CNN's Don Lemon insisted on Tuesday's OutFront that he is neither "a big supporter of Obama" nor an "ultra leftist" as guest Larry Klayman claimed. "Nothing you have said has been correct about me," Lemon retorted.
"The only person who decides my political leanings, whether I'm left or right, are me. The only people who know that for sure, the person who knows that for sure, is me," Lemon defended his integrity. However, Lemon has repeatedly bludgeoned conservatives and championed liberalism as a CNN anchor. Below are some of his worst moments:
Ed Henry's heated exchange Tuesday with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as Fox News' newly-minted senior White House correspondent reminded NewsBusters of times when Henry, as a CNN reporter, supported his old competitor against attacks by left-wing activists and a liberal colleague.
CNN, a network known for its regular liberal bias, touted its supposed objectivity versus its competitors in a new ad which premiered on Tuesday evening. The ad graphically associated Fox News with the Republican elephant and MSNBC with the Democratic donkey, and claimed, "If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news."
Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone, in his Wednesday article on the new ad, quoted from CNN political director Sam Feist, who claimed that their ad "simply states the obvious: We're the one cable news channel that doesn't advocate for one political party or the other." Calderone continued that "CNN's nonpartisan anchors have struggled against their more opinionated counterparts. Campbell Brown acknowledged her 8 p.m. show's low ratings against Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in her May announcement that she was leaving the network."
Rick Sanchez, who was fired from his Rick's List program on CNN on Friday, certainly racked up a record of liberal bias, specifically bias against conservatives, during his tenure at the network. Sanchez also revealed a propensity for making on-air gaffes which made him a targets of comedians like Jon Stewart. It was the former anchor's animosity toward Stewart which directly led to his firing.
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. He consistently targeted conservative media outlets from that time until his firing.
ED 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"- BROOKE 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." -Exchange with CNN correspondents Ed Henry, a member of the board of the White House Correspondents Association, and Brooke Baldwin, August 2, 2010 [see video above]. Almost a year earlier, Sanchez hinted Fox News wasn't a "real news organization."
TVNewser is reporting that Rick Sanchez has been fired by CNN. The network released a statement earlier this evening: "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
On Thursday evening, the now-former CNN anchor blasted Jon Stewart as a "bigot" on Pete Dominick's radio show and indicated that Jews ran CNN and the media. He also criticized the "top brass" at CNN for supposed prejudice and went into detail about his hatred for Fox News, as NB's Matthew Balan reported earlier on Friday afternoon.
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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]:
CNN's Rick Sanchez positioned himself above the fray between "right wing" Fox News and "liberal" MSNBC on Thursday's Rick's List. Sanchez named Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and their network to his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," after the Obama administration supposedly exposed his competitor's left wing bias, and claimed that he "wasn't necessarily liked" by the current or previous administrations.
Before putting his colleagues at MSNBC on his "list," the CNN anchor invoked his longtime vendetta against his other competitor and took a swipe at the last vice president: "Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network."
Sanchez then moved on to his main subject: "Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.'" He continued with the claim that "if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House [Press] Secretary Bill Burton."
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez implied that Fox News played some kind of part in James O'Keefe's attempted "punk" of correspondent Abbie Boudreau: "The same right-wing videographer, who entrapped and embarrassed innocent people in the past, tries it again- this time on a CNN correspondent....How could he try something so stupid, and what was Fox News's role?" [audio clip available here]
Sanchez made this parting shot at his longstanding nemesis on the last prime time edition of his show, as the 8 pm time slot on CNN is being taken over on October 4 by a new program featuring former New York governor and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer and pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker. The anchor raised his implying question about the apparent "role" of Fox News during the lead-in to his program. Instead of making a direct accusation against Fox News, as he did in the aftermath of the murders of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in April 2009, he replayed an earlier interview with Boudreau from the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour of his program.
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin leaned against California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as she compared one of her ads against that of her opponent, Senator Barbara Boxer. While Yellin acknowledged that Boxer's ad was "negative," she also complimented it as "very effective." The correspondent went on to label Fiorina's commercial "mean" [audio clips available here].
Substitute anchor Brooke Baldwin discussed the California Senate race with Yellin 17 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin first noted that the San Francisco Chronicle declined to endorse either candidate in the race, for in their view, "[i]t is a dismal choice between an ineffective advocate for causes we generally support and a potentially strong advocate for positions we oppose." She then asked the correspondent, "[I]s that more of a slap in the face at Boxer or Fiorina?"
