Appearing on ABC, the ousted CNN anchor said his recent comments about Jews and comedian Jon Stewart were wrong, but decried the lack of black and brown faces on prime-time cable news shows. Plus: Tamron Hall's new show, and a Sherrod debacle update.
Ousted CNN anchor Rick Sanchez appeared on ABC's “Good Morning America” on Friday and said his controversial comments last week were wrong and offensive, but added that “I went into the interview with a chip on my shoulder” because of the lack of Hispanics, Asian Americans or African Americans hosting prime-time news shows on the mainstream cable networks.
“I was looking at the landscape,” Sanchez told host George Stephanopoulos. “I was wrong to scapegoat Jon Stewart.”
Stephanopoulos played a clip of Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes saying that Sanchez might “someday” be hired back by CNN or one of Time Warner's other channels. Sanchez said he would go back in a minute because CNN “is a wonderful, wonderful organization. CNN didn't screw up. Rick Sanchez screwed up,” he said.
In a Sept. 30 interview for a satellite radio show, Sanchez excoriated Stewart for hailing from a middle-class background that Sanchez said made Stewart unable to “relate to a guy like me.” Sanchez went on to answer a question about whether Stewart, as a Jew, shouldn't also be considered a member of an oppressed minority group.
His response: “I’m telling you that 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.' “ Many reported the response as anti-Semitic.
“First of all, that's not what I meant,” Sanchez told Stephanopoulos. “It was wrong, and I shouldn't have been so careless. What I was feeling got in the way of what I should have said.”
He said he was fatigued and impatient, explaining that “I was working 14 hour days for two and a half months” and that “my daughter had a softball game that I desperately wanted to go to.”
Stephanopoulos parried with Sanchez when the former CNN anchor said, “I was a little bit angry, and look, I will be honest with you. I hope you don't mind my saying, but I'm just going to go ahead and say it. If you look right now in our media, in prime time, there's not a single Hispanic, not a single African American.”
Stephanopoulos: Liz Vargas.
Sanchez: In prime time hosting a prime time show, in the United States.
Sanchez: There's that “20/20.” I'm talking about newscasts in cable news.
Stephanopoulos: Liz Vargas
Sanchez: That's true, that's fair. I'm referring to cable newscasts. Straight newscasts, not magazine shows. There's not a single Hispanic, a single Asian American or a single African American.
Stephanopoulos: Connie Chung did have a show at CNN.
Sanchez: There's a lot of people who've had shows a little bit in the past. I'm talking about right now, though, George. And I think it's significant, you know, that we do have some representation.
Stephanopoulos: So you do think you're a (victim) of prejudice.
Sanchez: Well, it's interesting the way you put that. No. I was wrong to say that. And I was wrong to scapegoat Jon Stewart.
I was filling a little bit put out. And I was feeling a little sensitive. And I was looking at the landscape and I was seeing that. And I externalized the problem and I was putting it on Jon Stewart's shoulders, and I was wrong to do that.
Sanchez went on to praise Stewart, saying that when he called the comedian, Sanchez asked why he was always singled out.
“Because you're the one I like,” he said Stewart told him.
*Ed Koch, Huffington Post: On the Firing of Rick Sanchez by CNN
*Steve Krakauer, Mediaite: Rick Sanchez Tells Mediaite: “I Got Greedy And I Got Mad And I Got In Trouble”
*Ruben Navarrette, Washington Post Writers Group: Rick Sanchez's Burden
*Hunter Walker, the Wrap: Fox News, MSNBC 'Not Interested' in Rick Sanchez, Even Post-Apology
*Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Talks CNN, Rick Sanchez and Jon Klein Departures… On Fox News
Hundreds of pages of e-mails released to at least three news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act show that Obama administration officials knew they did not have all the facts last summer when they rushed to dismiss Shirley Sherrod from the Agriculture Department after learning of a video that painted her as a bigot.
“The e-mails, some of which were redacted by the Agriculture Department, do not show whether the White House ordered the dismissal, long a point of speculation,” Peter Nicholas and Kathleen Hennessey of the Tribune Washington Bureau wrote.
“Sherrod has said that when department Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called and asked her to resign, Cook told her the White House wanted her out, but USDA and White House officials have said the decision was made within the agency.
“However, the e-mails suggest the White House was watching with interest. 'Just wanted you to know that this dismissal came up at our morning senior staff meeting today,' Christopher Lu, who serves as Obama's liaison to the Cabinet, wrote to top Agriculture officials early July 20, the morning after Sherrod was ousted. 'Everyone complimented USDA on how quickly you took this action,' he wrote, adding that it would stop an 'unpleasant story' from getting 'traction.' 'Thanks for the great efforts.'
