Rick Sanchez Again Hints That Fox News is Not a Legitimate News Outlet

CNN's Rick Sanchez again hinted that Fox News wasn't a legitimate news organization during his Rick's List program on Monday. When colleague Ed Henry mentioned that several news outlets were petitioning for a front-row seat at White House press briefings, Sanchez replied, "I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?" [audio clips available here]

The anchor discussed the fight over the front-row seat with Henry and correspondent Brooke Baldwin during a segment 42 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin brought on the CNN White House correspondent to comment, as he's on the board of the White House Correspondents Association, which voted on the matter. Henry explained that "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was."

Sanchez responded to the White House correspondent's explanation with his Fox-bashing remark, to which Henry replied, "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?" The anchor retorted, "Yeah. I'm just wondering."

Seconds later, the CNN correspondent further explained, "I have the TV seat on the board. We look out for all five of the major U.S. networks, including Fox. In fact, we pool our resources with Fox when we travel around the world and their White House reporters, regardless of what Rick may think about some of the other hosts. I watch the program and I know who he likes and who he doesn't." Sanchez took back part of his earlier slam in reply: "Their day-side stuff is solid."

The CNN anchor has bashed Fox News several times on live TV. During a segment on the April 8, 2009 edition of CNN's Newroom, Sanchez blamed the network, along with other right-leaning media outlets, for the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh. He made a passing reference to his network's competitor as both he and Eric Boehlert of Media Matters bashed the conservative media on June 11, 2009. Later that year, on September 21, Sanchez hinted that Fox News wasn't a "real news organization."

The full transcript of the segment from Monday's Rick List:

SANCHEZ: You have something going on with the White House.

BROOKE BALDWIN: Something else going on with the White House, and Ed Henry is kind of going to 'trend' with us-

ED HENRY: Going to sneak in here again- is that all right?

BALDWIN: Hey, friend!

HENRY: How are you?

BALDWIN: So this whole story- it is all over the Internet today. I woke up and you, big time White House correspondent-

HENRY: Sure.

BALDWIN: You get to sit in the White House briefing room, right?

HENRY: And here comes the punch.

SANCHEZ: Oh! This is the Fox story.

BALDWIN: And this is- sure.

SANCHEZ: Fox News- yeah.

BALDWIN: Fox, A.P.- and so, Helen Thomas- she's no longer sitting in the front row, center seat- highly coveted seat.

HENRY: She retired.

BALDWIN: She's gone. You are the big time president of this board that-

HENRY: Yeah, future president, but I'm on the board. (laughs)

BALDWIN: Right, right, right- so you're on this board, and you have to determine who gets the front row center seat.

HENRY: Yeah.

BALDWIN: And then- so, who got it?

HENRY: Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was because what a lot of people were missing in this whole fight was that-

BALDWIN: And it is a fight-

HENRY: Yeah-

BALDWIN: Which is fascinating, for those of us who don't understand the inner workings of the-

HENRY: Sure, and then we can walk through the whole-

SANCHEZ: Well, I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?

HENRY: Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?

SANCHEZ: Yeah. I'm just wondering.

HENRY: Well-

BALDWIN: Was there not a whole Facebook page telling you not to allow Fox?

HENRY: There was. There was a lot of pressure- pressure campaigns on the Internet (Sanchez laughs) who were not happy and didn't understand why someone at CNN would be voting for Fox. Bottom line is that- I was wearing my board hat, not my CNN hat-

BALDWIN: Sure.

HENRY: I have the TV seat on the board. We look out for all five of the major U.S. networks, including Fox. In fact, we pool our resources with Fox-

SANCHEZ: Right.

HENRY: When we travel around the world and their White House reporters, regardless of what Rick may think about some of the other hosts-

BALDWIN: Yes.

HENRY: I watch the program and I know who he likes and who he doesn't-

SANCHEZ: (laughs) Their day-side stuff is solid.

HENRY: Major Garrett, Mike Emanuel, Wendell Goler are all solid reporters.

SANCHEZ: (unintelligible) It's some of the other shows in the prime time that are a little-

BALDWIN: So Fox got a front row seat.

HENRY: Fox got a front row seat- former A.P. seat. A.P. moved over to where Helen Thomas was, because Helen Thomas- it's not really the Helen Thomas seat. People mix that up as well. She had that because she was the senior wire reporter at UPI years and years ago, and kept it-

SANCHEZ: That's true.

HENRY: And the center seat was reserved for the person who started the news conference, the first question to the president, and 'thank you, Mr. President' at the end. Now, the A.P. will have those honors, and Fox was up to the front- a lot of controversy about it, but- you know, there was all this jockeying (unintelligible)-

BALDWIN: I think it's fascinating- inside baseball at the White House-

SANCHEZ: And you had a lot to do with that. Well done! You handled the pressure well. (Sanchez and Henry shake hands)

HENRY: Well done? You didn't seem to like it.

SANCHEZ: Look at his hand! He's like oh!

HENRY: I'm like- oh yeah, I think Rick is up to something here.

SANCHEZ: (laughs) Well, it's a story for another day. We'll do it then. Thanks.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center