NN has fired longtime anchor Rick Sanchez, a day after he said in a Sirius XM satellite radio interview that "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart is "a bigot," and ranted against Jewish control of the media, including CNN. Stewart has repeatedly lampooned Sanchez on his show for his on-air stunts, including letting himself be shocked with a Taser gun and jumping off a boat to show what it is like to be lost at sea and rescued by the Coast Guard. Sanchez, a Cuban-American, says Stewart only calls him "stupid" because he doesn't share the Comedy Central star's "white liberal establishment point of view." Did Sanchez deserve to get canned? (Listen to Sanchez's comments)
Sanchez was out of line: If Sanchez had stopped when he called Jon Stewart an East Coast, liberal elitist, he would have been fine, says James Poniewozik at Time. But he took his vitriol to a "pretty ugly place." If he is "really smarter than Stewart gives him credit for," he knows about "the long history of paranoid accusations" that Jews are "a shifty, crafty people silently manipulating the world" through the media. "To bring it up the way he did is stupid at minimum, at worst repellent."
"Oy Gevalt! Rick Sanchez blasts "bigoted" Jon Stewart, says CNN run by Jews"
The man said nothing wrong: All Sanchez did — "apparently maddened by Jon Stewart's taunts" — was make a few "sarcastic remarks about the power of the American Jewish minority," says Christopher Hitchens at Slate. There is no crime in that. The Jewish lobby really is powerful in this country, and the networks really do share many of its "liberal assumptions." The "speed of his firing" only proves how desperate media bosses are to avoid "offense." Sanchez deserves to be reinstated.
"Not so hidden influences"
Sanchez's mistake was trying to match wits with Stewart: Rick Sanchez needs thicker skin, says Hal Boedeker at the Orlando Sentinel. Instead of laughing off Stewart's barbs — they were, after all, jokes — he let himself be goaded into "a whiny, babyish rant" complete with "anti-Semitic musings" about Stewart's upbringing and outlook. Big mistake. In this day and age, media personalities should expect to suffer for offensive comments. And anyone who tangles with Jon Stewart in a "battle of wits" should expect to lose.
"Lessons of the Rick Sanchez firing: Don’t take criticism personally"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- The hidden reason for the student loan crisis
- Entrepreneurs: A dying breed?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The Democrats have a mega-donor problem
Subscribe to the Week