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
ABC News says four of color have become senior producers since 2008.
"The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds that the percentage of minority news directors rose in both television and radio. But those were nearly the only positive numbers in the survey. Overall, the percentage of minorities in both radio and television fell for the third straight year, although the drop in TV was small," the Radio Television Digital News Association reported on Wednesday.
"Women in radio news rose slightly, but the percentage of women radio news directors went down, as did both the overall percentage of women in TV news and women TV news directors. The drop in women TV news directors was small, and the percentage of women TV news directors stands at the second-highest level ever.
" ... the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 20 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 9.4 percent; but the minority workforce in TV news is up 2.4 percent, and the minority workforce in radio is actually half what it was two decades ago. Still, TV news diversity remains far ahead of newspaper."
The RTNDA study focused on local stations, not the networks. In a separate development at the network level, ABC News identified four people of color who have been named to senior producer positions since the National Association of Black Journalists met with ABC News President David Westin in 2008: Alvin Patrick, Sarah Amos, Jack Date and Catherine McKenzie.
Patrick, who is at Nightline, and McKenzie, of Good Morning America, are African American. Date works at This Week, and Amos at World News.
Westin announced this month he would step down. "As David mentioned, he has focused on the senior and executive producer positions because they have a strong impact on the editorial content of the programs," ABC spokeswoman Cathie Levine told Journal-isms.
A July 2008 study of network decision-makers by NABJ found that of the executive producers at ABC, six were white, two were Asian American and none was African American, Native American or Hispanic.
In the RTNDA study, survey coordinator Bob Papper noted that the minority population is projected to be at 35.3 percent in 2010, but the minority television workforce is at 20.2 percent and the minority radio workforce at 5 percent. He wrote:
"We end the decade with no gains whatsoever for minorities in TV news, and the percentage of minorities in radio news is down substantially.
"In TV, much of the drop in minority employment -- and Hispanics specifically -- came from a drop at Hispanic stations. Among non-Hispanic stations, minority employment slipped by just 0.3 percent to 19.3, down from last year's 19.6 percent.
"At non-Hispanic stations, the minority break down is:
** "10.3 percent African American (up from 9.8 percent)
** "5.7 percent Hispanic (down from 6.2 percent)
** "2.8 percent Asian American (down from 3.1 percent)
** "0.5 percent Native American (unchanged from a year ago)
"In radio, the percentage of minorities fell substantially. All groups dropped except Native American.
"The overall percentage of minority news directors in TV increased by almost two percent last year. It's still below the all-time high, but it's certainly among the highest percentages I've seen. Much of that was fueled by a jump in Asian American news directors.
"At non-Hispanic TV stations, the percentage of minority news directors rose from last year's 7 percent to 8.9 percent. That's just off the all time high of 9.1 percent two years ago. 3.2 percent were African American; 2.5 percent each for Hispanic and Asian American; and 0.7 percent Native American. That's about the same for African American and Native American and up for Hispanic and Asian American.
"The percentage of minority news directors in radio tripled from last year's paltry 2.2 percent to this year's 7 percent. All minority groups went up except Asian American, which slid slightly. Group-owned stations were less likely to have minority news directors than independent stations.
" ... At 2.7 percent last year, it was hard to imagine that minority general managers (at network affiliates that run local news) could become even more white, but they did. Now, under 2 percent of those GMs are minorities. The overall percentage of minority went up slightly because minorities at independent stations went up. Among the network affiliates, ABC and NBC stations were much higher than CBS or Fox — but all were low."
Papper is the Lawrence Stessin distinguished professor of journalism and chair of the Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations at Hofstra University.
His survey was conducted "in the fourth quarter of 2009 among all 1,770 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 4,000 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,355 television stations (76.6 percent)," he reported.
Remembering Dr. Ronald Walters, the go-to expert for those writing about black politics.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said she really got to know Ronald W. Walters when they worked on Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 Democratic presidential campaign. "Jesse Jackson would have you join hands in prayer" when there was a problem, "but Ron Walters figured it out," she told more than 700 people Sunday at a Howard University memorial service for Walters.
