Rick Sanchez is the host of CNN's "Rick's List" and the author of newly released "Conventional Idiocy: Why New America is Sick of Old Politics."
He's apparently also got a pretty huge chip on his shoulder regarding "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart, who has picked on the sometimes hapless Sanchez. In a conversation with satellite radio host Pete Dominick today, Sanchez declared Stewart a "bigot" unable to relate to minorities in America because, after all, the Jews are a very powerful people who run the whole media. Here's the sarcastic exchange, which he and Dominick arrived at after Sanchez's bigot comment:
PD: Stewart's a minority as much as you are.
RS: Yeah, a very powerless people.
RS: He's such a minority. You know, please. Are you kidding me? 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.
Sanchez later walked back the "bigot" comment, but persisted in calling Stewart "very prejudicial." He also told Dominick, "I grew up in Miami. Every one of my best friends was Jewish!"
Some of Sanchez's points, such that I can decipher, weren't entirely invalid. He argued that not all prejudice is on the right and that people are not immune to prejudice simply because they're liberals or minorities. That's true, but he marshaled no evidence for his charge against Stewart, which was unfair and clearly personal. He also seemed to critique Stewart's hybrid comedian/newsman bit as a "copout," which is a fair criticism made competently by others ("Clown nose on, clown nose off."). But in true Rick Sanchez fashion, the whole rant relied on name-calling, little evidence, and plenty of stereotyping and bitterness. Jon Stewart ought to have a blast with it.
Later in the conversation, Sanchez seemed to sense that deploying nasty stereotypes about the Jewish people in order to burnish his own minority creds might play badly, hoping aloud he hadn't offended the host. But he also said he hoped Stewart would respond and explained that he's "transparent and real" as an excuse for anything he might have said.
His plight as a minority in the news business was the refrain of the discussion. "It wasn't given to me," he said defensively, of his success in the news world.
Nope, but I'm sure CNN is thinking about taking it away.
Flashback: You'd think an anchor so attuned to minority issues would have known better than to commit Sanchez's last gaffe.