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CNN's Rick Sanchez apologizes after Jon Stewart weighs in on his firing

[This blog post has been updated]

Two days after his wife posted a trial-balloon apology on her husband's behalf, on her Facebook page, ousted CNN anchor Rick Sanchez issued a more formal apology, calling the incendiary words he said about late-night host Jon Stewart, Jews, and the media, both "tired and mangled."

"On October 4th, I had a very good conversation with ['The Daily Show' host] Jon Stewart, and I had the opportunity to apologize for my inartful comments from last week. I sincerely extend this apology to anyone else whom I may have offended," Sanchez said Wednesday in a lengthy mea culpa -- a copy of which was sent out to the press.

CNN fired Sanchez Friday in the wake of comments he made about Stewart -- who has frequently poked fun at Sanchez on his Comedy Central show -- about the media, and Jews. Sanchez, who was promoting his new book, made the remarks during an interview on "Stand Up! with Pete Dominick" Sirius XM radio show.

Stewart and CBS late night host David Letterman both weighed in on the firing on their respective shows Monday night.

"As Jon was kind enough to note in his show Monday night, I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice," Sanchez continued in his apology.

"Despite what my tired and mangled words may have implied, they were never intended to suggest any sort of narrow-mindedness and should never have been made.

"In the aftermath of these comments, CNN and I have decided to part ways. However, I want to go on record to say that I have nothing but the highest regard for CNN and for my six wonderful years with them. I appreciate every opportunity that they have given me, and it has been a wonderful experience working for them. I have tremendous respect for everyone there, and I know that they feel the same about me. There are no hard feelings - just excitement about a new future of opportunities.

"I look forward to my next step with great anticipation. In the meantime, I will continue to promote my book, 'Conventional Idiocy,' in the hopes of broadening the discussion to get a better understanding between all Americans, regardless of race, creed or religion."

Two days earlier, Suzanne Sanchez had posted an apology of sorts from her husband on her Facebook page.

"rick apologized to jon stewart today. they had a good talk," Suzanne Sanchez posted to her page on Monday

"jon was gracious and called rick, 'thin-skinned.' he's right. rick feels horrible that in an effort to make a broader point about the media, his exhaustion from working 14 hr days for 2 mo. straight, caused him to mangle his thought process inartfully. he got caught up in the banter and deeply apologizes to anyone who was offended by his unintended comments."

And here it is, in case you missed it -- as well as David Letterman's "Rick Sanchez Excuses" Top-10 List:

Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show":
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hurty Sanchez
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Letterman's Top 10 List:

Here's the complete transcript of the statement.

By Lisa de Moraes  | October 6, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Rick Sanchez has a case of his freedom of expression rights being violate. He got fired because he was expressing his opinions.

Posted by: veneda | October 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Rick Sanchez has a case of his freedom of expression rights being violated.

Posted by: veneda | October 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@veneda, I thought Sanchez worked for CNN, not the Federal Government? Or did some branch of government force or ask CNN to fire him? Or have you just never read the Bill of Rights? What part of the First Amendment do you think says that private employers must allow their employees to say whatever they want while they are publicly representing that company?

Posted by: MaxH | October 5, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

veneda, you clearly don't understand how the 1st amendment works. CNN, as a private entity, is well within their legal rights to fire Sanchez.

Posted by: RedBirdie | October 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Rick Sanchez has a case of his freedom of expression rights being violate. He got fired because he was expressing his opinions.

Posted by: veneda


No, he doesn't. Yes, he was their right to fire him.

It seems that WAY too many in the general public fail to understand that freedom of speech applies to the GOVERNMENT'S ability (or lack thereof), to prevent any citizen speaking out publicly against the government.

A private employer fired one of its employees.

In fact, many people in general think an employer has to have a good reason to fire an employee. They do not!

With very few exceptions, an employer doesnt' even need to give a reason AT ALL to fire someone! It's generally better that they not even give a reason.

It's called "employment at will" and means you can be fired from ANY JOB at ANY TIME....AND FOR NO GIVEN REASON!!!

