Fired CNN anchor Rick Sanchez was granted an online Q&A Monday on The Washington Post website. Sanchez still finds it unfair that he would be knocked for noting knowing how many feet are in a meter. Hasn't someone pulled him aside and told him that audiences expect an anchor to at least fake that they've taken the time to figure out feet to meters? When he was asked about why Jon Stewart mocked him so often, Sanchez replied:
I have taken to heart some of Jon Stewart's criticisms and I asked Jon about that last week. He said, "Rick, I'm a comedian and the only reason I focused on you was because I like you."
Maybe I just never saw it that way. Maybe I was too thin-skinned. I blamed it on Jon's prejudice and that was wrong. But here is my point: Oftentimes the ridiculing was simply baseless. I was ridiculed for not knowing how many inches or feet in ten meters. I didn't think that was fair, because it happened during a breaking news story and frankly I'm not good with the metric system.
Sanchez was asked by another questioner if he was favored with a television anchor job because of his good looks, and if this was discrimination. "I don't see myself in any way as other than suburban dad with four kids, a beautiful wife and a devotion to them and my god. I'm humbled by your suggestion but I do not believe that my looks have any effect on my marketability," he declared, but then added about how he has been minimized as a Christian and a Southerner:
People of all persuasions are often minimized today in our society. As a Christian I find that sometimes I am minimized. As a southerner I sometimes find that I am minimized. African Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanics ... we are all minimized from time to time. It's not intentional. And it's not confined to any one company or any one group.
The Post Q&A linked to a blog on their own website by Sam Sanders that insisted Sanchez was right that prime time was all white in cable news, although there's a lot more diversity in the day time. I liked this snippet:
And when CNN announced "Parker Spitzer," the National Association of Black Journalists wrote a feisty open letter calling for change in cable news. From that letter:
"Are you telling us that CNN could find no one better than an ex-politician who quit being New York governor after consorting with prostitutes to grace America's living rooms each night?"
Earth to the NABJ: CNN used to have a black talk-show host (for eight years) who was an ex-politician with an adultery problem. His show was Both Sides with Jesse Jackson.