Mad as Hell

Lou Dobbs’s populist crusade.

  1. Regular viewers of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” on CNN, might be surprised at the venue that Dobbs chose for lunch not long ago: the Grill Room of the Four Seasons, a midtown bastion of the very same political and business “élites” that he denounces daily on his television program. The Four Seasons is the enduring commissary of the Old Guard, where Henry Kissinger waves to the former Citigroup C.E.O. Sandy Weill, there is limo-lock at the side door, and the regulars have their checks sent to the office. Dobbs’s Town Car left him at the door, on East Fifty-second Street, and the restaurant’s co-owner, Julian Nicolini, embraced him that day as warmly as when he welcomed, among others, Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and C.E.O. of the Blackstone Group; Nelson Peltz, the C.E.O. of Trian Partners; Edgar Bronfman, Sr., the former chairman and C.E.O. of Seagram; and Mortimer Zuckerman, the real-estate developer and publisher of the News. Nicolini led Dobbs to one of five choice banquettes, and Dobbs settled in, looking very much at home.

    Dobbs is sixty-one, and his chubby face has a rosy glow. His blond hair is lacquered in place, his black wing tips are impeccably buffed. Other club members having lunch that day—the Nobel Prize winner James Watson, Bronfman, Peltz, the movie producer Harvey Weinstein—stopped at the table to say hello. It is the kind of welcome that one might have expected for an earlier incarnation of Lou Dobbs—the Harvard-educated anchor of CNN’s “Moneyline,” which in t...