Rich Sanchez, the CNN afternoon host, has finally hit back at Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who has often made him a butt of jokes (including many airings of Rick getting tasered a few years back). But his way of doing it is raising controversy. [[UPDATE: CNN fired Sanchez late today. He has not yet commented. Stewart also silent. ]]
Sanchez, appearing on the satellite radio show of CNN contributor Pete Dominick--a former staffer at The Daily Show--called Stewart "bigoted" and implied that CNN (and maybe much else in the media) is run by Jews.
By the end of the interview, Sanchez, a Cuban-American, tried to walk back his remarks a bit, but by then, many will feel, the damage is done and the message clear.
A few quotes dribbled out this morning but now there's a lengthy account here, including audio from the Sirius show. A briefer and more friendly take here from Mediaite. Politico, Hot Air and Huffington Post have now covered it so it's ready to go wide. James Poniewozik of Time has just weighed in, saying ("Oy gevalt") CNN now in for a world of "tsuris." TPM now also has the audio plus clips of the taser incident and a classic Jon Stewart slam against the CNN host.
My proposal: Sanchez to make amends should let Stewart taser him, and donate the proceeds to charity.
Sanchez charged, speaking of Stewart (he also took a shot at Stephen Colbert): "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." He added: "I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy this thing that the only people out there who are prejudiced… are the Right. There’s people that are prejudiced on both sides."
One highlight, when Dominick raised the fact that Stewart is Jewish so perhaps not prone to be bigoted toward other minorities, Sanchez replies: "Very powerless people… [snickers] He’s such a minority, I mean, you know … Please, what are you kidding? 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."
Later, Sanchez claimed, “I can’t see somebody not getting a job somewhere because they’re Jewish." Dominick replied: “Well, then you’ve never been to Nebraska."
Stewart frequently mocks Sanchez for reading tweets by readers on the air as evidence his show his plugged in to the Web. Sanchez in the radio interviews refers to taking shots from Stewart and that many people like him are treated as if they are "stupid."
A new "classic" edition of Greg Mitchell's award-winning book, "The Campaign of the Century," will be published this month by PoliPoint Press.