“Within the USDA, the messages show, government officials had moved at breakneck pace to try to beat the news cycle, leaving little time to ask questions, seek legal advice or consider Sherrod's side of the story.”
Tamron Hall is hosting a new hourlong political news show on MSNBC, “NewsNation,” starting Monday at 2 p.m. She becomes the only journalist of color hosting a show on the cable network.
An announcement said, “Her new show will feature in-depth coverage of the day's biggest political news, as well as interviews with pundits and policy-makers. Hall has been with msnbc since July of 2007, where she has served as an anchor on our dayside programming, host of a 2009 'Dateline' series titled, 'You Might Be Rich,' and has filled in for Ann Curry and other anchors on NBC's TODAY.
“Her new show will feature in-depth coverage of the day's biggest political news, as well as interviews with pundits and policy-makers.”
Richard Prince breaks down what's really behind the comments Rick Sanchez made about Jon Stewart, Jews and the media. Plus: BET and TV One's black viewership, LeBron James sports coverage and more in the latest edition of Journal-isms.
Ousted CNN anchor Rick Sanchez broke his silence on Wednesday about his firing, saying he had apologized to late-night comedian Jon Stewart "for my inartful comments from last week."
Those comments, made in an interview for a satellite radio show, excoriated Stewart for hailing from a middle-class background that Sanchez said made Stewart unable to "relate to a guy like me." Sanchez went on to answer a question about whether Stewart, as a Jew, should also be considered a member of an oppressed minority group.
The answer ricocheted first around the Internet and then in all other corners of the media. It was widely reported, inaccurately, that Sanchez said Jews "control" the news media, and accordingly, that his words were therefore anti-Semitic.
The fateful comment was, "I’m telling you that 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.' "
It was the rare news organization that addressed the question of whether Jews are disproportionately represented at the top of media organizations, and rarer still, what difference it would make if they were.
"On October 4th, I had a very good conversation with Jon Stewart, and I had the opportunity to apologize for my inartful comments from last week. I sincerely extend this apology to anyone else whom I may have offended," Sanchez said in his statement, released through a South Florida publicist.
"As Jon was kind enough to note in his show Monday night, I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice. Despite what my tired and mangled words may have implied, they were never intended to suggest any sort of narrow-mindedness and should never have been made."
He went on to praise CNN.
" 'Here’s the deal,' Mr. Stewart said," according to Brian Stelter, reporting for the New York Times. " 'If CNN got rid of Rick Sanchez because they didn’t like his show, fine.' (He whispered, 'We weren’t that crazy about it either.' Mr. Sanchez was fodder for 'The Daily Show' more than 20 times.)
"He continued, 'But if they fired him for making some intemperate statements and some banal Jew-baiting, I gotta tell you, I’m not even sure Rick Sanchez believed what he was saying.' Mr. Stewart then queued up some classic Sanchez clips."
Howard Rosenberg, a former Los Angeles Times television critic who teaches news ethics at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and critical writing and a TV symposium at its School of Cinematic Arts, was asked about the comments on Jews Tuesday on NPR's "Tell Me More."
"Well, he never said — let's make sure that we quote him correctly. He never said 'controlled,' OK. He used other words. And I have to tell you, historically and even today, Jews have a voice in the media far out of proportion to our numbers," Rosenberg replied.
"That's not something to be ashamed of. I'm proud of it. It says a lot about us. For somebody to point that out is not problematic to me at all, nor is it problematic that he would call Jon Stewart a bigot. Jon Stewart is a public figure. If Jon Stewart can call Rick Sanchez an idiot, which he is as a matter of fact, Rick Sanchez has every right to call Jon Stewart a bigot."
Rosenberg went on to say of Sanchez, "I've been observing him since he was MSNBC. He's much more of an actor than a journalist. He's a vamper. He showboats. He gets his facts wrong. He speaks off the top of his head, frequently incorrectly. And to me, that spells out incompetence.
"And I suspect that he would not have been fired if he had big ratings."
In the Baltimore Sun, critic David Zurawik's ears told him that Sanchez had mentioned "ownership and control" by Jews. Having done 12 years of research into the topic, Zurawick responded:
"Here is the once-upon-a-time truth that the lie told by Sanchez is based on. The three networks -- NBC, CBS and ABC -- were founded and run by Jewish broadcasting pioneers: David Sarnoff (NBC), Bill Paley (CBS) and Leonard Goldenson (ABC). Like the founders of the Hollywood film industry, they were hands-on businessman who built their companies virtually from scratch. And for a while, network TV was essentially a three-network operation with this trio as the big three."
