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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sanchez’s credibility tarnished with outburst

Rick Sanchez, the host of CNN’s “”Rick’s List,”” was terminated last Thursday following a bizarre outburst on “”Stand Up! with Pete Dominick.””

Sanchez’s on-air antics have made him an easy target for satirists. His quirky ad-libbed commentary is frequently used in Jon Stewart’s comedic routines on “”The Daily Show.””

Sanchez, on the other hand, believes his Hispanic heritage has more to do with why he is always the butt of Stewart’s jokes: “”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.””

In his rant, Sanchez harshly berates Stewart, calling him a “”bigot”” with a “”white liberal establishment point of view.””

Sanchez drew sharp criticism not only for his mischaracterization of Stewart, but for comments which were seemingly anti-Semitic in nature.

At one point in his heated discussion with radio host Pete Dominick, Sanchez, a Cuban immigrant of modest upbringing, refers to Stewart as an “”elite Northeast establishment liberal,”” insensitive to the plight of minorities and prejudiced toward “”everyone who’s not like him.”” “”He can’t relate to a guy like me. He can’t relate to a guy whose dad worked all his life. He can’t relate to somebody who grew up poor,”” Sanchez said.

Dominick refuted Sanchez, suggesting that Stewart could understand the situation of an oppressed minority because he is Jewish. Sanchez scoffed at the claim: “”Yeah, very powerless people. … He’s such a minority … 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 somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority?””

CNN released a statement shortly thereafter, ending Sanchez’s six-year stint on the network.

Sanchez retracted his statements Monday, claiming to have “”mangled his thought process,”” but the damage was already done. Not only has he lost his job, but he has irreparably destroyed his reputation as a journalist.

Sanchez wrongly jumped to the conclusion that Stewart’s taunting was racially motivated. He opened himself up to such ridicule by insisting on ad-libbing his entire show. He was known for his outlandish on-air behavior. Rather than hurling accusations of bigotry, Sanchez should have taken the time to evaluate his performance as a news anchor, which was mediocre at best. His haphazard reporting, though entertaining, lacked substance.

Sanchez’s race baiting is also very telling. It indicates that underneath this façade of tolerance he puts on, a racist anti-Semitic sentiment lingers just below the surface.

Jon Stewart recently weighed in on the controversy and of course did what he does best: “”If you went on the radio and said Jews controlled the media, you may want to hold on to your money. … All he has to do is apologize to us and we’ll hire him back,”” Stewart said.

It has also been suggested that Sanchez’s intemperate comments were a culmination of two things. “”Rick’s List”” was only a temporary fill-in for the new “”Parker Spitzer”” show, which premiered Monday. This, combined with an endless barrage of insults from Stewart is likely to have pushed Sanchez over the edge.

But regardless of what may have been the catalyst for Sanchez’s outburst, his behavior was still a clear breach of journalistic boundaries. Sanchez’s credibility as a news anchor is predicated on his neutrality. By lashing out at the “”northeastern liberal establishment”” and the Jews who allegedly control the media, Sanchez makes it impossible to believe he is truly an objective newsman.

— Nyles Kendall is a political science junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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