Some exceptions are, for example, in sales...where a salesperson has a performance contract that spells out certain aspects of their employment based on how well the employee does...or doesn't bring in the numbers.

Basically, the rest of us are "at will' employees. Ask any lawyer.

This is not at all new either as it has been this way for a long time.

Posted by: postgettingworse | October 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Rick Sanchez has a case of his freedom of expression rights being violated."

Nope, you're wrong. You need to learn the meaning of the word "rights"

Rick Sanchez publicly made an ass out of himself and his employer and got fired for it like he should.

Why is it every time a private employer fires someone being a moron, all the morons of the world come out of the woodwork to decry it as a violation of idiot's rights. Why do they think people have the right to be a moron without consequences.

go back to the woodwork

Posted by: fitzroysq | October 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@veneda, you silly, silly person. Let me explain it for you:

The public vilification of an individual is only allowed BY LIBERALS TO CONSERVATIVES. If a Conservative does exactly the same thing then it is a CRIME AND AN OUTRAGE. That is why he was fired. Jon Stewart is a Liberal Darling therefore IMPROPER THOUGHTS ARE NOT ALLOWED. Of course if he wanted to slam Glenn Beck he could have done it all day long and probably gotten a raise.

I hope this clears up any confusion you have.

Posted by: RJ14 | October 5, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

that's sarcasm right?
He didn't get fired to attacking Stewart, he got fired for attacking Jews!

Posted by: RandomAnon | October 5, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If Rick's ratings were better they probably would not have fired him? Look how long Lou Dobbs was on the air...

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | October 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

rj, if you really think he was fired for the Jon Stewart remark, you are even sillier than veneda.

Posted by: justmike | October 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Letterman's reason number one has more truth than comedy. Just wait. He'll show up with the the rest of Ailes haters.

Posted by: areyousaying | October 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

RJ: Oooooo SNAP! You hit your head on a nail! All the world's a hammer, and you just need to get boinked!

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | October 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez was not fired because of his attack of Jon Stewart. He was fired because someone at CNN finally realized what a worthless piece of trash this hit-and-run murdering third rate idiot he actually was. CNN management was looking for an excuse to rid themselves of this lunatic, and merely used his latest unhinged attack as an excuse.

And, for the record, Letterman's Reason #1 was more than just a bit off base. Sanchez seems infinitely more qualified to serve as (soon to be former Congressman) Alan Grayson's campaign manager.

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

Rick Sanchez got fired for being a big-mouthed bigot. CNN knew about the big mouth part and that is undoubtedly why they hired him--apparently they didn't know about the biggot part. However, given that they kept Lou Dobbs on forever, I am surprised that they fired Rick so quickly.

The fact is that while the United States is becoming more diverse, Jews and Catholics are still minorities in terms of religion. In terms of ethnicity, Jews, Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are minorities. What is intresting about that is that as years pass, the US is becoming a nation of minorities--soon, whites too will be a minority and there will no longer be a single dominant homogenous group. So, I think that for all those bigots out there, it is time to stop the us and them and just be Americans some of whom happen to be black or Catholic or Jewish...that would make a much nicer country.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | October 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Anti-semitic comments?

What was anti-semitic comments Rick said? That jewish are powerful in the media. C'mon! Is it true? If so, why is it offensive!

I am perplexed. Dominick was trying to say that Jewish was another 'oppressed' minority, and Rick corrected him.... and he got fired!

Posted by: cipitio | October 5, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Whats he apologizing for?
I like both guys and Sanchez is a little Goofy but Stewart is the antagonist.
It's no secret that many of the names in charge of big media business and banks in America are Jewish names. Sanchez pointed out that they're hardly oppressed. Oooo!
I suspect CNN's new boss was opportunistic in seizing upon this episode to get Sanchez off the air. If not this it would have been something else.
I hope Rick Sanchez gets a new national gig where I can see him again.