Was that a bad thing? Two years ago, columnist Joel Stein wrote in the Los Angeles Times:
"I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe 'the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,' down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood. ... As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment."
Tuesday on Slate.com, Brian Palmer tried to clarify the different assertions with a piece called "Do Jews Really Control the Media?"
"Maybe the movies, but not the news," Palmer wrote. "If Sanchez was referring to people in the television news business, he's wrong. Not one of the major television news operations — Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, or NBC News — is currently headed by a Jewish executive."
Some writers took a stab at explaining what difference those men's ethnicity makes.
"The intensity and ferocity and dementia of the claim transcend many normal political differences," Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University professor of sociology and journalism, told Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald. "No sooner were the modern media born than we started hearing the accusation that not only do Jews control the media, but they do it invidiously, deploying newspapers and other media against other groups. It's one of the old arrows in the quiver of routine anti-Semitism."
But, as Zurawik noted about the three pioneering network executives who were Jewish, "one of the ironic truths I found in my research is that the three founders, out of self-consciousness about being Jewish and fear of finding disfavor for their companies with WASP-centric Madison Avenue, literally kept Jewish images off the air for almost two decades in prime-time."
In 2005, Laurel Leff wrote an entire book, "Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper," about how the Jewish-led New York Times "deliberately underreported the Nazi rise to power, the deportation and ghettoization of millions of Jews, and the implementation of the Final Solution," in the words of a review in the Jewish publication Shofar. "Clearly The Times made winning the war the first priority, while efforts to save Jews fell somewhere down the list of worthy causes."
Sanchez's bitterness was partly prompted by CNN's failure to award him the 8 p.m. slot that went to "Parker Spitzer," featuring the disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post.
It debuted Monday, and by all accounts, it bombed.
Chris Ariens, TvNewser: Rick Sanchez: 'It's all about transparency. It's all about being real'
Hillary Atkin, TV Week: In Truth, Jon Stewart Was No Harder on Rick Sanchez Than on Any Other News Anchor That Stewart Uses As Daily Fodder (And Stewart Was a Lot Easier on Sanchez Than He Was on Jim Cramer)
Michael Calderone, Yahoo News: The reviews are in: Tough night for CNN’s 'Parker Spitzer'
Bo Emerson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Fired from CNN, Rick Sanchez could rise again
Stuart Levine and Sam Thielman, Variety: Spitzer's CNN debut is a bust
Joel Meares, Columbia Journalism Review: Parker/Spitzer: Countdown to Divorce
Paul Farhi chat, Washington Post: Stewart-Sanchez smackdown: Battle of the network cable stars
Richard Prince, Rafael Olmeda and Howard Rosenberg with Michel Martin on "Tell Me More," NPR: The Rick Sanchez Meltdown And Journalism Ethics
Hunter Walker, the Wrap: Rick Sanchez's Wife Blames 'Exhaustion' for His Meltdown
David Zurawick, Baltimore Sun: Ratings are awful for 'Parker Spitzer' debut on CNN
Four "Meet the Browns" episodes were at the top of the week's ratings for cable shows among African Americans. A Turner Broadcasting System spokeswoman said, "Diversity is a core operating principle."
The Nielsen Co. listed the week's top 25 shows among African American cable television viewers on Tuesday, and once again, the networks specifically geared toward African Americans — Black Entertainment Television and TV One — were hardly in evidence.
In fact, on Tuesday's list, covering Sept. 27-Oct. 3, they were shut out. Instead, the top slots were taken by ESPN, Turner Broadcasting System, MTV, the Disney Channel, Oxygen Media, Nick at Night, the A&E Network and the USA Network. Save for ESPN, none of those requires the services of journalists.
"Diversity is a core operating principle at Turner Broadcasting System," spokeswoman Gina McKenzie told Journal-isms, speaking of the home network of the Tyler Perry sitcoms that place TBS at the top of the list week after week. "This focus helps define the company and shape its strategic vision and direction. Our programming recognizes a range of experiences and perspectives.
"TBS’s partnership with Tyler Perry began with the sitcom Tyler Perry’s 'House of Payne,' which formed the basis for a strong, Wednesday night lineup," she continued. "That lineup has grown to include Tyler Perry's 'Meet the Browns' and 'Are We There Yet?,' which stars Ice Cube.
