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CNN fires Rick Sanchez after remarks

The 'Rick's List' host suggests that Jewish people run all TV networks and calls Comedy Central's Jon Stewart a 'bigot.' CNN has not named a replacement.

October 02, 2010|By Melissa Maerz, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from New York — CNN fired newscaster Rick Sanchez on Friday, a day after he called Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" a "bigot" and suggested that Jews run CNN and "all the other" networks.

The host of "Rick's List" made the comments Thursday during an interview on the satellite radio show "Stand Up! With Pete Dominick." Sanchez complained that Stewart was prejudiced against those who disagree with his "white liberal establishment point of view" and scoffed at the idea that Jews were "an oppressed minority."

"We thank Rick for his years of service," CNN said in a statement Friday. "And we wish him well."

CNN representatives declined to comment further.

This isn't the first time in Sanchez's four years at CNN that his comments have led to controversy or mockery. He once called President Obama a "cotton-picking president," and has attributed unconfirmed quotes to Rush Limbaugh and misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii.

The most recent remarks came as Sanchez, who is Cuban American, was explaining how racism and prejudice had stunted his career. He said that a CNN executive once compared him to John Quinones of ABC's "Primetime."

"In his mind, I can't be an anchor," Sanchez told Dominick. "An anchor is what you give to high-profile white guys."

Sanchez said the story illustrates that racism exists "not just [from] the right," but also from "elite, Northeast establishment liberals" who condescend to him because he's Latino.

"Deep down, when they look at a guy like me," continued Sanchez, "they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier and not the top tier."

After being challenged by the radio host, Sanchez backed off his use of the word "bigot," and said Stewart was "prejudiced." Sanchez said he was upset over Stewart's frequent personal attacks on "The Daily Show," noting that once the Comedy Central host called him "a total meathead."

CNN has not named a replacement for Sanchez. The network says it will broadcast "CNN Newsroom" from 3 to 5 p.m. in the place of Sanchez's show "for the foreseeable future."

melissa.maerz@latimes.com

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