The Rick Sanchez Question

Was CNN right to fire Sanchez?

Blustery CNN host Rick Sanchez was fired last Friday after comments he made the day before on Pete Dominick’s satellite radio show. Quizzed about Jon Stewart—the Daily Show host who has often thrown his spears Sanchez’s way—Sanchez said:

I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.

Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?

Sanchez: Everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?

Later came this (the final words leaden with sarcasm):

I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.

On Friday, CNN released a statement saying, “We thank Rick for his years of service. And we wish him well.”

As with the network’s firing of Octavia Nasr, the Sanchez sacking has been controversial. Many have supported the move while others, like Christopher Hitchens at Slate and Matthew Yglesias, say CNN’s actions were excessive and the network was playing it safe and unfairly—Hitchens went so far as to call for Sanchez’s reinstatement.

Do you think CNN was right to fire Sanchez?

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.