"In summer 2010, 'Are We There Yet?' and Tyler Perry’s 'Meet the Browns' have ranked as the top two primetime series on all television -- not just cable -- among African-American adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.
"TBS's diverse lineup also includes the late-night talk show 'Lopez Tonight,' which stars George Lopez. This show appeals to a broad audience, including Latinos and African Americans."
TV One and BET have different takes on the ratings numbers.
"When TV One is equal to the other cable networks in terms of age, revenue and distribution, we can have a conversation about ratings that makes sense," CEO Johnathan Rodgers said via e-mail. "Otherwise everything I say sounds like an excuse ... TV One is doing very well and is ahead of our strategic plan."
BET issued a news release that declared it was garnering "record breaking ratings. According to Nielsen Media Research, the 2009-10 season was the #1 season in network history, making it the second consecutive season to post strong viewership gains," BET said.
A Nielsen spokeswoman said BET was crunching the numbers differently.
What the numbers might prove is that despite the presence of African American-oriented cable networks, existence isn't enough. They still must navigate the inner workings of the cable business, including securing access to local cable systems, competing with larger networks in the prices they charge local systems and outmaneuvering others to obtain popular programming.
The key for TBS was linking with Perry, whose films are box-office gold.
"TBS’s new block of minority-oriented programming sits virtually unopposed," Megan Angelo reported for the New York Times in May.
"It was that momentum that led Ice Cube, the rapper turned actor turned television producer to bring 'Are We There Yet?' to TBS. ... Nothing convinced Ice Cube of that more than Mr. Perry’s success with TBS. In 2006 it ran a 10-episode test of 'House of Payne' on its local Atlanta channel, WTBS. Viewer response prompted TBS to take it national. Mr. Perry’s 'Meet the Browns' followed in 2009; it’s currently television’s No. 1-rated scripted series among African-Americans ages 18 to 49, the group most coveted by advertisers."
The top 10 cable shows among African Americans were 1: "NFL Regular Season," ESPN; 2, 3, 4 and 5: "Meet the Browns," TBS; 6: "Jersey Shore 2," MTV; 7: "House of Payne," TBS; 8: Phineas and Ferb," Disney Channel; 9: "The First 48," A&E; and 10: "Bad Girls Club," Oxygen Media.
On broadcast television, the top 10 were: 1. "NBC Sunday Night Football"; 2. "The OT," Fox, 3. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 4. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC; 5. "Law & Order: LA," NBC; 6. "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC; 7. "Law and Order: SVU," NBC; 8. "Undercovers," NBC; 9. "The Simpsons," Fox; and 10. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS; 10 (tie) "No Ordinary Family," ABC.
Digital journalist Mark S. Luckie, recently named national innovations editor at the Washington Post, sold his blog 10000Words.net to WebMediaBrands Inc., owner of the Mediabistro blog network, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced on Tuesday.
"Let's say it's enough to make any blogger happy. I won't be retiring just yet but I may go out for a nice lobster dinner. ; )" Luckie told Journal-isms via e-mail.
"This actually benefits my new job in a great way. The acquisition frees me up to create and develop even more explosive content and strategies for The Post, something I'm incredibly happy about."
As described on the blog, "10,000 Words was created as a resource for journalists and web and technology enthusiasts to learn the tools that are shaping digital journalism. The site offers examples, resources, and tutorials of both new and established technologies used to enhance journalism.
"The name comes from the phrase 'A picture is worth 1,000 words.' If this is so then a multimedia or interactive story is worth 10,000 words (or more)." Luckie was based in San Francisco before moving to Washington.
In the release, Alan M. Meckler, chairman and CEO of WebMediaBrands, said "10,000 Words has become one of the more important blogs in the journalism and social media space. 10,000 Words is a perfect fit for the Mediabistro blog network, which attracts over 3 million unique visitors monthly. Mark Luckie will continue to contribute to 10,000 Words and will help us develop other bloggers to write for 10,000 Words as we rapidly expand coverage."
ESPN is launching a special section devoted to coverage of the Miami Heat "and their new superstar core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh," the network announced Monday. It has hired Brian Windhorst from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Michael Wallace from the Miami Herald to write for it.
"Windhorst is one of the leading authorities on LeBron James. Windhorst has written two books about James and has covered him since middle school," the network said in announcing the section, The Heat Index.
"Wallace has been the Miami Herald’s Heat beat writer for the previous three seasons and is an experienced sports and news reporter. Wallace, an award-winning writer, will team with Windhorst as regular Heat beat writers covering the team daily throughout the season."
