CNN Fires Anchor Rick Sanchez
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