Posted by: Stethor2000 | October 5, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Lesson: if you're in media, don't utter the word 'jew/jewish'. They employ the media; you will be fired. rants please, only tell me I'm wrong. That's right, you can't, but I'll challenge anyone anyway.
Guess what else? Greeks own restaurants.
Women are female.
Mexicans are from Mexico.

Posted by: matta | October 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

In response to postgettingworse:
I don't disagree with your initial thesis that Sanchez's rights were not violated. Freedom of speech only regulates the government's ability to regulate your speech, not your employer's ability to do so -- that is, as long as your employer fired you for something you said while on the job or while representing the company. (There have been cases where a company fires an employee for that employee's political affiliation outside of the job, or for something that employee posted in a personal blog on personal time, but those are an entirely different story -- and inapplicable in this case.)

What I am disagreeing with you on is the whole "at will" employment situation. Not every state is a so-called right to work state. I happen to live in one such state, Arizona, but many states don't automatically construe employment contracts as being at will. And while it's true that at will employment contracts and right to work legal regimes do make it difficult to sue for wrongful termination, it's certainly not impossible. There were several high profile cases against my former employer, almost all of which had outcomes which favored the former employee (although I include huge out-of-court settlements in that category).

In some states (e.g., California, and some New England states), there are tremendous legal protections that trump or severely limit the at will clauses in employment contracts. (Strictly speaking, right-to-work laws pertain to unions, but they have knock-on effects about the nature of employment. So most folks tend to use the term "right to work" to refer to states where the default assumption is that all employment is at will. There is nothing stopping a state from codifying other employment laws that have similar effects but which don't reference unions. So please forgive my rather loose use of the right-to-work terminology.)

The problem with your logic about not giving a reason to fire someone is that it doesn't square with reality for a number of reasons. You say it's with few exceptions that an employer ever has to give a reason to fire someone at all. That's simply not true. In some states, the state laws provide protections to employees that mandate the company give a reason. In other cases, union contracts mandate that union employees must be given just cause for dismissal. (Only 22 states are right-to-work, less than half, so any state that isn't right-to-work is union friendly.)

Here's the kicker. My former employer is headquartered in AZ but has tentacles in most other states and in several foreign countries. Since they have to have consistent hiring and firing practices, they need to at least pay lip service to the more liberal employment laws of the states where they exist -- no matter which state the employee is actually in. This means procedures for documenting a worker out, etc., so they can defend a firing.

That said, CNN had ample cause to nix Sanchez.

Posted by: LionMage | October 5, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

LionMage: Are you an attorney? My wife and I have been lawyers in D.C. for nearly 30 years...and while my comment was based on what we were taught 30 years ago...very little has changed as far as we know. But we do not practice employment law.

You keep mentioning "at will employment contracts" and "right-to-work" states...neither of which apply or make sense. Also, I'm not making a "logical" argument here....just repeating what most people don't know, and are often surprised to learn...often the hard way: Most of us are at-will employees...with few exceptions. You focus on some of the exceptions to the point of making it sound the other way around. It is not.

The WORST THING an employer of an at-will employee can do is give...a...reason....for...firing (or terminating employment).

WHY? Because A: They don't have to, and B: Doing so can often give rise to legal action, like a wrongful termination claim. That ends up putting the employer in the position of having to prove the reason was valid...blah blah blah. When they cannot make their case...voila...somebody gets money for damages or wins their job back.

This happens because the person doing the firing "feels" like they need to give a reason to Joe Blow when they can him. In the majority of the time...they don't...and consequently end up giving Joe a bone...which, after finding a lawyer, he comes back and beats his former boss over the head with!

Too many of us have the incorrect assumption that we cannot be fired without good showing up late all the time, or drunk on the job, etc. You can be the picture-perfect employee...but if you're an at-will most of us are, you can be sent off without a single word as to why....with NO recourse, PERIOD.

Posted by: postgettingworse | October 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez,learn from your dog: You do not bite the hand that's feeding you.