"I felt this opportunity was a blessing and a prayer answered," Wallace told Journal-isms. "I was in a great position with the Miami Herald covering the Heat — especially with the offseason additions the team made. But ESPN offered an opportunity to expand into some other areas of interest, including the radio and TV formats.
"Sure, there are some risks involved any time you make a change like this. But I'm betting boldly on myself and the talented team ESPN has in place already. Everyone is expecting to produce great work and having even greater fun along this ride."
Herald Sports Editor Jorge Rojas said a replacement for Wallace at the Herald was "Still up in the air. Waiting to hear whether we'll be able to replace him. We'll have three reporters on the beat. Israel Gutierrez, for sure, as blogger/insider/columnist. The rest is undecided," he said by e-mail.
Asked whether he blamed Wallace for taking the ESPN job, Rojas said, "No. He did a great job while he was here. We wish him the best, but now unfortunately must plan to crush him on the Heat beat!"
Also working for the site will be Kevin Arnovitz, managing editor and contributor to ESPN.com’s TrueHoop Network, who is to provide digital media content and edit portions of the site, and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen, a multilingual columnist and contributor for ESPN Deportes.
Glenn Davis, SportsGrid.com: Cavs Fans None Too Pleased About Local Beat Writer Leaving For Miami, Either
"Arizona’s immigration law has prompted denunciations, demonstrations, boycotts and a federal lawsuit. But it may not bring the protest vote that many Democrats had hoped would stem a Republican onslaught in races across the country," Mark Lacey wrote Wednesday from Phoenix in the New York Times' lead story.
"That is because although many voters are disillusioned with the political process, Latino voters are particularly dejected, and many may sit these elections out, according to voters, Latino organizations, political consultants and candidates.
"A poll released Tuesday found that even though Latinos strongly back Democrats over Republicans, 65 percent to 22 percent, in the Congressional elections just four weeks away, only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they would absolutely go to the polls, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters."
Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Hispanic Center: Latinos and the 2010 Elections: Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation
Marisa Treviño, Latina Lista blog: Pew Hispanic report reveals divide among Latino voters
"Some leading minority advocacy groups long have supported AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and other major telecommunications firms in the industry's efforts to win approvals for mergers, get rid of old regulations and avoid new government rules," Jennifer Martinez reported Tuesday for the Los Angeles Times
"And the telecom firms, in turn, have poured millions of dollars of donations and in-kind services, including volunteer help from the carriers' executive suites, into charitable groups in the communities they serve.
"Consumer and public advocates used to whisper about the possibility of conflicts of interest, but now they are openly critical as the battle heats up over proposed federal regulations over net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers should not restrict content, programs and other uses on their networks.
"Key minority groups are backing the carriers' efforts to thwart the net neutrality proposals, which would, for instance, prohibit carriers from charging more to give some residential and corporate customers priority in delivering online content.
" 'When you give national civil rights groups millions of private dollars, there's no firewall strong enough to keep that money out of their policy,' said Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice."
A plea for an aggressive press came Wednesday from a surprising source: Anthony Williams, former mayor of the District of Columbia.
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy wrote that he asked Williams about his successor, Mayor Adrian Fenty, who lost the Democratic primary last month to Vincent Gray, and about Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee:
"Adrian Fenty, who succeeded you as mayor, got elected by . . . going to every neighborhood," Milloy told Williams. "But he, even more than Rhee, became disconnected from so many black residents that he lost his bid for reelection. Any idea why he started acting like that?"
Williams replied, "I think The Washington Post's four years of adoration and devotion did Adrian a disservice. You guys beat the [daylights] out of me, and it kept me humble. I don't know if you all were on vacation or what, but if I had done some of the things Adrian did, I would have been run out of town. Adrian never had to explain himself. I found that being called out in the newspaper and screamed at during community meetings is a powerful antidote to arrogance and keeps you on your toes."
A New York magazine cover showing some of the vitriol hurled at President Obama won in the "Most Controversial" category of the American Society of Magazine Editors' contest for best covers of the year, chosen by visitors to amazon.com.
"New York’s Obama 'HATE' cover takes Shepard Fairey’s campaign 'HOPE' poster and turns it on its head to reflect the political realities of fall 2009," Alex Alvarez explained for Mediabistro. "A collection of words used on signs at Obama protests ('imposter . . . Hitler . . . parasite-in-chief') were hand-painted and then digitally placed onto a photograph of Obama, while the word 'hate' replaces 'hope' at the base of the image. The cover caused controversy for scrawling hateful words across the face of the president, and it certainly showed in stark fashion the public vitriol that emerged so loudly in some quarters in the months since Obama’s election."
