“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well,” The New York Times reported CNN said in a statement.
In the interview, Sanchez described Stewart as “a bigot” (which he later changed to “prejudiced”). He further explained that Stewart is prejudiced “against anybody who doesn’t agree to his point of view, which is very much a white liberal establishment point of view.” The New York Times reported, Sanchez also “repeatedly suggested that he had experienced subtle forms of racism in his television career.”
Sanchez sarcastically questioned if being Jewish is a minority. “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 is quoted as saying.
The Los Angeles Times further noted that Sanchez. who is Cuban American, has made controversial comments several times before, noting his labeling President Barack Obama “a cotton-picking president” in August, among other incidents.
As the Washington Post noted, Stewart has made fun of Sanchez before, including after Sanchez mistakenly referred to the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii in March.
See excerpts from Sanchez’s interview on “Stand Up!” here on the Washington Post site.
Summer 2010’s Reporter Firings
Sanchez is at least the second CNN reporter fired this year for his off-the-clock comments. Previously, senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs Octavia Nasr was fired for her July tweet offering respect to the recently deceased Hezbollah leader Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. CNN later described her tweet as having not met “CNN’s editorial standards.”
Also, reporters at an Arkansas TV station were fired this summer for their “profanity-laden spoof of broadcast news.” The four reporters had made videos mocking their TV news jobs off-the-clock.
UPDATE: 10/03/2010 10:52 AM EST: PopEater reported that Stewart and other comedians poked fun at the Sanchez incident during the taping of Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars.” The program will air Oct. 21. See PopEater’s post here.