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A look at Rick Sanchez's self-destruction

By Howard Kurtz  | October 3, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Video  
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I was working (in a lowly position) at WPLG (ABC) when Rick Sanchez worked for the competition in Miami. Because of his handsome looks and gregarious personality, I recall him as being well accepted by South Floridians as an on-air personality. By the time he landed at CNN, I was back in North Alabama and my Mom, who was a huge CNN fan, pointed him out to me as having been in Miami when I was there. I felt nothing but admiration at his having "made it to the big-time", especially in such a competitive business as news on a national level.
But over the years, he had become a clown. I am no fan of CNN and could not stand to see what he had become as a so-called anchor, but for him to feel slighted in any way because he was Cuban is ridiculous, and he should take a long look at himself and his own antics before blaming any system, race of people, or injustice for what was probably his own insecurity.
If he did that, he may see that most striving small market anchors and news reporters (and Miami was no small market) across the country would give their eye-teeth for the opportunity this poor Cuban boy was given.
He strikes me as much too egotistical not to show up somewhere else. He is perhaps deserving of nothing short of a reality show, but my guess is than he can easily go back and join the Bozos at MSNBC.

Posted by: KimberlyWrites919 | October 3, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

How about CNN setting up Sanchez during their infomercial disguised as "Reliable Sources." CNN asked the question: "Should CNN have fired Rick Sanchez?" Then they set up the panel with three panelists that strongly agreed. One even said replacing Sanchez with Spitzer was a step in the right direction. Unreal. No matter what you think of Rick Sanchez, this CNN infomercial was cheap and classless.

Posted by: 0027 | October 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is an alleged comedian and an alleged entertainer. (I don't "get" his humor.) Rick Sanchez is (was?) an alleged journalist. (I don't "get" him either.) Unfortunately, people who are in the public eye (like Mr. Sanchez) need to develop a VERY thick skin because people like Jon Stewart live for reactions from the victims of their so-called humor. It has nothing to do with bigotry or anything else. Mr. Sanchez's reaction was exactly what Mr. Stewart was looking for. Unfortunately, for Mr. Sanchez, he paid a very heavy price for not developing a thicker skin.

Posted by: Justice1999 | October 3, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you jamie mcintyre for your comments, Sanchez was bad for CNN. And yes he was a blowhard that constantly promoted his book. It's a relief that he is off CNN, it was ridiculous that he was on for 3 hours during the day!

Posted by: rejo2001 | October 3, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Carol Simpson, Rick Sanchez looks like the average white male and you would never know he's Hispanic or Cubano, unless you hear or see his name as being Sanchez. People being Cuban isn't a race. Blacks were brought to Cuba from Africa to work in the sugar canes and some mated with whites from Spain. Cubans can be black, white, or mulatto. Rick Sanchez, Desi Arnez, and Andy Garcia all Cubans or Cuban Americans that happened to be white males.

Posted by: Ward4DC | October 3, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Rick Sanchez is a privileged white Cubano-American. Most black or darker-skinned Cubans catch hell in color discrimination within their own minority group here and in Cuba.

Posted by: Ward4DC | October 3, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Justice1999, yes, he paid a very heavy price for not developing a thicker skin. And for being calling his bosses left wing-bigoted-Jew-elites on the air. Don't forget that part

Posted by: shadow27 | October 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez reminds me of Tom Friedman.

Both are over-animated blowhards who carry just beneath the surface a self-pitying victimization that could rival Richard Nixon's (except that Nixon didn't always believe his own rhetoric).

Posted by: blasmaic | October 3, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Jewish people are, pound for pound, the most well off people in the United States. A great percentage are college educated and have professional occupations. They are incredibly disproportionately represented in government and the media. what's the freaking big whoop? Everybody knows this. At worst, these simple facts tend to suggest high achievement and perhaps a bit of nepotism, not too bad really. But, when you fire someone for pointing it out it looks EVIL and oppressive.

Posted by: actanonverba | October 3, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I only saw his show a few times and seldom watched it for long. It seemed that his major theme was that he was Latino and the rest of the world was not. It followed this Log Cabin tale of poverty to riches that became a rant. The story, however, lacks credibility and quality of his "news reading" was incoherent as a result.

Unfortunately Mr. Sanchez represents what has become a central theme in La Raza, Lulac, and as we have seen this past week from Ms. Salinas in CA a determination to view this country as an opportunity to colonize rather than capitalize.

