Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez has apologized for the "inartful" comments that got him fired — he called comedian Jon Stewart a bigot and suggested that Jews run CNN and other news networks. But in the aftermath, several influential commentators have asked whether there is really anything so offensive about pointing out that there are many Jewish executives in the news business. Was Sanchez fired simply for telling the truth? (Listen to Sanchez's comments)
Jews are certainly very influential: "If Sanchez was referring to people in the television news business, he's wrong," says Brian Palmer at Slate. Not one of the major television news outfits is currently run by a Jewish executive. "There are more Jews at the head of the country's major newspapers, but it's still a stretch to say these publications are controlled by them." Tinsel Town, however, "is a different story" — Jews are disproportionately represented among top film directors and studio executives.
"Do Jews really control the media?"
Sanchez's implication is inaccurate and dangerous: "What Rick Sanchez said was a lie," says Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, but that is not the worst of it. Anyone making such a claim is trafficking in "a pernicious stereotype that has been used in the past, in various places, to justify violence and discrimination against Jews." And even if every TV newsroom "were indeed run by Jews," they would be controlled by individuals, not "The Jews."
"Answering Andrew Sullivan's question about Rick Sanchez"
Jews don't control the media — liberals do: Sanchez promptly apologized to Jon Stewart for calling him a bigot, says Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator. Funny — Rick never apologized for airing "a 100 percent bogus report that Rush Limbaugh had once spoken out in favor of slavery." Why? Because Limbaugh is a conservative. And Sanchez and Stewart both play for the guys who truly control the mainstream media — "Team Liberal."
"Sanchez apologizes to Stewart; never to Rush"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- California's epic drought
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week