"Cover of the Year" was Harper’s Bazaar‘s December 2009 issue, featuring the stars of the movie "Twilight."
Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Analysis: Obama Denied Respect the Office Demands
The action follows remarks on the radio about his bosses, Jews, comedian Jon Stewart.
CNN announced Friday that "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company" after the anchor "lashed out on Thursday at his perceived enemies — CNN brass, Jon Stewart and Jews," in the words of Hunter Walker, writing earlier in the day for the Wrap.
Sanchez went on Pete Dominick's Sirius XM show to promote his new book, 'Conventional Idiocy.' While on air, he called Stewart a 'bigot,' implied that CNN is controlled by Jews and that the network passed him over for promotion because he's Latino," Walker wrote.
"Sanchez was chosen to fill in on CNN at 8 p.m. in the wake of Campbell Brown's departure in May, but put 'Parker Spitzer,' in the coveted slot permanently. Starring Elliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, 'Parker Spitzer,' debuts on Monday. CNN insiders have told TheWrap that Sanchez, who is Cuban-American, feels he has been passed over and blamed the decision not to give him 8 p.m. on a permanent basis on his race."
In a terse statement made available late Friday to Journal-isms, CNN said, "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
Marisa Guthrie added for Broadcasting & Cable:
" 'Deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier,' he said.
" 'Yeah,' said Sanchez, sarcastically. 'Very powerless people… He’s such a minority … Please, what are you kidding? … I’m telling you that 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.' "
Sanchez has plenty of company in questioning the choice of the disgraced Spitzer, and the National Association of Black Journalists has also asked why no anchors of color are in the prime-time CNN lineup.
"The company missed another opportunity to place a person of color in prime time," NABJ said in June after Spitzer was named. "It just seems that cable news can never find diverse candidates who are good enough to meet their standards. We want to know your standards."
Nicholas Carlson of the Business Insider wrote Friday that Sanchez's "Rick's List" "was drawing a tiny audience at 8 P.M. each night, according to the latest Nielsen Ratings.
"In August, 'Rick's List' averaged 452,000 viewers each night and just 127,000 each night in the 25 to 54 age group."
Elan Steinberg, vice president of American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, said in a statement:
"As survivors of the ultimate expression of such racist stereotyping, we believe Mr. Sanchez spoke with insensitive thoughtlessness rather than calculated hate. Nevertheless, his words are deeply offensive and shocking.
"He should immediately retract his heinous comments and apologize for them."
On NPR, media reporter David Folkenflik said he had spoken with former CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein, who is Jewish and was ousted just last week. Klein said he and Sanchez had a "friendly and warm relationship," Folkenflik reported.
Guthrie's piece continued, "It’s the Howard Beale era. And Sanchez’s conversation with Dominic is in keeping with what seems like universal epidemic of fear and loathing brought on by the recession. And while the media in general long ago has shed much pretense toward civility, this is one angry rant that CNN did not need at this time.
"It’s new president Ken Jautz’s first week on the job at CNN. . . ."
"Jautz, who has been CNN/U.S. president for a week, is not Jewish. But he’s probably really pissed right now."
According to his CNN bio, "Sanchez, born in Havana, Cuba, frequently reports while interviewing newsmakers simultaneously in both Spanish and English. He has reported live from Cuba numerous times and has interviewed Fidel Castro as well as his sister, Juanita Castro. Sanchez has interviewed several other prominent newsmakers, including First Lady Laura Bush, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, U.S.S.R. Grand Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, General Manuel Noriega behind bars, deposed Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya via satellite from his exile location at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, among others.
"Sanchez has been a weekend and a weekday anchor for CNN. In 2008, he became the first national anchor to regularly incorporate social media in his news gathering and broadcasts.
"Prior to joining CNN, Sanchez was an anchor for WTVJ-TV, and an interim anchor for WBZL-TV, both in Miami. Prior to his tenure at WTVJ-TV, he worked for 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."
His "Rick's List" began on CNN on Jan. 18. CNN moved "The Situation Room" an hour later to make room for it.
Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: After implying Jews run the media, Rick Sanchez fired by CNN
This week marked the 30th anniversary of Cooke's story "Jimmy's World," which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize that The Washington Post was forced to return because it was all a fabrication.
Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of the day these words appeared on the front page of the Sunday Washington Post:
"Jimmy is 8 years old and a third-generation heroin addict, a precocious little boy with sandy hair, velvety brown eyes and needle marks freckling the baby-smooth skin of his thin brown arms.