Sanchez personifies the failure of this "barrioization" strategy. His public self-destruction is probably more shaming to his family and those who bought his questionable autobiography.

I don't wish people like him well any more than I would wish the Klan good fortune. But the lesson the media must learn is that the free wheeling use of the term oppression is now the free wheeling abuse of the country's largese, conscience, and unity. Good ridance tpo him and any other public figure that feels that dividing and hyphenating is an entitlement.

Posted by: mvtex | October 3, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I used to think highly of Howard Kurtz ( and, frankly, not very highly of Rick Sanchez) but after this despicable smear job by Kurtz, my sentiments are reversed.

First, the piece starts out with a series of low blows, as Kurtz slimes Sanchez by picking out 3 or 4 pieces about which Sanchez has been criticized over his career. They have absolutely nothing to do with the story whatsoevever -- rather, they are just an attempt to embarrass Sanchez and make hinm look bad. (I am NOT talking about the Stewart bits shown later on, which are fair game since they were implicated in the Sanchez interview.) But starting out with the tazer clip, the Iceland clip, and so on are just a hatchet job on Sanchez.

Second, Kurtz has selectively and misleadingly spliced the audio clip of the Sanchez interview in a way that would make Andrew Breitbart proud. For example, he higlights that Sanchez called Stewart a bigot, but never plays (or even acknowledges) the part later in the interview that Sanchez expressly states that he "takes it back." There's more, but you need to listen to the full audio side by side with Kurtz's snippets to fully appreciate the hack job you are witnessing.

Third, as if the misleading audio splicing weren't bad enough, Kurtz misstates what Sanchez actually said, the calls that false interpretation "offensive." He says Sanchez said that Jews "control the media" as though they also "control the banks too." But in fact Sanchez said nothing of Jews "controlling" anything, whether the media or banks. Rather, what he said was in response to a comment that Stewart's Jewish heritage implies that he too is a minority that suffers discrimination in his profession. Sanchez scoffed at that, noting that there are many people "like Jon," i.e., Jewish people in positions of power, at CNN and other outlets. That's it. He didn't throw around the canard that "Jews control everything" as Kurtz would have it, but merely rebutted the notion that persons of Jewish heritage are likely subjects of discrimination in the media field. And really, does anyone doubt that? Certainly it would have been offensive if Sanchez overgeneralized about Jewish "control," but it is not a secret that many persons of Jewish heritage do hold positions of power at major media outlets (e.g., the Graham family's involvement in the Post since the 1940s, and Kurtz himself is Jewish). If Kurtz is going to make the case that these comments are "offensive" he had better be prepared to make the case that Jewish persons are indeed powerless enough in the media industry that they are likely to suffer discrimination. If he can't make that case, then his bashing of Sanchez's comments is out of line.

To be sure, there is a case to be made for firing Sanchez, but it would be based on the fact that Sanchez publicly criticized his employer by suggesting they are discriminating against him. Kurtz never mentions that though.

"Reliable sources" indeed. What irony.

Posted by: Brian12345C | October 3, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Carol, something exploded on Sanchez head. Speed balls and coke balls.

Posted by: R3N364D3 | October 3, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

First and Last. Sanchez was apparently becoming an absurd senseless incoherent clown. He would probably along with breitbart, beck and palin and his likes support a non-profit organization to save the purple penguins of the North Pole, the purple flying elephants or the laws to ease the cargo ship traffic on the seaports of New Mexico and the Earth is 6 thousands years old. Neanderthals had a bigger IQ than these bunch of lunatics.

Posted by: R3N364D3 | October 3, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Rather than being held back because of his "race"*, I'd say he was unjustly advanced because of his good looks. What about all the highly intelligent yet plain and ugly reporters out there, men and women, who will never sit behind the anchor desk because of something as superficial as their facial features? I didn't hear Sanchez bemoaning that injustice.

(* "Cuban" is a nationality, not a race. Is his race not European? I don't know, but if he wants to convince me otherwise, I'd have to see a certified copy of his family tree.)

Posted by: jleatherhead | October 3, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez is an embarrassment to true journalists. He is loud, ill-informed, rude, highly opinionated, and spouts his ill-informed opinions as fact.

More than once, during the brief periods I watched him, he made grievous errors. During one of his hyped-up stories, he made an erroneous statement regarding a safety issue when diving or swimming in the ocean, whilst claiming to be a skilled scuba diver himself. His misstatement could potentially lead to a serious accident.