Posted by: cordobes17 | October 6, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

He dissed the brass at CNN -- they could probably care less that he dissed Jon Stewart. But you don't go on XM radio and trash your own bosses!

Posted by: fmjk | October 6, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Who's Rick Sanchez?

Posted by: loux24 | October 6, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Nobody treats Tom Friedman like that, but he is equally as stupid and animated as Sanchez. Friedman even had to revise and republish one of his flat earth books he screwed it up so badly. Called it 2.0 to make it sound trendy with the Internet 2.0 claptrap that was going around.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 6, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Rick who?

Posted by: JAH3 | October 6, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Accusing Jews of "owning the media" suggests that Jews are trying to replace broad-based news and entertainment with narrow, self-serving news stories and TV programs.

It is insulting to Jews, like saying that Mexicans serve cat meat tacos, or that blacks are lazy, or that Muslims are terrorists.

God forbid that Jews would control the media, after WASPs did such a fair and balanced job with fare like Father Knows Best, Donna Reed and the Miss America pageant

Posted by: Ripley123 | October 6, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody says that until they find they are being retaliated against anyway. Stewart had some nerve to call it "Jew Baiting". Sanchez was the one who was baited. And 14 hour days? Just another case of using and abusing!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 6, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"I want to go on record to say that I have nothing but the highest regard for CNN and for my six wonderful years with them. I appreciate every opportunity that they have given me, and it has been a wonderful experience working for them. I have tremendous respect for everyone there, and I know that they feel the same about me. There are no hard feelings - just excitement about a new future of opportunities."

You may have spoken too soon! You were on to something before!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 6, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez made the error of saying Jews run the media; now he'll be doing the headlines in Billings MT.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | October 6, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

postgettingworse, if you are an attorney why aren't you familiar with EEOC laws? If someone is discriminated against for sex, race, religion or any other protected class and fired in the process, is sexually harassed and then fired or fired out of retaliation or constructively discharged in order to open a position to hire someone else, etc.), that is illegal! You can't just fire someone for any reason without consequences.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 6, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, you also can't fire someone because they have a disability and you have to make every reasonable effort to accomodate them.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 6, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

American Jews make up only 2% of the population of America. Yet: 46% make over $100,000 per year, they make up 15% of the U.S. Senate, 13% of the U.S. House of Representatives, 67% of members of the Board of the Federal reserve, 33% of the U.S. Supreme Court. Media: Just taking CNN only, 55% of corporate officers for TBS, which owns CNN, are Jewish. On air, Larry King, John King, Howard Kurtz, Eliot Slpitzer, Jeffrey Toobin, Paula Zahn, etc.. Rick Sanchez has nothing to apologize

Posted by: actanonverba | October 6, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez took a run at being loud and brash, hoping it would get him a job at Fox like certain other celebrity spokespeople there.
But all it got him was fired ... oops!

Posted by: webdevgal | October 6, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rick, "inartful" isn't a word!!!

Posted by: drobin2001 | October 6, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez needs to find another line of work. He was terrible on TV and CNN found a valid reason to fire him without telling him he was just too dumb and obnoxious to be a TV anchor.

Posted by: Kansas28 | October 7, 2010 9:14 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."

What happened to Oliver 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.”

Joe Sobran who died recently 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.”

Michael Santomauro

PS: An antisemite condemns people for being Jews, I am not an antisemite.

Posted by: ReporterNotebook | October 7, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

He only issued an apology to save his career. The man is a loser.

Posted by: boyn4884 | October 7, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Sanchez got fired only because he spoke the truth about controlling the media by the jews.Now a days you can comment on Muslims whatever you please and can easily
get away with the protection of the first
ammendment.But talk about jews and you are out.What an injustice!

Posted by: mypori47 | October 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Bring Rick back and give him a reprimand. He should not have been fired. What morality is CNN showing by firing him and then hiring Spitzer for a prime time show, who should have been criminally charged with violation of the Mann Act. Of course Spitzer is white and Rick is Latino.

Posted by: hypnos123 | October 7, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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