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Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Was Behind Rick Sanchez’s Agonizing Twenty Minute Crawl to Career Suicide

On Thursday Rick Sanchez spent twenty minutes on the radio committing career suicide in a most slow agonizing manner. Appearing on the Sirrus/XM satellite radio program, Stand Up! with Pete Dominic he started out placing himself in a little hole and kept digging until he exposed a giant pink slip.

He started with a story about how a CNN administrator didn't want him to become an anchor because he was Cuban. Then he railed into John Stewart for making fun of him claiming Stewart is a bigot. Sanchez believes that Stewart portrays him as stupid because he is Cuban.
“I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.”
Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with? That’s what happens when you watch yourself on his show every day, and all they ever do is call you stupid…. If I did just sit there and read the teleprompter every day, Jon Stewart would never say a word about me. He’d say I’m a good Hispanic anchor, “Way to go, you’ve done a good job, stay right there.” … I am a complex human being; I’m not some moron to be…”
Sanchez would still have a job if he stopped right there, but maybe because of some deep-seeded insecurity, he was driven to proving to the world that Stewart’s taunts were true. That’s when he crossed the Rubicon.

Pete Dominic reminded Sanchez that Stewart wasn’t a bigot that he was a comedian and Stewart, a Jew, made fun his own people more than any other. Dominic told Sanchez that Jews are sensitive to bigotry because of everything they had faced as a people.
“Yeah,” Sanchez snickered sarcastically at the idea that Jews are as much minorities as Latinos in the US, “Very powerless people”
He’s [Stewart] such a minority, I mean, you know...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. [sarcastically] “
That was the death blow, Sanchez basically said Stewart is a Jew, Jews like Stewart run CNN, and in fact Jews run all of the news organizations.

At 3:00 the next day, Rich Sanchez was not on-air for his CNN time slot. After spending the next three hours chasing CNN Corporate Communications for a reason (he was also due to go on a tour to sell his new book), at 6:19 PM I received this simple email from Bridget Leininger of Turner Corporate Communications
“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well. We will broadcast CNN Newsroom from 3-5pm for the foreseeable future.”
During his tenure at CNN Rick Sanchez developed pattern of making outrageous statements. Sure he was biased with the constant rants against Fox News “The Voice of Fox News” and the Tea Party “Ronald Reagan would be too liberal for certain Tea Partiers” but it was some of his nonpolitical comments that made him look the worst, like “Isn't it too cold in Iceland for a volcano?” “How much nine meters is in English?” or my personal favorite when he read the stage directions off the teleprompter “"Up next: Ad lib. A tease. That's what it says right here."

Rick Sanchez’ problems as a CNN reporter had nothing to do with his liberal bias, if that eliminated someone from a news job there would be many more openings in the Media. Nor was his constant malapropos or questions that made him seem uninformed, because handled right, that could be made into an endearing quality. Sanchez didn’t even lose his job because he is a bigot because; quite frankly despite what he said on the Pete Dominic show bigotry was not behind the inappropriate statements he made.

What caused Sanchez to lose his job at the Cable News Network were two very important personality flaws. Mr. Sanchez’s thin skin and inability to laugh at some of his on-air flubs allowed the comments made by John Stewart to get under his skin. It was that thin skin that caused the former CNN anchor to start ranting on radio.

The other flaw is may be too big to overcome. It is the reason why Sanchez could not stop talking when he approached the line, it is the reason that people like Stewart, and Glenn Beck use Rick Sanchez as a constant target. Unfortunately the real reason Rick Sanchez lost his CNN gig is that he is not the sharpest tool in the toolbox.

In the end, CNN decided that it could handle a news reporter that said nasty things, and they could handle a news reporter that says stupid things, but together in one news reporter it was just too much to handle

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