"Myself and most of the people I know don't know the metric system or can't do the conversion charts very well."
So said CNN's Rick Sanchez Monday in response to criticism that he has taken for his absolutely pathetic coverage of Saturday's tsunamis in Hawaii.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Sanchez manically pestered a scientist brought on to CNN's set Saturday to explain what was happening in the Pacific Ocean and how it might impact Hawaii.
As Dr. Kurt Frankel discussed the ramifications of a nine meter drop observed in the ocean following the massive earthquake in Chile, Sanchez said, "By the way, nine meters in English is?"
Receiving many e-mail messages concerning this dreadful faux pas, Sanchez issued the following mea culpa Monday (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Mediaite):
RICK SANCHEZ, HOST: I don't usually work on Saturdays, but this Saturday I was awakened early by folks saying, get in here, Sanchez. You're one of the guys who speak Spanish at the network. So we need you to get in here and translate and see what's going on. So I came in to help out with this breaking news story.
Let me set up a situation for you. I was interviewing a scientist, Dr. Kaplan, who's an expert on tsunamis, among other things. And I was having a tough time -- I apologize. I said Kaplan -- It's Frankel, Dr. Frankel.
I was having a tough time understanding exactly what he was saying because he was speaking in the metric system and using a little bit of scientific jargon. So I pressed him a little bit, and as I pressed him I asked about the metric system.
And -- I will show it to you right now -- I have gotten a ton of response of people making fun of me on this and criticizing me. What's new? Let's watch together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKEL: The pressure of the ocean changes as the wave comes through and sends a signal to the buoy, up to the satellite and down to NOAA.
SANCHEZ: Hold on a minute. Wouldn't it follow that if all of sudden a part of the ocean just dropped 27 feet the reaction to, you know, the yang of the yin is that it will also go up?
FRANKEL: It will go up, but that doesn't mean -- there's not going to be 27 --
SANCHEZ: No. I'm not asking you to do 27 to 27. I'm saying if there is a drop will there be an increase?
FRANKEL: There should be an increase.
SANCHEZ: So there will be some kind of wave activity there, but what you're saying we can't exactly measure --
FRANKEL: You can't extrapolate that to what's going to happen in Hawaii, OK. It's a function of the coastline topography, of the slope of the -- well, there is no continental shelf in Hawaii, but the slope of the land off the coast --
FRANKEL: -- and so forth. So a number of other factors play into this.
SANCHEZ: But what we can say is -- tell me if I'm wrong -- there is a tsunami there and it was just detected that it caused a 27-foot drop.
FRANKEL: Yes. We recorded the tsunami passing that buoy, yes.
SANCHEZ: That's important. Sorry. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I'm getting a lot of grief about that. Yes, maybe I was a little over-passionate. Maybe I pressed him too much. That's who I am. It's the way I do things. I apologize for anybody who may have been offended by the way I pressed the good doctor.
On the question of people criticizing me because I said "What is nine meters in English?" Because I know a -- myself and most of the people I know don't know the metric system or can't do the conversion charts very well.
A lot of folks are saying that was a stupid thing to say, Sanchez, because after all, the metric system is English. Perhaps. But wait, someone's coming to my rescue. Look at the twitter board. Adrian Delagarza says, "The metric system is not English. It's French."
There you go. We just started another debate here. I thank you for taking me through it. By the way, Adrian, thanks for getting my back on that one. One guy believed in me.
As I received some e-mail messages saying that Sanchez might have been asking the doctor this question for the sake of folks that didn't know what nine meters was, I rest my case.
HE didn't know, and admitted it Monday.
But I'm sure regardless of this, we should definitely trust his opinion on important matters such as manmade global warming which according to a LexisNexis search has come up in discussions with Sanchez hundreds of times.
Maybe CNN should have Sanchez cover less complicated matters in the future such as how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.