Rick Sanchez fired from CNN for comments – “Jon Stewart is a bigot”

Rick Sanchez did an interview yesterday with Pete Dominick on the Stand Up with Pete Dominick show from Sirius radio network. Dominick, former ‘Colbert Report’ and ‘Daily Show’ opening comedian, brought up the topic of bias in media, and then out of nowhere Rick Sanchez began an attack on Jon Stewart:

It’s not just the right that does this, because I’ve known a lot of elite, Northeast establishment liberals that may not use this as a business model, but 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. … I think to some extent, Jon Stewart and [Stephen Colbert] are this way. I think Jon Stewart’s a bigot. 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. … Look at his show, I mean, what does he surrounds himself with?

And it just gets crazier from there, with Rick Sanchez accusing “the Jews” of running CNN and the media (“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.”).

After the news of this interview leaked, CNN quickly pulled Rick Sanchez from his “Rick’s List” show this afternoon, and it was announced late today that Rick Sanchez had been fired from his CNN pundit position. According to a simple press release by CNN, “Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.”

You can listen to the “Stand Up with Pete Dominick” interview with Rick Sanchez in its entirety below. The comments quoted above start at 16:58, with a revisit to the subject at 31:45.


  1. Its all balogna says:

    Wow, this guy’s life changed in just 24 hours.

    I caught his show when the US announced opening up to Cuba – something like that. He was full of suppressed excitement. He was kind of self-righteous, no different than any other pundit, I guess. But he seemed enthusiastic, nice really, yet full of his failings as much as these other on-air personality types.

    Jon Stewart referred to him as a twit – Jon’s version of O’Reilly’s ‘pinhead’ commentary? Looks like that (and other slams maybe) really got to him. And now he’s out of a livelihood. Now I feel kind of sorry for him. (In other words, its obvious why he did what he did. He shouldn’t have said what he said. And its sad, because his American dream just died.)

    • This was very abrupt; And I wish him the best. I, however, think that this was just the final straw for CNN. I understood how Sanchez took the attacks personally, he is only human; but that interview bothered me for numerous reasons. Ultimately, Sanchez is walking away from this having earned enough to not worry for the foreseeable future. This also should give his book sales a pretty big bump just because of the controversy. I don’t feel bad for him per se; but I do empathize with how shocked me must feel because of the abruptness of it all.

      With CNN’s numbers in such horrid place, their premium advertising rates that they have commanded, they soon won’t be able to. The only time, as of late, that CNN has really excelled (ratings wise) is during the coverage of “news porn”, i.e., disaster coverage.

      Quite frankly, I don’t want to watch a news show to find out what @personontwitter thinks about a news event. I also don’t want to watch a panel of political insider versus political insider of opposing ideology tell us what to think. The best part of CNN for the longest while was their website, and even then after they removed their cnn.com/live anchors I’ve been disappointed with them. It seems as if they had a desire to alienate those of us who actually want to get “network” like news coverage from a cable news outlet.

      If they were smart they would try to snag Katie Couric to help Jautz turn CNN into a real news organization again.

  2. It’s probably because he didn’t get the reaction or publicity he wanted out of jumping on the bandwagon with the “Sanchez Bump” and threw a tantrum out of spite from getting his ego bruised.

    I did see something on @stephenathome about tweeting him to take the challenge to get tazed at the March so he probably took that personally too.

  3. Ms Interpreted says:

    The Wrap did a sort of transcript of this whole thing. I was happy to see how persistently Pete pushed back on Sanchez’s ridiculous assertions; Pete having been the warmup man for both Jon and Stephen put him in a uniquely knowledgeable position to refute Sanchez’s unfounded charges.

    I’m sorry to see Sanchez go in the same way that I feel for just about anyone who’s out of work in this economy, but he absolutely brought this on himself. Jon *never* picked on Sanchez for being “Puerto Rican”, he mocked Sanchez for the idiotic things he did to himself, like volunteering to be tased.

    • Thanks for the transcript, I was really impressed with how Pete Dominick handled it. I do feel sorry for Sanchez that he was feeling picked on, and that it was coupled with whatever was happening in his workplace that made him feel that he was being discriminated against.

      However, I saw this from earlier this week, where he went off about how Tyler Clementi was not “bullied”, and “bullying” is just psychobabble. (http://freakoutnation.com/2010/10/01/rick-sanchez-thinks-tyler-clementi-wasnt-bullied/) That he then turned around and essentially complained that Stewart and Colbert were bullying him within a 24 hour period of saying this, just makes him come across as an egotistical jerk.

    • thngwhtsqks says:

      Just an addendum, Sanchez is Cuban, not Puerto Rican.

      • Ms Interpreted says:

        I know, I was referring to the part of the interview where Sanchez talked about people being minimized as a “dumb jock or a dumb woman or a dumb Puerto Rican …”, but I wasn’t particularly clear about that.

  4. Karenatasha says:

    Sanchez is an idiot. Is there anything more to say? Well, actually there probably is, and I expect Jon,will say it–and at length. I imagine Stephen will make a few well-chosen comments, but because Jon was more targeted personally and culturally, they’ll both agree to leave the bulk of those jibes for him.

    • Or maybe Stephen will go in to bat for Jon, in return for Jon’s defence of last weekend’s Congressional proceedings.

      [Either way, since the rally announcements, it seems it’s suddenly open season for attacks on our beloved Stephen and his former dance partner’ and warm-up act, the lovely Mr Stewart.]