"He nestles in a large, beige reclining chair in the living room of his comfortably furnished home in Southeast Washington. There is an almost cherubic expression on his small, round face as he talks about life — clothes, money, the Baltimore Orioles and heroin. He has been an addict since the age of 5.
"His hands are clasped behind his head, fancy running shoes adorn his feet, and a striped Izod T-shirt hangs over his thin frame. 'Bad, ain't it,' he boasts to a reporter visiting recently. 'I got me six of these.'"
It was an anniversary most would like to forget. "Jimmy's World" was all a fabrication, created by reporter Janet Cooke, who went on to win a Pulitzer Prize that the Post was forced to return.
Thirty years later, Cooke's name is synonymous with the hoax she perpetrated. Her story is taught in journalism schools, and some say a portion of the damage she wreaked on the credibility of the news media remains.
"How could she do it? I still don't understand that," Benjamin C. Bradlee, the Post's executive editor at the time, told Journal-isms on Wednesday. "She was just one in a million." He noted that the Post has had no similar incidents since, and that while today's news industry has its woes, cases like Cooke's are thankfully not among them.
Still, asked whether the Cooke affair and its aftermath continue to resonate, Bradlee confessed, "They do in my soul."
Cooke's hoax cost other black journalists credibility in the minds of some editors. The fear of guilt-by-common-blackness was foremost in many black journalists' minds when Jayson Blair confessed to fabricating stories at The New York Times in 2003.
"Because she was black, innocent black journalists did penance for her sins," Gayle Pollard-Terry wrote of Cooke in 1996 for the National Association of Black Journalists' NABJ Journal. Cooke had publicly apologized that year on ABC's Nightline.
"Fifteen years later, on the May 10 Nightline report, Ted Koppel told Janet Cooke that an unidentified black woman who came to the Post after her told ABC that Cooke's transgression had made the new reporter's job all that much harder." The woman was Michel Martin, now host of NPR's Tell Me More.
"Jacqueline Thomas, then a young reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, now Washington bureau chief for the Detroit News, remembers editors suddenly challenging her work.
"In other newsrooms, some black reporters were asked if they were 'Cooke-ing' their quotes. Others were told to double-check their sources and make sure they weren't 'Cooke-ed.' Many editors told black reporters that they didn't trust them or their work. Those editors often called sources to double-check, which undermined the reporters.
"In the wake of Cooke's lies and the Post's carelessness when hiring her, resumes were suddenly double-checked. References were grilled, at times even before the new job was offered. Transcripts were required from every academic institution attended decades after graduation.
"That is the sorry legacy of 'Jimmy's World,' which has become a case study in journalism ethics classes. Her name has become synonymous with fakery and bad journalism. Her sins have cast doubts on a generation of black journalists."
Black journalists at the Post today, most of whom arrived after the Cooke incident, live with the same competitive pressures Cooke faced. Informally, they articulated thoughts that included not wanting even to hear Cooke's name, recalling the questioning their credibility took in black communities and resigning themselves to the notion that some people will always seek the easy way. They mentioned white miscreants whose names never became as prominent as Cooke's.
Via e-mail, a couple went on the record.
"Even 30 years after the fact, the Janet Cooke debacle serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder of the solemn responsibility we carry as journalists," Michael A. Fletcher told Journal-isms. "Particularly now, in this cluttered, chaotic and immensely competitive news environment, it is easy to forget the sacred bond we share with our audience. We have to tell the truth and we can not succumb to lying — or even hype or exaggeration — in an effort to stand out. The current may be moving in another direction, but we have to remember that our role is to find and report new information. And, yes, the more startling, the better that can be for business. But at the same time, we have to provide context and do our best to illuminate the complexity of the forces shaping our lives."
Added Hamil R. Harris: "Integrity, truth and reputation are all we have in this business. I am in an Atlanta airport heading to Florida to bury my stepfather who raised me. On the plane I read a few chapters of All the Presidents Men. To me the legacy of the Post is to tell the truth and hold people accountable no matter where it may lead. Ironically on the TV is a story about one of the victims in the Eddie Long scandal speaking out. Journalism is hard work. There are no shortcuts even during the age of Facebook and Twitter."
Cooke, 26 years old at the time of "Jimmy's World," has disappeared from public view. She spoke for the first time about her saga in a 1996 interview with GQ reporter Mike Sager, a former boyfriend and Washington Post metro reporter. They sold the rights to the story to Tri-Star Pictures for $1.6 million, with Cooke getting 55 percent and Sager 45 percent, according to reports at the time.
