If the Harry Potter universe has the “unforgivable curses”, the media has the “unforgivable gaffes.” Friday, October 1st, former CNN on air personality Rick Sanchez committed one of those gaffes while venting against Jon Stewart.
The “unforgivable gaffe” occurred when Rick Sanchez suggested that John Stewart was a “bigot” during an interview with Pete Dominick. According to Mediaite, Dominick questioned this assertion.
“Dominick: How is he a bigot?
“Sanchez: I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.
“Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?
“Sanchez: Everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?”
While a bit harsh, this was not the “unforgivable gaffe.” If matters had stopped there, all Rick Sanchez would have suffered would have been another scolding on “The Daily Show”, something which Sanchez has gotten all too familiar with during his stint at CNN. But, Sanchez had to go further once Peter Dominick pointed out that John Stewart was himself a member of a religious minority group.
“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.”
And there it was, the “unforgivable gaffe”, suggesting that the media, including the network that Sanchez once worked for, was run by a Jewish conspiracy. That sort of thing is as old as the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and it does not get less pungent with age.
The reaction of CNN was swift and merciless.
“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.”
There was no opportunity for an on air recantation, no groveling for an apology tour, just a quick Royal Order of the Boot and out the door. Another career in journalism goes down in flames
The bar for getting fired from a network news job for something one says is very high. For some reason Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews are still employed by MSNBC, after all. But Rick Sanchez seems to have surmounted it by wandering into anti Semitic territory, and not with using code words like “Neocon” either.
There is a lesson to be had here. Sure it must be annoying to be the constant butt of jokes on “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” But one should occasionally listen to the critics, no mattered how wacked, and consider that maybe a behavior change might end ones repeat starring role on the fake news comedy circuit.
Well, now Rick Sanchez, except for one last appearance next week, will likely not have to worry about that ever again.
Sources: Rick Sanchez Calls Jon Stewart “A Bigot”; Says CNN Is Run By Jews, Steve Krakauer, Mediaite, October 1st, 2010
Rick Sanchez Fired From CNN, Steve Krakauer, Mediaite, October 1st, 2010