CNN host Rick Sanchez is eating his words after a remark he made about Daily Show host Jon Stewart. Sanchez was on the Sirius Satellite show Stand Up! With Pete Dominick when he made the remarks, according to Yahoo News. Sanchez was talking about the media when he started to insult Stewart. He called him a “bigot” and claimed that Stewart couldn’t stand the fact that Hispanic journalists were becoming legitimate in the media spotlight. After these remarks were made Thursday, Sanchez was not on his own show, and, at 6 p.m. Friday, CNN put out a statement that Sanchez would no longer be a part of their network.
Sanchez is not the first pundit who has made controversial statements. Three other pundits who have done the same are David Letterman, Bill O’Reilly, and Don Imus.
David Letterman found himself in a ton of hot water in the summer of 2009, when Sarah Palin’s daughter became the butt of one of his jokes. While Palin was in New York, Letterman saw it as timely to poke some fun at the expense of the then-Alaska Governor. Palin had taken her 14-year-old daughter Willow to a Yankees game, and Letterman made a joke about her having to fend off Eliiot Spitzer, the former New York Governor busted for soliciting a prostitute. He also joked about her getting knocked up by Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriquez, according to People. What followed was a media storm in which Palin shot back at the late night host, saying that his jokes weren’t funny. Many called for Letterman to retire and for a public apology. Later that week on his show, Letterman did apologize. Apparently the jokes were meant to poke fun at Palin’s daughter Bristol, who famously was pregnant at 17, during Palin’s campaign for vice president.
Another pundit who made controversial comments but, unlike the others, failed to apologize for them, is right-wing Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Jennifer Aniston, in August 2010, made comments in an interview saying that it was alright if a woman decided to have a baby without a man, according to the NY Daily News. Well, O’Reilly had to put his two cents in here, saying that Aniston was “destructive to our society,” according to The Huffington Post. This became a huge debate in the media, with most siding with Aniston. Both nuclear families and families being raised by single mothers have come out good and bad. O’Reilly just lived up to his reputation of giving his opinion when it wasn’t wanted.
Perhaps the most famous case of a pundit sticking his foot into his mouth is Don Imus. Who could forget the
media storm that followed him calling members of the women’s basketball team at Rutgers University “nappy headed hos” in 2007, according to CBS News. After about a week of debate over the issue, CBS News decided to fire the radio talk show host from his position. Imus made a public and personal apology to members of Rutgers’ women’s basketball team.
These are just a few of the pundits who have had consequences for their remarks. All of these pundits were tried in the court of public opinion and lost. Rick Sanchez’s future is yet to be seen, but based on all of these other examples, Sanchez is going to have a hard time regaining his previous reputation.
Michael Calderone, “CNN fires host Rick Sanchez over controversial remarks” Yahoo News
Aaron Parsley, “David Letterman & Sarah Palin: War of Words” People
Meena Hartenstein, “Fox host Bill O’Reilly slams Jennifer Aniston for saying women don’t need men to raise children” NY Daily News
Media, “‘Bill O’Reilly: Jennifer Aniston ‘Destructive To Our Society'” The Huffington Post
Judy Faber, “CBS Fires Don Imus Over Racial Slur” CBS News