CNN's Rick Sanchez lashed out at multiple groups left and right during an interview on satellite radio with comedian Pete Dominick. During the interview, Sanchez slammed Jon Stewart, who has regularly made fun of the anchor, as a "bigot," and stated that the media is run by Jews. But the anchor also went into detail about his hatred of Fox News and falsely claimed that he doesn't smear people himself.
Mediaite, HotAir.com, and Politico on Friday all highlighted Sanchez's anti-Stewart remarks and his questionable statements about Jews. Dominick, on his own website, gave additional details about how the CNN anchor not only targeted apparent prejudice against him from "top brass" at CNN: "Sanchez's example was an illustration that the problem of racism in the media business goes further than many expect, enveloping 'not just the Right,' but also 'elite, Northeast establishment liberals' that 'deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.'" This isn't a surprising characterization from Sanchez, who sees himself as in the "middle" or "not ideological."
Dominick, who once worked with Stewart on The Daily Show, posted three clips from the interview on his website, and 10 minutes into the second clip, the standup comedian tried to explain his trade to the anchor, that comics don't think about people's feelings when they make fun of them, but only think about being funny. Sanchez didn't buy this, and made a claim about how he operates [audio clip available here]:
DOMINICK: Just as a comedian, I want to tell you something, because I think this might help, it might not....We don't think very much about people's feelings. We think about being funny....Some woman won't shut up- and I'm not talking about her race- I'm talking about, 'You are the most annoying woman I've ever met in my life' and I really lay into her for a joke. We lower others to raise ourselves. That's how we make a living and we are not thinking- I'm not- I'm certainly not thinking about Rick Sanchez-who's-got-four-hours-on-CNN-every-day's feelings, if I'm Jon Stewart. I'm not speaking for Jon-
SANCHEZ: Or his kids or anybody else-
DOMINICK: No. We- not really-
SANCHEZ: Well, you should. You should. I do, in my job. Every time I have to tell a story about somebody, the first thing I ask myself is, how would I like it if somebody said this about me? That's the first thing that I ask. I don't see that when I watch Colbert or Jon Stewart. They just skewer people mercilessly, and they don't give a damn and they walk away. And you know what? If they were just comedians, it would be great. But unfortunately, their show has transcended comedy. It is now more important than Walter Cronkite. So it's like we're living in a generation where Walter Cronkite is out there cracking on people.
Sanchez thinks about others before he says something about them? Well, that simply doesn't seem to be the case, given his apology for using an unsubstantiated quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh in October 2009. He also twice implied that Texas Governor Rick Perry is a racist and called Fox News anchor Glenn Beck "pudgy-faced" days before he ran the fake Limbaugh quote.
The CNN anchor's hatred of Fox News is also well-documented, but he gave some remarkable insights into how he sees his competitor during most of the third clip which Dominick posted (the radio host/comedian himself actually agreed with Sanchez's main point that Fox News is guilty of "race-baiting;" Dominick himself, along with Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, bashed Beck, O'Reilly, and conservatives on Joy Behar's HLN show on February 4, 2010) [audio clips from the third part available here]:
SANCHEZ: Fox News, for example- and I talk about this in 'Conventional Idiocy'- why does Fox News deliver the message that it does? Because it's a business model! It is a business model-
SANCHEZ: The business model is very simple. There's a bunch of angry white guys out there- so we need to program to them, and the angrier we get them, the more viewers we'll have. And they were already angry to begin with, so we'll give them an even little more nudging, like we'll make sure we have at least three stories in every O'Reilly Factor that involves black teenagers who are in a hip-hop band with their underwear sticking out of their pants. Because if we do that, we'll get them angrier and they'll watch more often.
SANCHEZ: We'll do another story on a Hispanic somewhere who got into an accident or beat up some white guy's daughter. See, these stories don't appear by magic. They're there for a purpose-
DOMINICK: Why do Hispanics beat up white guys' daughters exclusively?
SANCHEZ: (laughs) I don't know. It's a passion thing.
DOMINICK: You're right, but here's my question because you've been intelligent for a long time and you know- I want to maintain my integrity when I ask this question, and I know- it might sound like a conflict of interest for me, being on TV and getting even deeper into TV, but- listen, CNN doesn't- we don't do as well as Fox in the ratings, but the reason they do so well is because of the reasons you just gave: the race-baiting, the unimportant-
SANCHEZ: Yeah. It's a great business model.
DOMINICK: Right, but politicians are no different because politicians say things- buzz words, to get elected. So television does things to get ratings, politicians say things to get elected. Your show has an element of entertainment-
DOMINICK: You have to cover some things that aren't changing the world- a car chase, a this and a that. How much of- I mean, how much- do you have to compromise and do things that, while they're fun and they're entertaining- they're not changing- they're not having an impact- they're not making us smarter?
SANCHEZ: It's all about a very simple question that you usually learn from your parents, if you have a good parents: be fair, and always make sure that whenever you say or do something about someone, ask yourself if that's what you'd want said or done about you. It's very simple. I mean, bottom line is- sure, we do everything we can to get the viewers to watch, and if there's a great video out there of something that has that lead-in factor, we're going to use that. But that's different from coming out there and saying- you know what? We're going to make sure we do only the stories that make white men angry, because that way- at the expense of the other demographics. If it makes black people look lazy, so what? We'll get more white people to watch. If it makes Hispanic- looks like they're all bunch of freeloaders, so what? Even if it's not true, we'll get more white people to watch.
One might conclude from all of this talk about "white men" and "white people" that Sanchez thinks a large sector of people with lower melanin levels are racist, and that Fox News is only playing to their bigotry.