The man should have been sent packing a long time ago. His air time on CNN was a dog and pony show with him as the ring master. Cuban, French, Tanzanian, Jew, Buddhist, Catholic....have nothing to do with Sanchez's disappearance from CNN...

He is the one and only one responsible as he became far too enamored with the sound of his own voice and his image in the monitor.

Posted by: LucyJ1976 | October 4, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Most of us are mentally trapped to think Jewish. Actually, it is safe to say that virtually every mainstream publication or or other type of media organ is "nothing more than a screen to present chosen views." The great battle over the last century has been a battle for the mind of the Western peoples, i.e., non-Jewish Euros. The chosen won it by acquiring control over essentially the complete mainstream news, information, education and entertainment media of every type, and using that control to infuse and disseminate their message, agenda and worldview, their way of thinking, or rather the way they want us to think. Since at least the 1960s this campaign has been effectively complete. Since then they have shaped and controlled the minds of all but a seeming few of us in varying degree with almost no opposition or competition from any alternative worldview. So now most of us are mentally trapped in the box the chosen have made for us, which we have lived in all our lives. Only a few have managed to avoid it or escape it, or to even sometimes see outside of it, and so actually "think outside of the (Jewish) box." --Michael Santomauro

Posted by: ReporterNotebook | October 4, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Sanchez clarified himself to say Stewart was not so much a bigot, as prejudiced against people unlike himself. "Like himself" for Stewart means a member of the Northeastern self-styled elite. Stewart's brother heads the New York Stock Exchange. His father was a physics professor. He used to room with now-Congressman Anthony Weiner. His people are are snooty Northeasterners - disdainful of people from other sections of the country and from "lower" social strata. Sanchez was pretty explicit about what he meant, and was absolutely right. Stewart hates Sarah Palin, because she is so "gauche" to his Long Island eyes. Stewart treats Sanchez differently than, for instance, Shepard Smith, (listen to Shepard on Fox, and notice that he cannot read - spends half his time perplexed over what the teleprompter is trying to tell him). But Stewart does not pick on Shepard Smith, because they share the same pretentious college-boy ethic of class consciousness (Shepard being a private-school boy, etc.), the same sense of superiority to the hoi polloi. Sanchez is portrayed as an imbecile. Smith does not. It is a form of class-bigotry, as Mr. Sanchez suggests. As to anti-semitism, I trust that Mr. Sanchez knows who the management were at CNN, and is correct in his observation that there are a lot more people who are ethnically Jewish in positions of power in television - in positions comparable to Sanchez's own - than there are people of Hispanic heritage. His comments were not reasonably read as suggesting some sort of Jewish conspiracy, but merely point out that Jews are no longer an "oppressed minority" barred from the corridors of power in television.

I think that Stewart's rubbing Sanchez's nose in the matter, and gloating over his firing was singularly graceless, myself.

Posted by: dante99654 | October 4, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Sanchez would try and lead people during an interview. For a reporter, this is one of the worst things you can do.

Posted by: farmsnorton | October 4, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

What happened to Olivers Stone is a good case study. The Wall Street Journal reported this past summer that Stone said that “public opinion was focused on the Holocaust because of ‘Jewish domination of the media.’” Stone also said that the Jews “stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f—– up United States foreign policy for years.”

Like so many others before him, Stone groveled: “In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry.”

How Jewish is Hollywood? That’s the question Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein asked two years ago just before Christmas. In answer, he wrote:

When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah.

Needless to say, Stein was not fired for writing this, nor was he rebuked in the least. As we have seen time and again, there is a glaring double standard about alluding to Jewish power in the media. Jews are free to reference it, but woe unto the non-Jew who wades into those shark-infested waters.

Joe Sobran who died this past week had this to say about Jewish media power:

“Jewish control of the major media in the media age makes the enforced silence both paradoxical and paralyzing. Survival in public life requires that you know all about it, but never refer to it. A hypocritical etiquette forces us to pretend that the Jews are powerless victims; and if you don’t respect their victimhood, they’ll destroy you. It’s a phenomenal display not of wickedness, really, but of fierce ethnocentrism, a sort of furtive racial superpatriotism.”

In 1996,reprinted in the May 27th issue of the New York Times, by Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist describing his feelings on the killings of a hundred civilians in a military skirmish in southern Lebanon. Shavit wrote, “We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.”

