Rick Sanchez, mid-host for CNN, is still recovering from a common and quite contagious ailment, known as foot and mouth disease.
Last Thursday, Sanchez made some not-so- astute comments about Jon Stewart, Northern liberal elitism and Jews during a Sirius XM radio show, which is hosted by Peter Dominick, while promoting his new book, ironically titled “Conventional Idiocy.” But before the news could fully spread around the Internets, CNN pulled a Donald Trump, a la The Apprentice, and fired the Cuban-born anchorman the following day.
The network issued a curt statement on the matter, which didn’t reveal much in the way of which careless statement he made that ultimately led to his termination. However, many have been speculating that it wasn’t so much his jab at Jon Stewart, host of the wildly popular The Daily Show, who he called a bigot but his expressed belief that Jews could not be considered oppressed minorities because of their alleged monopoly over the media.
It is no secret that Sanchez was not very popular anchor person at least by Neilson’s ratings; those ratings put his show Rick’s List, down by 50 percent in both the mid-day and prime time hours slot, which he had been covering for a recently departed Campbell Brown. So in his defense, he probably assumed that since his ratings had been in the toilet, nobody would be really checking for his Sirius radio interview anyway.
However, regardless of rating, or his questionable belief in the Jews-own-everything conspiracy, you just don’t say it on national radio and expect to keep your job. That’s just like calling your boss an inept windbag to his face and then expecting a pay raise – it’s just not going to happen.
Which is why this ill-played move has pretty much solidified Sanchez as the moron of the year.
Yet I wouldn’t suggest that we throw the baby out with the bathwater just quite yet as we can’t totally gloss over the major crust of Sanchez overall point about quasi-liberal bigotry and elitism, which he believed was one of the reasons why he had been passed over for promotions at the network.
While I’m not quite sure if Jon Stewart was a good example of this liberal bigotry, I do believe that Sanchez is correct in asserting that there is a certain privilege, which many white liberals can exercise over the rest of us. Folks like Stewart, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddox and the rest, who have built careers off of having uber-liberal viewpoints, can show their full bias and range and not only be considered acceptable but get a pass for both speaking on behalf of, as well as criticizing marginalized communities, including the covenant Blacks, Muslims, Jews, and GLBT communities.
If you are a member of any of those said disenfranchised communities listed above, no matter how liberal you profess to be, you are still limited in what you can say and who you can criticize. If you believe this not to be true, I dare you to name one Black, Hispanic or Asian anchorperson, hosting a show right now on any of the news network channels, who are comparable to the likes of Stewart, Maher and Maddox?
And although I think Rick was reckless in his on-air rant, CNN was just as reckless in its mad dash to fire him. Why is it OK for the likes of Glenn Beck, first hired by CNN, Pat Roberson, regular CNN pundit, and Lou Dobbs, long-time CNN anchorperson, to spew whatever nonsense that they feel and not feel retribution? For years, Dobbs made bigoted laced anti-immigration comments yet was allowed to retire from the network gracefully.
The network, whose tagline is “the most trusted name in news,” missed an opportunity to start a conversation and to better forge relationships with folks who have long taken issues with CNN’s double standard. Folks such as the National Association of Black Journalists, who issued a statement in July about the network’s failure to place African-Americans and other host of color in its coveted prime time slot – a time slot, which had been recently given to disgraced ex-Governor Elliot Splitzer.
To no surprise, the bastion of political punditry elite including MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow wasted no time Friday, mocking Rick Sanchez just hours after he had been fired from CNN. Even the current king of leftist commentary Jon Stewart took his turn at kicking at a down man, making the quip that if Sanchez would just have apologized to “us” than we would give him his job back.
However it was CNN’s own Reliable Sources, a news program, which ironically claims to examine how the media affects the stories they cover, summed up perfectly the extent to which the 24 hour network would be willing to, at the very least, take seriously Sanchez’s points about liberal bigotry and elitism; they called him delusional. The show’s denial of any such slant in CNN’s hiring practices has also confirmed that our media is not as independent and liberal as most have been led to belief.