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Former Miami anchor Rick Sanchez fired by CNN after implying Jews run the newschannel



sanchez.rick_.jpgCNN anchor Rick Sanchez has been summarily fired by the cable channel, as controversy was building online over comments he made during a radio interview calling Daily Show host Jon Stewart a bigot and implying Jewish people run his employer.

A spokeswoman for the show would not return phone calls, but did email CNN's statement: "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well. We will broadcast CNN Newsroom from 3-5pm for the foreseeable future."

Ire over Sanchez's comments built online Friday as more people became aware of his odd statements, aired Thursday on comic Pete Dominick's Sirius XM show (ironic, since Sanchez made a name for himself at CNN by developing social media platforms such as Twitter).

During the interview, Sanchez asserted that Stewart surrounds himself with people who are just like him (I guess he missed the nights when Wyatt Cenac, Aasif Mandvi, Larry Wilmore and John Oliver were on). Later, he noted: "Everybody who runs CNN is a lot like 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."

As the interview goes on, it becomes obvious Sanchez believes Stewart makes fun of him because he is prejudiced against him, not because he does dumb things on air. So it seems a small leap to go from Stewart picking on him through prejudice to indicting the entire executive structure at CNN.

The industry website the Wrap quoted unnamed insiders saying Sanchez felt passed over because of his ethnicity when CNN hired disgraced former New York governor Elliot Spitzer to co-host the 8 p.m. timeslot beginning Monday, ending an experiment where he was hosting shows from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and at 8 p.m.  Spitzer and the executive who hired him, former CNN U.S. president Jonathan Klein, are both Jewish.

If true, such speculation mirrors the bitter talk some indulge while trying to understand why cable newschannels have not hired anchors of color to fill their primetime shows.  

A native of Cuba, Sanchez had worked at CNN since 2004, when he landed there after serving as an anchor for WTVJ-TV, and an interim anchor for WBZL-TV, both in Miami. Before that, he worked two years as a correspondent and anchor for MSNBC. Sanchez joined MSNBC in 2001 as a correspondent and delivered breaking news updates for CNBC and regularly reported for NBC radio.

He has long been a target of jibes on Stewart's show for his on-air mistakes -- most recently, calling President Obama a "cotton-picking president" -- and his history of tabloid-style reporting, including allowing himself to be tasered.

The last time I spoke to CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, we spent time on his Rick's List show dissecting just how Fox News has worked to demonize certain black people in advance of the midterm elections.

Which is why I was shocked and saddened to see Sanchez meltdown like this. New CNN/U.s. president Ken Jautz deserves a few kudos for moving so quickly and decisively to disappear him.

Final note: the name of Sanchez's new book? Conventional Idiocy. You can't make this stuff up, people.

Wonder when CNN is going to report it?

Check out the audio below:

[Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 8:47pm]


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