Yellin replied that it affected the Democrat more: "For Boxer, by far- I mean, it's fairly stunning that...a Democratic-leaning newspaper...their op-ed page tends to be left-leaning- would not endorse the long-term Democrat in the state is very, very bad for Barbara Boxer. I mean, their conclusion there is essentially that Boxer, they think, is ineffective. Carly Fiorina, they argue, is too conservative, so they're not endorsing."
Comedian Stephen Colbert on Thursday ridiculed Rick Sanchez, the much-maligned CNN personality that deservedly is the butt of many jokes.
After telling his "Colbert Report" viewers that Jon Stewart's Washington rally next month has been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Colbert informed them that he too has gotten a "major media figure" in his corner.
Upon learning the endorsement is from Sanchez, Colbert said, "Wow. Rick Sanchez. The coveted Sanchez bump. That could get me tens of supporters."
After showing a clip of the CNNer making a fool of himself on the air, Colbert panicked, "Oh, my God. It's like I'm a freshman and I've just been befriended by a loser upper-classman" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Right Scoop):
On Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez again bashed Fox News and the conservative media, two of his favorite subjects of ire. Sanchez stated that President Obama was being "dogged" and blamed "conservative talk radio hosts...lambasting this man 24/7.... [and] Fox News, which is essentially the voice of the Republican Party, whose job it is to make this man look bad no matter what he does" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor brought on political correspondent Jessica Yellin at the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the President's town hall meeting on Monday. After playing a clip of Velma Hart, an Obama supporter who bluntly told the chief executive that she was "exhausted of defending" him, Sanchez asked Yellin for her take on whether "others out there are thinking in many of the ways that she [Hart] expressed herself."
Steve Krakauer at Mediaite reported CNN anchor Rick Sanchez has been on the air promoting his new book (badly titled Conventional Idiocy) – 36 times in the last three weeks. "So how did the book sell? According to numbers Mediaite obtained from Bookscan, Sanchez’ book sold 802 copies in its first week."
As of Saturday, it ranked #5,920 on Amazon and #13,287 on Barnes & Noble. Perhaps Sanchez and his publishers at Penguin didn't realize that the title doesn't sound like a critique of someone else. It sounds like "Come buy 272 pages of idiocy." That might work for a comedian, but not for an anchorman. The shot at left is actually meant as a publicity shot to promote the book, not Sanchez's lack of savvy around electric cords.
The Smoking Gun relayed that photo and their take on Sanchez's titanic ego:
CNN's Rick Sanchez thinks that Ronald Reagan wouldn't even be conservative enough for certain members of the Tea Party.
Sanchez discussed Tuesday's Republican Senate Primary in Delaware on his Monday news hour. He criticized the Tea Party's opposition to GOP establishment candidate Congressman Mike Castle as over-the-top, and claimed Castle is "respectable" and "conservative enough" for the region. Castle has a lifetime ACU rating of 52.
Tea Party members in Delaware have largely supported the more conservative Christine O'Donnell. Sanchez believes O'Donnell gives the GOP less of a chance to win in the general election.
"But you know what's interesting about this," Sanchez continued, "I mean if you put this in perspective, Ronald Reagan would be taken out of the mix by some of these more far-Right Tea Party folks. Richard Nixon would never have become the President of the United States."
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez tried to connect the overwhelming opposition to the planned Ground Zero mosque to a Florida pastor's "Burn a Koran Day" event. Sanchez asked former New York Governor George Pataki, "Do you feel in any way that some of this backlash...led by some fine gentlemen like yourself...has kind of paved the way for that controversy, and if so, do you feel guilty at all?" [audio clip available here]
Sanchez interviewed Pataki during the prime time edition of his program. Just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour, the anchor raised Pastor Terry Jones's planned inflammatory protest: "Let me ask you one final question, if I possibly can. There's this new hullabaloo going on in Gainesville, Florida, with this pastor who wants to literally burn Korans. And now, we're getting protests in Afghanistan- our generals are saying this guy's going to get our troops killed."
CNN's Rick Sanchez took a very strong position about a White House promise on Monday only to have to backtrack and admit he was wrong 45 minutes later.
During Monday's "Rick's List," Sanchez challenged Republican National Committee communications director Doug Heye about his claim that the Obama administration said the unemployment rate wouldn't exceed eight percent if Congress enacted the President's stimulus bill.
"Doug, who made that promise?" asked a defiant Sanchez. "I never recall hearing the President of the United -- in fact, I recall the very first speech the President of the United States made after being sworn in and the very first thing he said to Americans was, expect unemployment to go into double digits."
The CNN host arrogantly continued, "I don't think you're right. Prove me wrong."
