Rick Sanchez: 'Too Cold' in Iceland 'To Have a Volcano There'

[Update, 6:21 pm Eastern Monday April 19: Sanchez named me to the "very top of his "List U Don't Want 2 Be on" for this item: CNN's Rick Sanchez Goes After 'Cheap Shot' From NewsBusters]

[Update, 10:25 am Eastern Friday: Rick Sanchez dismissed his Iceland remark as a "joke" on Twitter on Friday morning: "yeah, it's friday reading up on...dummies who took my joke w chad about vocano [sic] literally. duhh!" Minutes later, he labeled those pointing out the comment "haters."]

On Thursday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez again demonstrated his lack of knowledge of basic science, again related to geology. As he covered the volcanic eruption in Iceland which has disrupted thousands of airplane flights across Europe, he commented that "when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland. You think it's too cold to have a volcano there" [audio available here; alternate video link here].

The anchor, who asked on-air, "By the way, nine meters in English is?" after the massive earthquake in Chile on February 27, directed his "too cold" remark to CNN on-air meteorologist Chad Myers, who also reports on other science-related stories. Myers didn't get into details of plate tectonics as footage of the volcano played on-screen, but explained that "a plume of ash [was] coming out of the top of [a] volcano, going straight up."

Sanchez then asked about one of the details in the video: "What's that white stuff though? It looks like clouds." The meteorologist replied, "That's just a cloud....The volcano is going off, but there's just regular weather happening underneath it. This thing is going tens of thousands of feet in the sky, and it is going right into the flight path of an awful lot of airplanes."

Rick, I know that you didn't know that it was pro-lifers that were taking part in the March for Life in January, and that you have trouble with metric conversion, but let me explain something to you. Plate tectonics is completely independent of climate. There are volcanoes in Alaska, the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, and even in Antarctica [Alaska and Antarctica links courtesy of fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard]. There are even volcanoes at the bottom of the ocean.

The relevant transcript from the last segment of Thursday's Rick's List program, starting at the 4:57 pm Eastern mark:

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgSANCHEZ: I was just asking Chad, how can you get a volcano in Iceland? [Myers laughs]. Isn't it too- when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland.

MYERS: Right.

SANCHEZ: You think it's too cold to have a volcano there. But no! There it is.

MYERS: Look at that.

SANCHEZ: What is this? Explain-

MYERS: That is a-

SANCHEZ: Go- take us through these pictures.

MYERS: That is a plume of ash coming out of the top of [a] volcano, going straight up. Tens-

SANCHEZ: What's that white stuff though? It looks like clouds.

MYERS: Tens of thousands- that's just a cloud.

SANCHEZ: Oh, okay.

MYERS: Yeah. The volcano is going off, but there's just regular weather happening underneath it. This thing is going tens of thousands of feet in the sky, and it is going right into the flight path of an awful lot of airplanes.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center