Posted by: ReporterNotebook | October 4, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

For those who apparently need to be educated about Cuba, my native country, just like Rick Sanchez, here as some facts:
Immigration and emigration have played a prominent part in the demographic profile of Cuba during the 20th century. During the 18th, 19th, and the early part of the 20th century large waves of Canarian, Catalan, Andalusian, Galician, and other Spanish people immigrated to Cuba. Between 1900 and 1930 close to a million Spaniards arrived from Spain. Other foreign immigrants include: French,[131] Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Greek, British, Irish, and other ethnic groups, including a small number of descendants of U.S. citizens who arrived in Cuba in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cuba has a sizable number of Asian people who comprise 1% of the population. They are primarily of Chinese descent (see Chinese Cubans), followed by Japanese, Filipino, Koreans and Vietnamese people. They are descendants of farm laborers brought to the island by Spanish and American contractors during the 19th and early 20th century.[citation needed] Afro-Cubans are descended primarily from the Kongo people.[citation needed], as well as several thousand North African refugees, most notably the Sahrawi Arabs of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation since 1976.[132]

Posted by: MayraFromMiami | October 4, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Why did Sanchez refer to himself (at 2:03 in the clip) as "the little Puerto Rican guy"?

Posted by: mattintx | October 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I do not consider myself anti-Semite; I consider myself a patriotic US citizen. And I am deeply concerned by this reasoning:
1-It is being made public the innumerable and indescribable crimes committed by the Jewish.
2-The only source of ideas of the 85% of age-over-28 individuals, is Media (movies, magazines, TV, radio, news, even fashion and art). If Media are under Jewish domination, the 85% of us is being made indifferent to any kind of wrongs that the Jewish are committing or may commit, and by extension, of the wrongs we as a country commit under Zionist control of our collective behavior by politics, namely mortgage-debacle, Cuban-embargo, Rwanda-genocide, Palestinian holocaust, hate to Muslims, hate to Mexicans and China debt, just to name a few!
3- Jewish force world publications and ourselves Americans to self-censor all and every criticism towards Jewish we may want to express, effectively limiting our possibility of correction.

Then, where are we going as a civilization and as a country???

Are we going to be happy moral-less cynicals like Ari Shavit, the Israeli columnist wrote describing in May 27 of 1996 in the NY Times op-ed, his feelings on the killings of a hundred civilians in a military skirmish in southern Lebanon, “We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.”

We cannot survive being indifferent to fundamental humanity as the Zionist politicians control us to. We may get away with some of the things we are doing to the world, for a while, but not for long.

What is going to be of us, when China, India and Brazil grow, better grounded than us? They are going to demand answers for our crimes. And we’ll be losing our kingdom, chunk by chunk.
My children are growing up in this cauldron of cynicism and I am very worry for them and for my country.
We must do something against our falling so stupidly. As Machiavelo knew 500 years ago, is not possible to change a country’s direction if the people do not get involved. We citizens must fight against the madness where we are going to, collectively. Stop Zionism.

About Sanchez, he was just being paraded by CNN as “see? We hire Hispanics!” It was even selected by his shortage of brainy matter, to insert us up, the Zionist design that Hispanics are appalling. Sanchez criticized a Zionist icon, Stewart, and disappeared was he, notice to us all. We should take notice all right of this, and defend ourselves of harassment, because that is what Sanchez’s out it is: is a threat and is bullying toward us American citizens, by Zionism.

Posted by: SouthStar | October 4, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"I do not consider myself anti-Semite..."

Yeah, well, generally, people like you never do. And when I say "people like you", I mean people who post long, paranoid rants that invoke "Zionism" and "Zionists".

Incidentally, I'm not a Jew, but I did think Rick Sanchez was blithering windbag long before he shot himself in the foot.

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | October 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Watching Sanchez was like watching a car wreck, no matter how bad it is, it is hard to turn away. He was so irating, yet intriguing. This guy would spend a lot of time telling you what he is going to tell but then never does. It took him five minutes to say something he could of adequately conveyed in 30 seconds. It was as if he was in love with the sound of his own voice. Also, that insincere teethy smile seemed to come only when cued.

CNN will be better without him.

Posted by: rhackbar | October 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sanchez personifies the depths to which CNN has sunk.

That they can't identify their ditching of the news for idiots like this as the source of their ratings problems means CNN and Headline News will continue in decline.

Posted by: edismae | October 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sanchez personifies the depths to which CNN has sunk.

That they can't identify their ditching of the news for idiots like this as the source of their ratings problems means CNN and Headline News will continue in decline.