About 45 minutes later, Sanchez marvelously proved himself wrong (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
The breaking news about James Lee's standoff at the educational channel's Silver Spring, Maryland office building dominated Sanchez's broadcast. Twenty-five minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, during an interview of former hostage negotiator Tom Fuentes, the anchor summarized Lee's manifesto: "He apparently wants the Discovery Channel...[to] broadcast certain commitments to save the planet...He's apparently anti-war....He's concerned about global warming, talks about Malthusian sciences, continues to come back to saving the planet." He then asked Fuentes, "So...if you get my drift, Tom, he's very concerned. He's an activist, may be very well-meaning, but he's now put himself in a situation where he, the police officers and his hostages' lives are endangered. What do you do?"
CNN's Rick Sanchez quickly apologized on his Rick's List program on Monday after inadvertently labeling Barack Obama the "cotton-picking president of the United States." Sanchez used the racially-tinged term in response to the President recently addressing the significant percentage of American population who believe he is Muslim or was born outside the U.S. [audio available here]
The anchor raised President Obama's recent comment about his birth certificate with correspondent Jessica Yellin 21 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Yellin explained that "this is the first time he's talked about it since the polls showing how many Americans believe him to be Muslim came out" and that "you get the sense that he's been sort of through this. He wants to set the record straight, but he really does seem to accept that he's not going to convince everyone, and he's not going to spend a lot of time and energy on something that's not going to change."
Sanchez replied to Yellin full of frustration: "I'm just sitting here just shaking my head. He is the cotton-picking president of the United States!" He continued with another slighter gaffe: "If the president of the United States doesn't have enough of a bully pulpit to convince people of a lie- that a lie is a lie, I should say, then- you know, where are we? What kind of planet are we living on? What the hell is going on here?"
CNN's Deborah Feyerick joined the media guessing game as to the motivation behind the stabbing of Muslim taxicab driver in New York City, emphasizing the possibility it may have been "connected to this big Ground Zero controversy, where we're hearing so much anti-Muslim sentiment." Feyerick raised this hypothesis during reports on Thursday's Rick's List and The Situation Room.
The correspondent's first report on the attack aired 12 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Rick's List. Anchor Rick Sanchez played a clip from victim Ahmed Sharif's press conference on Thursday before introducing Feyerick. She began by stating that when "Michael Enright, the suspect, was arrested, he had numerous journals and notebooks on him, all of them filled with writings, some of it completely illegible. That is now with authorities, all of that being vetted and looked through to see whether, in fact, there was anything indicating that he had undergone some sort of a mental or emotional change."
Feyerick did mention that Enright "ironically...was a volunteer working for a non-profit organization that promotes peace," but didn't mentioned that the organization, Intersections International, actually supports the planned mosque near Ground Zero. She continued with the speculation over the possible motivation of the attack, including the "anti-Muslim" charge:
Glenn Beck on Thursday told his radio audience that CNN's Rick Sanchez is the dumbest man ever on television.
As NewsBusters has been chronicling the bumblings and stumblings of Sanchez for quite some time, we're certainly not going to take the other side of this debate.
Even if we tried, it would be difficult for the conservative talker highlighted many of this genius's missteps that we've also shared with our readers recently (video follows with transcript and clips of related miscues, h/t The Right Scoop):
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez returned to his obsession with Fox News, stating that the network "obviously tends to lean way, way, way to the right." He did acknowledge this his competitors at MSNBC "tends to sway to the left," but went on to extend his "I play it down the middle" label of himself to his entire liberal network: "We happen to be in the middle, and that's the way we do things" [audio available here].
The anchor, who denied that he had any ideological leanings less than a month ago, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin 17 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour to report on the political donations of News Corporation, which own their competitor, Fox News. Yellin reported that News Corp. "has given a million to the Republican Governors Association." Sanchez replied that "there is nothing wrong with giving money....Time Warner is a big company. I'm sure Time Warner gives money to different organizations, except I have no idea what it is." He then asked, "So, what I want from you is, the $1 million figure, all those zeroes...is it different? Is it substantially different?"
CNN's Jessica Yellin, a one-time "prominent feminist activist," helped forward the talking points of the pro-abortion lobby by devoting part of a segment on Tuesday's Rick's List to EMILY List's new anti-Sarah Palin ad. Yellin aired their left-wing accusations against the Republican and her endorsed candidates without providing the other side and/or fact-checking them [audio clips available here].
Anchor Rick Sanchez introduced the issue by bringing up the Republican's recent "mamma grizzly" ad: "It seemed like a very effective ad that Sarah Palin had put out. I mean, professionally speaking, it was very clean, very well put together- the whole 'grizzly mom' ad that everyone was talking about- and, apparently, there's some blowback on this now. What is that?"
