CNN loses anchor Rick Sanchez over harsh words

As unemployment shows no sign of decreasing, it is a bad time to be out of work, especially when one is fired because of a national scandal – just ask recent former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez.

While on the Pete Dominic Radio Hour satellite talk show Sept. 30, Sanchez said that comedian Jon Stewart is a bigot, and should not consider himself a minority for being Jewish.  He then said Stewart could not relate to Sanchez because he had been raised in wealth, though that is false.

“He really nailed what it was like growing up in central Jersey in the early ’70s, the fortunate son of a single mother in the education field,” Stewart deadpanned on the Oct. 4 episode of “The Daily Show,” slamming Sanchez for assuming that Stewart lived a lavish life growing up.

Without stopping, Sanchez then added that Jewish people run the media, including his then-employer CNN.

Although Sanchez had all the freedom in the world to say what he said under the first amendment, one cannot blame CNN for being offended.

Such allegations as Sanchez discussed were so highly-charged that it was clear they would not go by unnoticed by the general public.  Just as Don Imus said disrespectful comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team in 2007, history shows that hate speech will be brought to the media and pushed heavily.

A day after the show aired, CNN promptly fired Sanchez from his daily 3-5 p.m. show, “Rick’s Lists.”

CNN’s response was appropriate, considering CNN had employed Sanchez since 2004.  Even without bringing his employer into Sanchez’s slander, CNN had a right to punish Sanchez’s outburst, since it did nothing but push viewers away from the network.

Backlash from the satellite show ensued, forcing Sanchez to issue an apology, saying that exhaustion from too many commitments caused him to say what he did.

He went on the air Oct. 8 to discuss his side of the story on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where Sanchez did not blame CNN for their response to his comments.

“CNN didn’t screw up. Rick Sanchez screwed up,” Sanchez said, according to MSNBC.

Sanchez now joins Don Imus in the hall of famous embarrassing radio moments, but Sanchez at least apologized and expressed interest to return to CNN, according to MSNBC.

Sanchez’s time slot is now replaced by “Parker Spitzer,” a “newsy conversation show” with Kathleen Parker and former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, according to Politico.

ARMBRUSTER is the opinion editor.

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