Then Waters mentioned a front-page story by Nia-Malika Henderson in Saturday's Washington Post that reported, "In the past week, party leaders launched a drive to stoke enthusiasm among black voters, dusting off the president's 2008 campaign logo, lingo and grass-roots strategy to get them to the polls in November." It would call upon black elected officials to help whip up black voter enthusiasm for the fall election.
That posed a dilemma, Waters said, because when she raised with party leaders the need to target African Americans' specific problems, "I was told that what was good for white America was good for black America."
And yet African Americans were hit by the economic downturn in ways exponentially harder than was white America.
"I'm looking for Ron's voice," Walters said. "If I don't hear from Ron, I'm not doing anything."
Walters, author, scholar, professor, activist and political scientist, died Sept. 10 at age 72 from lung cancer. In addition to politicians such as Waters, many black journalists wondered who, if anyone, could take Walters' place as the "go-to guy" on black politics.
"There is no replacement," Robert C. Smith, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, told Journal-isms during the repast at Howard's Blackburn Center. But when asked what issue Walters would want journalists to follow, Smith had an answer: He pointed to Waters' remarks.
"Can you mobilize people to do for you when you have done very little for them?" Smith said. The issues are, he repeated, "The effort to mobilize the black vote and a party that has been unwilling to address the concerns of black people."
Smith was one of about 20 people chosen to speak at the Sunday service, where it was announced that Walters, most recently at the University of Maryland, had agreed to return to the Howard campus to teach in the fall semester.
Smith told the gathering that although Walters had produced books on politics from a black perspective, he had declined to write about himself. Therefore, Smith, who had worked closely with Walters and first met him 37 years ago, planned to do so.
"I've been trying to get him to do that for 20 years," Smith said of his friend. "A political biography. Using his biography to trace the last 30 years of black politics. It is the story of post-civil rights-era black politics in America."
One of the traits he most admired about his mentor, Smith told Journal-isms, was that "he knew how to help the reporters shape the story the way he wanted to. He knew how to give the appropriate media quote. Over the years, he developed that. That's a skill."
Walters was on both sides of the media line. He wrote political analyses for the Black Scholar and the old Black World/Negro Digest, and, later, weekly columns for the Washington Informer and the Richmond (Va.) Free Press that eventually were syndicated to other black newspapers through the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service. And he wrote "for free," Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of the Informer, told the crowd. "He believed in the black press."
Barnes added that when she contemplated seeking a doctorate, perhaps in theology or African American studies, Walters advised remaining in her field and studying the media. "This new media is going to need someone like you to reach the new generation," Barnes said Walters told her.
Along with Barnes, Joe Madison, the radio talk show host, represented the media during a three-hour program that featured speakers from various segments of Walters' life. "Ron Walters was everybody's political science professor," Madison said. "TV, radio, print. He was erudite and simplistic. He taught us how to read with a third eye and listen with a third ear."
Few knew Walters had been ill, Madison reminded the audience. Five days before he died, a Washington Post reporter called and those caring for Walters turned the reporter away. "He grabbed the phone and took the call and did the interview," Madison said.
Asked where reporters could find a substitute for Walters on political questions, Mack H. Jones, professor emeritus at Clark Atlanta University, recommended the Web site of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, of which Jones was founding president and Walters a founding member.
Jackson, who delivered Walters' eulogy on Monday, said at the repast that the message of Walters' life for journalists is that "scholarship matters.
"We focus often on results. Results are the continuation," he told Journal-isms. The facts have to be organized and have a framework and a context. The big picture counts, he said.
Walters was "a scholar-activist," Jackson continued. Many people are one or the other. But "when you combine the two, you have a Martin Luther King," he said, "or a Ron Walters."
*Ruben Castaneda, Washington Post: Civil rights activist Ronald W. Walters remembered as 'understated, but an overachiever'
*Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Condolences
*George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Ron Walters was a One-Man Civil Rights Movement
*Wayne Dawkins, PoliticsinColor.com: Another warrior with data departs, Ron Walters, 72
*Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Ronald Walters — a pioneer on the politics of race
*Julianne Malveaux, Washington Informer: Ron Walters — A Scholar and a Gentleman
*Rep. Bobby Rush, the Hill: Dr. Ronald Walters: The W.E.B. DuBois of our time
*WRC-TV, Washington: Funeral Held for Civil Rights Pioneer Dr. Ronald Walters