Posted by: edismae | October 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Jewish people are, pound for pound, the most well off people in the United States. A great percentage are college educated and have professional occupations. They are incredibly disproportionately represented in government and the media. what's the freaking big whoop? Everybody knows this. At worst, these simple facts tend to suggest high achievement and perhaps a bit of nepotism, not too bad really. But, when you fire someone for pointing it out it looks EVIL and oppressive.

Posted by: actanonverba | October 3, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse


I can't figure out WHY he was fired.

Reasons (all good) include:

1. Criticizing your superiors in public. Never a good idea. Obama very publicly fired a general for this just a few months ago.

2. Being an anti-semite. Whether or not Jews are well off, you can't make negative cracks about them as a race. What's next -- we're going to make fun of blacks for being so good at basketball? Racism is racism. Period.

(Except Italians! I'm Italian. It seems to be acceptable to make fun of Italians, for some reason. Maybe it's because we are PROUD of all the crazy stuff we do!)

3. Being stupid. REALLY, REALLY STUPID!

Because nobody, and I mean NOBODY, takes on Jon Stewart and wins.

Hasn't happened; never will.

See you at the Rally to Restore Sanity, October 30, 2010 at the Mall.



(Woops - sorry - got carried away. I meant to say, I hope everyone at Fox News gets explosive diarrhea).

Posted by: trenda | October 4, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Fox "news" will probably snap him up pronto. At least for guest spots on panels if nothing else. They let men like Mark Furhman and Oliver North on air, so Sanchez wouldn't be a stretch.

Posted by: dpand1 | October 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I am just amazed that Rick Sanchez could be fired so quickly for his remarks on the radio show. When I first read the story on Saturday with his edited remarks on, I was totally miffed at the decision and listened to the whole interview on Sirius Radio. First, it was the host of the radio show who mentioned that Jon Stewart was Jewish. Until that moment in the interview, Sanchez had criticized Stewart as Northeastern Liberal who was not capable of understanding the experiences of people from Sanchez's background. It was the interviewer who added that Jon Stewart was a "Jewish" minority also and then Sanchez stated that people with Stewart's background as Northeastern Liberals and also being Jewish (It should be noted again that interviewer added "Jews" to the conversation and unfortunately Sanchez included them in his generalization) are not oppressed in the media or entertainment industry. Even with lumping of Jews with Northeastern liberals, his statement was not inaccurate since it would be difficult to conclude that Jews are exploited or discriminated against in the news and entertainment media in this country. The segment on Mr. Kurtz's CNN show clearly implies that Sanchez stated that Jews were not discriminated against or oppressed in any area, and one can not draw that conclusion from the edited remarks and certainly not from the whole interview. It might be worthwhile for the guest commentators and Kurtz himself to listen to the whole interview and see if they still have the same reactions to interview. It is a travesty that Sanchez could be fired for his statements in this interview since they are not inaccurate in any way when one views Jewish representation in the news and entertainment media in this country. The mere fact that Sanchez was fired so quickly (less than 24 hours) for the mis-representation of his comments clearly reinforces his original thesis that Northeastern Liberals and Jews are not oppressed or exploited in the media and have a disproportionate amount of power in this country's media. I am interested to see if Sanchez will be given a second opportunity like Don Imus or Glenn Beck(who never missed a day for inappropriate remarks concerning the President)!!!

Posted by: clawar1 | October 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Well said KimberlyWrites919.

Posted by: blackmapman | October 7, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

After listening to the whole Sanchez interview with Pete Dominick I came to the conclusion that Sanchez was somewhat goaded into saying that more "people like Jon Stewart" are working at CNN and other media companies than Latinos. Sanchez had been talking about discrimination he'd experienced and he asserted that Stewart was picking on him for being Latino. Dominick also says but "you're such an easy target," and then suggests Stewart was also a minority, being Jewish. These comments don't reveal Rick Sanchez to be an anti-Semite. He was angry at being picked on and just lashed out. It is a reality that there are many more Jewish folks working in leadership positions at CNN than Latino folks. For Sanchez to be instantly fired for these--in context--relatively tame remarks is just astonishing! So many media outlets are exaggerating what Sanchez said, stating he went on an "anti-Semitic rant." That is such a distortion of the radio interview. I am deeply disturbed by these events. Sanchez' reputation is being overly slandered. Yes, his comments weren't appropriate, but they should'nt have caused him his job. CNN has a lot of explaining to do. Meanwhile I am switching to MSNBC.

Posted by: cleome | October 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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