Reporting the departure of the terminally indignant Lou Dobbs from CNN, his media colleagues carefully minced around the most disturbing aspect of his performance as public fulminator "the way he used CNN`s reporters as hand puppets for his views, cutting them short, twisting their reports, horsing them into acquiescing with sheepish smiles and nods to his prejudices.

CNN, for its part, should have fessed up to a failed concept, a news show that wasn`t a news show at all, an anchor who wasn`t an anchor at all, and good reporters abused by a dishonest format. CNN should have been ashamed of the Dobbs show long before it became clear his high dudgeon no longer suited the network`s image of itself as a neutral arbiter. There were times when the discomfort of the reporters was so palpable it unwittingly lured the camera away from the pervasive Dobbs.

The show was inherently smarmy. It poisoned CNN`s reporters and it made a mockery of the guests. Everyone who appeared on that show was tarnished by his use of his guests as stalking horses for his preconceptions.

But the media last week talked about Dobbs`s differences with CNN management, about his ratings, which had been falling, when every one of the reporters and commentators talking about him knew that his or her profession had been soiled by that sleazy show. And by not talking about what they all knew to be true "the disgrace of his condescending abuse of reporters "they thickened the sleaze.

Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.

His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal Latté first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.

He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.