      • Yeah, I’ve noticed that our boys have been getting into the headlines a lot lately. It would seem coincidental though, at least with Stephen’s thing last week in Congress.
        I hate to see anything bad about our boys, but I suppose it can’t always be good, huh?
        I guess we’ll just have to think that all publicity is good publicity and if it bumps up the numbers of people that go to the rallies, that’s good.
        BTW, I think Rick shouldn’t have been fired, but I think he was dead wrong about what he said. He did say toward the end, “I take back bigot, I’ll say prejudicial” Too late though.

      • Karenatasha says:

        Maybe, Arkadina! The reason I felt Jon might handle it is because the comments this time weren’t only personal — where it’s nicer to have someone else defend you — but also directed more generally to Jews. So it’s larger than Jon.

        I have to say that I’m particularly steamed that Sanchez is attempting to bolster his position by using what could be, for others, legitimate anger about the way Latinos are treated in the media. There are many professionals with good reason to complain about how national newscasts overlook Latinos (local stations are another thing altogether); but Sanchez is certainly not one of them. And there’s a certain irony in his comment about not being “white,” because whatever his background, his skin is white and in Latin countries he would be considered white as opposed to those with darker skins, who face more prejudice.

  5. MaryLovesColbert says:

    Yeah, um, I’m really glad this guy got fired. Not only was a sub-par newscaster, as we’ve seen via The Daily Show & The Colbert Report, his comments were just inappropriate and inexcusable. Not cool, Sanchez. Bye-bye.

  6. I know, the whole thing was so abrupt! He kind of deserved it, though. Guess that means he can’t trade shows with Stephen in exchange for getting tased on stage at KFA. That would have been awesome. (the tazing, not the show-switching). ;)

  7. Geez, I can’t believe Rick was plugging Stephen’s rally just last week. What say Stephen will be having a “I stand by my friends…except those who insult the Jews” next week (first Helen Thomas, now this!).

    I was surprised to see Sanchez get canned so quickly; I thought he was gonna get chewed out and have to do a big apology, but still keep his job. Not that I’m particularly displeased about his firing; just surprised is all.

    I wonder how Jon is going to react to this, if he does at all. I almost wish they had held off firing Sanchez until Jon got to make fun of him. Now if Jon does it…I’m sure it’ll still be funny, but it seems like it’ll almost be like kicking a baby now that Sanchez is out of a job.

  8. I know, I was thinking about his comments about the rally last week, too. In the past it always seemed he had good things to say in relation to Jon and Stephen, so I’m not entirely sure where this little attack came from all of a sudden. If it was indeed due to him being bothered by their occasional moments where they poke fun at him-well, Rick, dunno if you’ve noticed, but those two kinda make fun of all sorts of people, no matter their race, religion, political background, etc. Your tasing video was just humorous to them and so they had a bit of fun with it. I really don’t think it was ever anything personal, so chill. And then the “Jews control the media” thing? Uh. Yeah. Not a place you want to go-you engaged in the very thing you criticized.

    It’ll be very interesting to see how Jon and Stephen handle this story next week, definitely. Strange story.

  9. lockhart43 says:

    From any interviews I’ve heard (the Charlie Rose interview and the ’05 one with Terry Gross come to mind), Stephen has been very adamant about not personally attacking someone. And I’m sure Jon carries himself the same way. If a person has a sacredly-held belief, you don’t poke at that, because then it’s just mean-spirited instead of funny. But if they put themselves out there with an opinion that is clearly way off base, it’s fair game to attack that opinion. Example: don’t make fun of a person who lost a family member on 9/11 and doesn’t feel right with a Muslim community center being built nearby, but do go after Dick Morris for saying that it’s being built as a terrorist-training center.

    So if Sanchez took any comments personally, that’s his problem, because to me, they were clearly not looking to insult him. It’s just that he says some really stupid things. Jon sure as hell did not deserve to be called a bigot, and it’s beyond me that anyone can sincerely call Jon and Stephen anything other than nice and good-hearted. I’m sorry Sanchez had to lose his job, but I can’t lie and say that I’ll miss him.

  10. I don’t feel bad at all that Sanchez lost his job. Yes, maybe it seems abrupt, but look at what he did. He said some really horrible unfounded things and even though we have a right to free speech, a lot of companies have policies that you can’t be a MoFo in your spare time, or even while on the clock. There are ETHICS involved here.
    He dug his own grave. He made his bed. Time to be buried alive.
    I do not feel bad for people who get what they deserve. He got what was coming to him, and he should have had an idea that would come with the rant he was going off on.
    “oh, I’m being picked on as a minority! Give me something! you owe me something!”
    I owe no one anything.
    The way I see it, white people are quickly becoming the minority in more than just population. It’s all about the Latino Voters and this group and that group and that race, and those guys. its all focused on the “minorities” so much to the point where the “majority” doesn’t feel like a majority any more.
    but I’ll get off my soapbox before I say things I may regret later.

  11. Thanks for the link to the interview, DB. I’m getting caught up from last week. Now I understand why Sanchez was fired.

  12. Ms Interpreted says:

    Just a coda to this story: Sanchez has posted an indirect apology on Facebook and has spoken to Jon to apologize, as well.

    • Mr. Arkadin says:

      Thanks Ms. Interpreted.
      I love the “I’m sorry to anyone who was offended” apologies.
      There always the most sincere. Celebrities & athletes do them best. So which one is Mrs. Sanchez?

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