CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez Is Assembling a Pile of Retractions

Rich Noyes noted earlier that CNN's Rick Sanchez stated via Twitter what he couldn't say on the air because of the overdone "Balloon Boy" fracas. He was sorry he aired fabricated Rush Limbaugh quotes:

i've know rush. in person,i like him. his rhetoric,however is inexcusably divisive. he's right tho. we didn't confirm quote. our bad.

Our bad? How about "I was inexcusably reckless in airing fabricated quotes?" But this is at least the third time in the last year that Sanchez has required a retraction when attacking a conservative or Republican.

Two months ago, Matthew Balan of NewsBusters forced Sanchez to retract his claim that Sen. John McCain said Republicans needed to recruit "competent" Hispanics, which inflamed CNN analyst Roland Martin. McCain never used that word.

It might go without saying, but "competent" Hispanic anchors don't require regular retractions.

(That came days after Sanchez suggested on Twitter that he couldn't be a sellout and work at Fox News: "do u know how much money i'd make if i'd sold out as hispanic and worked at fox news, r u kidding, one problem, looking in mirror". Fox's Julie Banderas fought back: "As a wise Latina woman, I have no comment other than to say... if I were Rick Sanchez, I wouldn't look in the mirror, period.")

Noel Sheppard reported last November that CNN reporter Jeanne Moos was assigned to correct Sanchez, who showed a video of President Bush not shaking hands at a G-20 summit: "And he seems like the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked. You know, the one with cooties."

Moos corrected: "It turns out the president had already shaken everybody's hand earlier that same day. In fact, he had shaken most of their hands twice starting the day before."

After all this unfairness, here's another claim Sanchez ought to retract: "I play it down the middle."

PS: Sanchez loves bringing on pundits from the liberal group Media Matters for America, the one Hillary boasted she created. In a story on Fox's Special Report tonight (a story I appeared in briefly), reporter Molly Henneberg said liberal author Jack Huberman claimed he got fabricated Limbaugh quotes from Media Matters, including Limbaugh's alleged praise for assassin James Earl Ray. Henneberg solicited this comment in reply:

"We are unsure where that quote came from, as well. We have never posted them." -- Doug Stauffer, Media Matters, 10/15/09.

Let's hope Media Matters wasn't claiming they never posted the "Slavery had its merits" quote -- because they did, on their "County Fair" blog. They jumped on it early, on October 7. Karl Frisch hailed Bryan Burwell for "one hell of a column" -- which included the fake slavery quote.

So much for the foes of "misinformation."

MMFA later updated the item with Burwell's cocky so-what response when confronted with the fake quote, as well as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's announcement that they will "continue to research the origin" of the quote, and not yet admit it was a fake.  

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis