apology won't suffice. Jim Dean, the brother of Howard and chair of the progressive group Democracy for America has penned a letter calling for CNN and the United States Radio Network to fire the host. The letter, which was sent to DFA's email list, is below.
It's time to get Lou Dobbs and his hate speech off the air.
Yesterday, our friends at Media Matters for America, who are dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media, caught Lou Dobbs promoting hate and inciting violence towards Governor Howard Dean.
With violence from right-wing extremist groups on the rise and Republican backed mobs hanging cardboard versions of members of congress in effigy, Lou Dobbs' statement is dangerous. Enough is enough.
It's time for CNN and the United Stations Radio Network to fire Lou Dobbs.
Call Now and demand Lou Dobbs be taken off the air
WATCH THE CLIP AND GET THE NUMBERS TO CALL NOW
This isn't the first time Lou Dobbs has used the air waves to promote hate and embarrass CNN.
His relentless promotion of debunked, racially charged conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate have already seriously damaged CNN's credibility. Yet, Lou Dobbs remains on the air.
Now, he's gone too far. He's not just making CNN look bad, he's inciting violence to stop Governor Dean from fighting for President Obama's health insurance option. That's not just un-American, it's irresponsible and dangerous.
It's up to us to make sure CNN and the United Stations Radio Network know we've had enough.
CALL NOW AND DEMAND LOU DOBBS BE TAKEN OFF THE AIR
This isn't just about my brother Howard; this is about the America we all want to live in.
Thank you for everything you do,
Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America