Discussing Harry Reid's racially-charged comment about Hispanic Republicans, Rick Sanchez miraculously managed to turn the embattled senator's gaffe into an example of his opponent Sharron Angle's incompetence. On the prime time "Rick's List" yesterday, the CNN host actually gave serious consideration to the Nevada Democrat's claim while exploring the extent to which the Angle campaign is "blacking out" Hispanic media outlets.
"Also, do you think a Hispanic-American can be a Republican?" teased Sanchez. "Harry Reid doesn't think so. And I'm going to tell you what Hispanic groups are saying about his opponent as well."
Instead of interviewing a Hispanic Republican who is offended by Reid's insensitive remarks, Sanchez brought on Miguel Barrientos, a liberal talk show host, to "drill down" on why Angle is allegedly ignoring Hispanic journalists.
"These charges against Angle, are they real?" asked a bewildered Sanchez. "Is she really blocking out the Latin media? Or is this just a case of opportunism by her opponent, Harry Reid?"
CNN's Rick Sanchez bizarrely wondered on Tuesday's Rick List whether investigating the funding behind the planned mosque near Ground Zero would lead to investigations into Catholic and/or Mormon funding: "If you start going into who is giving money...you've got to go to Rome and start asking where the money is going into Rome....and you have to go the Mormons and ask...what are they doing with their money? [audio clips available here]
Sanchez posed that vaguely morally relativistic question as he interviewed former New York Governor George Pataki during the prime-time edition of his program 14 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Before bringing on his guest, the CNN anchor inquired whether the opponents of the proposed Islamic center/mosque had become extreme: "Are those against this Islamic center/mosque in New York City going too far these days? I want to you decide as you look at this new ad that's going to be running on city buses in New York. On one side, as you look at this, you will see that there's a picture of a mosque- on the other side, a shot of a plane that's slamming into the Twin Towers, and it poses this question: why there? The ad is being sponsored by a group that's called The American Freedom Defense Initiative."
After noting former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and current mayor Michael Bloomberg's support for the mosque, Sanchez introduced Pataki and first asked him, "Why are they [Koch and Bloomberg] wrong and why are you right?" After the Republican explained his opposition, the anchor gave his first hint to his later Catholic/Mormon question: "Once you start telling someone you can't worship here because it affects the sensibilities or sensitivities of someone else, you're starting to go down a slippery slope, and then a lot of people would ask- well, which religion is next? Who else are we going to not let worship where they want, how they want?"
"You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant," Myers said. "Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big - I think we're going to die from a lack of fresh water or we're going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure."
But fast forward a year and a half and you'll see how things change. On the Aug. 9 daytime broadcast of CNN's "Rick's List," that same Myers has a little bit different view. Myers was asked by the show's host Rick Sanchez the so-called "$60,000 question," but not without a preemptive cheap shot at climate skeptics on the right.
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez revisited his vendetta against Fox News, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh on Thursday's Rick's List. Sanchez brought on outgoing Representative Bob Inglis, who lost a primary challenge to a Tea Party-backed Republican candidate, and when he harped about "flamethrowers" on TV and radio, the anchor pressed him on whether he meant the two radio hosts and his network's competitor [audio clips available here].
Sanchez interviewed Rep. Inglis just before the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour. He introduced the politician by emphasizing the South Carolina Republican's overall conservative record and his recent defeat in the primary: "My next guest is a conservative firebrand. He is a veteran conservative congressman. In fact, he's maintained a 93 percent conservative voting record....Pro-choice liberals have called him a 'zero.'...He was a Ronald Reagan Republican, if there ever one was, and suddenly, he wakes up one day, and he simply is not conservative enough, not for South Carolina Republicans. He lost the recent primary. No- he got killed in the recent primary, 29-71 [percent]."
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."
As part of the anniversary celebration, we have picked out a couple posts from each of the five categories and asked the authors to reflect back on writing them up. In this series of short videos, they share their thoughts on how they caught the particular media moment and describe the impact their post had.
Rick "I play it down the middle" Sanchez didn't disappoint during the first prime-time edition of CNN's Rick's List on Thursday, as he brought his liberal bias against Fox News to the program. When guest Dan Abrams of Mediate accused the anchor of "doing an opinion-based program" on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story, Sanchez denied this and added that he wasn't being ideological [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor began his criticism of his network's competitor eight minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, focusing on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story. Sanchez's focused on Fox News's separation between their news operation and their opinion programming, such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's shows, as he gave his version of the timeline of how the network apparently covered the story: