Feature

Jon Stewart's 'mean-spirited' Rick Sanchez jokes

The 'Daily Show' host doesn't exactly let up on the fired CNN anchor

The video: In his first show since Rick Sanchez accused him of being a "bigot," Jon Stewart offered the now-fired CNN anchor both a final skewering and a bit of praise. He took Sanchez to task for implying that Jews control the media and that Stewart grew up wealthy — and also screened a video montage that compared Sanchez to Michael Scott, the buffoonish protagonist of "The Office" (Stewart said the clip been prepared before the incident). At the end of the segment, though, he opined that Sanchez has "a good heart." The reaction: "You had a sense that Jon wanted to get his licks in but was wary of kicking an overcaffeinated television personality when he's down," says Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post. Yes, he played a few mocking clips even though he knew it was "a tad unfair" to do so — but by arguing that Sanchez is not the bigot he's been made out to be, Stewart "took the high road, sort of." No, says James Love at The Huffington Post, the segment was "mean-spirited," and used "selective use of clips and points to avoid dealing with Sanchez's original comments" — which were all about race and class tension. Latinos and working-class Americans didn't hear any reassurances from Stewart that he doesn't look down on them — which "shows that Stewart does not yet appreciate how influential and powerful he has become." Watch the clip from "The Daily Show:"

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