A usable script was never produced, but Sager, now a writer at large for Esquire magazine, says Cooke hasn't completely vanished. "I’ve never lost touch with janet I don’t think, tho I’m not at liberty to divulge her whereabouts. I haven’t seen her since 96," he wrote Journal-isms by e-mail. "No movie alas." He said he gets an e-mail now and then.
Sager included the GQ story in his anthology, "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks."
Daniel Hunt, American Copy Editors Society: An anniversary to remind us all of our purpose
Bill Green, Washington Post ombudsman, April 19, 1981, analysis
Lymari Morales, Gallup Organization: Distrust in U.S. Media Edges Up to Record High
Michael E. Ross, theGrio.com: 30 years later 'Jimmy's World' still casts shadow on black journalists [Sept. 30]
Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post: Aplin-Brownlee, 61; Former Post Editor Had Smelled Scandal (Oct. 26, 2007)
In the course of interviewing young congregants at the Atlanta area mega-church pastored by Bishop Eddie Long, CNN anchor Don Lemon disclosed on a live newscast Saturday night, "I am a victim of a pedophile.
"Let me tell you what got my attention about this, and I have never admitted this on television. I'm a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me, and those are the things that they do," Lemon told the three congregants, who had been unwavering in their support of the bishop during the interview.
"Four people have come up with the exact same stories," Lemon told them. "That's what pedophiles do. The language, 'This isn't going to make you gay if you do this.' "
"When I look at different pedophiles, as you said, I don't see bishop as one," Gabrielle A. Richardson replied. "If you look at the various things he's done for the community and young people in general, no."
Gary A. Foster said, "I support the minister because the minister has supported me. He's my leader and it is our duty to stand behind our prophet, and that's what I will continue to do until he gives me reason not to."
"I'm not saying the bishop is a pedophile, but no one is perfect," Lemon replied, adding that many in the congregation have not even "put into their mind" that "something there might be inappropriate." He concluded with a request that "you should stand behind your bishop but you should all keep an open mind" and concluded, "as I've been saying all week, there are no winners in this situation."
The newscast took place a day before Long, standing before thousands of supportive congregants vowed to "vigorously" defend himself against the accusations of four young men who claim he coerced them into sex, as Gracie Bonds Staples, Shelia M. Poole and Craig Schneider reported for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Long went on to say he has never portrayed himself as a perfect man. 'But I am not the man being portrayed on the television. ... That's not me. That's not me.' "
Later Sunday, Lemon, 44, told Journal-isms in a message, "I've carried this secret since I was 6 yrs old. Didn't tell my mom til I was 30. Too embarrassed. Too ashamed. Too guilty. Personally, I know I've internalized it. Years of therapy, etc. Professionally, I think it's helped me.
"It's made me more curious about who people really are. I learned very early on that people aren't always what they present in public. So while being acutely attuned to that has helped me professionally, it's too bad I had to learn it at such a young age. Just like any other profession, journalists come with a myriad of personal experiences. We shouldn't be afraid to act like human beings."
Lemon's revelations were met with supportive and congratulatory messages to Lemon's Facebook page.
"It was a brave move, absolutely. You are an inspiration to many ... " one said.
"Use your place as our 'go-to' reporter to BREAK THE SILENCE, STOP THE VIOLENCE!" said another.
"Don, you are very brave," said a third. "Thank you for revealing your truth, particularly in the presence of those young adults who needed to know that questioning is more than okay. As 1 Thess 5:21 says, 'Test all things. Hold fast what is good.' May they realize that their first loyalty is to the Word, and not a man."
Lemon replied, "Thank you all for your kind words. I had no idea I'd say that on national tv. It just came out. Sadly, it's the truth for so many young men."
Asked what he thought of one woman's questioning whether such a revelation was journalistically appropriate, Lemon told Journal-isms, "I have no other response to that except what I wrote to you. It was unplanned and I am human. There was no agenda behind it."
*Christian Boone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Aggressive tone in dealing with scandalous allegations
*Shayne Lee, cnn.com: Black church culture makes it hard to embrace homosexuality
*Roland Martin, Creators Syndicate: Bishop Eddie L. Long Must Step Down
*Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Sex scandals expose bias, character flaws
*Goldie Taylor, Facebook: A (not so) Super Hero: The Rise and Fall of Eddie Long
*Wil LaVeist, urbanfaith.com: A Bishop's Scandal
*Craig Washington, theRoot.com: A Sermon for Bishop Eddie Long