During an appearance on Stand Up! With Pete Dominick CNN’s Rick Sanchez discussed life as a Cuban-American and the difficulties minorities face when working in broadcasting. The conversation soon shifted to Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, who occasionally makes jokes at Sanchez’s expense.
Sanchez expressed frustration and anger toward Stewart’s brand of comedy, originally calling him “bigoted,” later recanting and setting on “prejudicial” and “uninformed.” Prodded for more information by Dominick, Sanchez said he believes Stewart has unfavorable views toward “Everybody else who’s not like him.”
Dominick pointed out that Stewart is also a minority and that he often pokes fun of those who, like Stewart, are Jewish and from the Northeast. While later agreeing that Jews have a history of oppression, Sanchez scoffed at the comparison, sarcastically noting, “Yeah, [Jews are] a very powerless people. [laughter] 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.
On CNN, Rick Sanchez has a long history of taking on those who rely on stereotypes and racial generalizations. He stood up to Lou Dobbs’ hateful anti-Hispanic stereotypes over illegal immigration and fought back against his racially-tinged birtherism. Earlier in Dominick’s show, Sanchez even recalled a time when a CNN executive told him that he saw Sanchez as more of a “[ABC News reporter] John Quiñones” rather than an anchor.
Due to his own experiences, Rick Sanchez should understand the pain inflicted when people use racial and ethnic stereotypes. Reviving the age-old myth of a Jewish controlled media is beneath Sanchez and beneath CNN. What Sanchez said was unacceptable. He owes a sincere apology for his ugly and offensive comments.