Did CNN Fire Rick Sanchez? Or Was It You Know Who?

Memo to CNN news hacks: Don’t fuck with Jon Stewart.

I’m not saying there is any connection, but the last time a CNN anchor went toe-to-toe with Stewart he also found himself out of job. Today Tucker Carlson is an Internet peddler of borrowed stories and Rupert Murdoch’s fluffer on Fox News.

When Rick Sanchez agreed to be interviewed today to plug his new book he probably had not planned to end his career, it was just one of those things that happens. We’ve all been through it. He just got caught up in the excitement of spewing anti-Semitic stereotypes and thought he could one-up Mel Gibson. Here is what he said:

“Everybody that runs CNN is a lot like [Jon] Stewart. And a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they – the people in this country who are Jewish – are an oppressed minority? Yeah.”

So Sanchez thinks that Jews are not victims of discrimination, and they are in control of the media. And he feels perfectly at ease expressing that opinion aloud. That is certainly justification for terminating a network anchor, but I am somewhat skeptical that that’s how it happened.

Generally it takes some period of time for a gaffe like this to build up a head of steam and accumulate some outrage from offended parties. But Sanchez got the boot before most of America even knew he had screwed up. What’s more, CNN has a new chief, Ken Jautz, who is not known for being controversy-averse. Jautz was the man who hired Glenn Beck at Headline News. With all the crap that Beck has said, we are now supposed to believe that Jautz was suddenly shocked by Sanchez’s remarks? Beck said that he hated the 9/11 victims’ families while he was working for Jautz. Then there was the time that Beck asked Keith Ellison, a Muslim member of Congress, to “prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.” Yet Jautz didn’t rush to call security and have Beck removed from the studio.

Beck has continued his reign of error at Fox News, famously saying that President Obama was “a racist with a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Yet Fox keeps him on the payroll, as they do Liz Trotta who joked that Obama should be “knocked off” along with Osama. Fox contributor Michael Scheuer opined that the only hope for America was for Bin Laden to hit us again with a WMD. And Ralph Peters, another Fox contributor, advocated military strikes on the media.

There doesn’t seem to be an outer limit of acceptable behavior for Fox. Which makes it a great place to work for bigots and psychopaths who won’t have to worry about saying something totally insane. On the other hand, MSNBC has David Shuster on an indefinite suspension for having done a screen test for CNN. And they canceled Don Imus for making racially insensitive comments about a women’s basketball team (he now works for, that’s right … Fox). CBS fired Jimmy the Greek. ESPN canned Rush Limbaugh. And now CNN shows Sanchez the door. Fox may not have a crossable line, but every other network seems to.

Still, I have to wonder what precipitated Sanchez’s departure. Could it really have been a revulsion of his clearly offensive remarks? Or did he walk out indignantly after being reprimanded? Perhaps Jautz wanted the schedule cleared for some new programming he is developing. Who knows? It just seems like there is more to this than has been made public. We may not know the answers for a while, or until Sanchez tweets. But just for old times sake, here are a couple of occasions where Sanchez did some work for which he could actually be proud:


This will actually be a good opportunity to find out what kind of programmer Jautz intends to be. Will he fill Sanchez’s slot with his next Beck-like discovery? Will he shoot for more tabloid sensationalism? Or will he develop a show that has journalistic ethics and standards and returns CNN to its original mission of producing honest news?

For the record, I had a suggestion for a new CNN program when Campbell Brown left the network: Replace Campbell Brown With The Daily Show. The idea still works. A man can dream, can’t he?


15 thoughts on “Did CNN Fire Rick Sanchez? Or Was It You Know Who?

  1. Rick Sanchez got fired for dissing the company he worked for.
    It had nothing to do with Stewart, Beck or anyone else.
    He bit the hand that fed him. Not a good career move.

    Trying to even compare this to Fox News personnel only shows your bias and ignorance.

    • Hey, I can’t help it if CNN fires people who are bigoted, but Fox promotes them.

  2. I don’t know how to feel about his abrupt dismissal, but I do know that a bias against fox is a bias towards objectivity. I hope to god the only news network without political orientation left doesn’t go down the shitter because some douche executive thinks news equals opinion, and integrity equals a resource that needs to be mined into oblivion.

    How can one not be biased against fox?

  3. Rick Sanchez makes some bone-headed anti-semitic remark, gets thrown out on his keyster as a result, and you clumsily try to twist it into your typical Fox-News-is-racist falsehood. You must have thrown your back out with that type of a gymastic move.

    • Huh? How did I twist anything to say Fox is racist? I pointed out that Fox retains people who make repulsive remarks on a variety of subjects, and contrasted that to other networks.

      It’s not really a gymnastic move, it’s just keen observation. How is what I said wrong?

      • Mark, it’s that “objectivity” thing again; it’s the “sane thinking” thing; it’s that “thinking for yourself” thing; it’s calling out those that are afflicted with whatever it is that makes them think they are superior and know better than you. You’re obviously suffering from that “humanity” virus or that “responsibile adult” syndrome. I abhor the message these people at fox and their followers have and the fact that they have a medium with which to voice their hatred. I retired from military service and my duties included protecting these people’s right to do just what they do. In that light, I almost like the idea that our constitution allows it and demands, yes demands that we call these people out for what they are. Seeing them in the light of day is preferrable to keeping them in the dark where it festers. I believe the constitution is as much a warning to us as it is a way of life. Why? Reasonable people can be reasoned with; those that have “drunk the coolaid” need our attention…..or our “keen observations”.

      • Sanchez was fired primarily for attacking his bosses.

        If repulsive remarks were a firing issue Olbermann would have been gone long ago.

        • @Dave Richards: You think Sanchez was fired for merely “dissing his bosses”? You don’t see the words he used in the “diss” as maybe the reason he was fired? He played into the “The Jews run the media” mentality. I don’t know if the Fox News organization is itself “racist” but they do allow their hosts to use edited video to blatantly lie about those with whom they, the whole organization and all of its hosts, disagree. And they allow their hosts to host 4-1 panels, with the (1) being a limpwristed opposing point of view. And they continue to refer to Megyn Kelly as a “news” host and not the biased commentator she really is.

  4. Rick Sanchez will make a come back journey with his own t.v show.
    His book will become a New York Times bestseller. Rick will be tweetering all the way to the bank.
    Triumph over tragedy!
    From a personal viewpoint I liked his show, I’m going to miss watching it.

  5. ummm rick’s book is 39,000 on he NYT list- he has a long way to go to a bestseller.

  6. How could they fire Rick Sanchez legally, does our Freedom of Speech not come into play here somewhere? Or, is this another freedom, we are slowly loosing?

    • Freedom of speech only comes to play in the public arena. A private company doesn’t have to grant such freedoms.

  7. I just cannot imagine why a respected network like CNN would get rid of Rick Sanchez and replace him with an idiot like “What’s His Name!” You have lost me and you are making O’Reilly look better all the time.

  8. Your firing of Rick Sanchez is the stupidest thing that CNN could ever do. Keeping new fair and balanced news is what Rick has the talent to do. Now you are another bigoted station. Click, your off, gone, just like him.

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