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Rick Sanchez Goes Dirty On CNN

Rick SanchezCNN is dying. What once was the dominate news power in America is now a constant ratings disaster. Part of this decline is partially defined by the number of recognizable or name personalities. Fox News has a cavalcade of name personalities who have entered the mainstream of America. Who does CNN have?

Wolf Blitzer. He’s easy to make fun of on Saturday Night Live, but he’s not exactly somebody you would let around your children, or in your home for very long. Larry King is leaving this fall and being replaced by a judge of the popular reality talent show, “America’s Got Talent,” so I don’t think he’s going to be very popular. Anderson Cooper is currently CNN’s biggest hope, but his ratings have done nothing but plummet since the 2008 presidential election, when they weren’t exactly high to begin with. Elliot Spitzer is recognizable, but he’s flanked by nothing but controversy, and will have to fight long and hard to gain anything in the way of being taken seriously.

What a far cry from the days of Bernard Shaw, the various hosts of Crossfire, Aaron Brown, Lou Dobbs and the increasingly long list of people who left CNN and became famous over at Fox News and other news outlets. Point is, CNN has a distinct lack of recognizable or even inherently likable personalities.

Then there was Rick Sanchez. Sanchez was a rising star at the network. A Hispanic American, Sanchez was a likable person, his friendliness came across the screen. He could do soft and hard news. He could even give a good and well thought-out opinion every once in a while. Sure, he could be a little ditsy or unusual at times, but he was certainly serviceable to CNN. As a result, Sanchez got his own 2-hour show in the afternoon this year. Then after Campbell Brown left, he got the 8:00 PM hour until Elliot Spitzer’s show would premiere.

So what happened? Sanchez got a little too ditzy and opinionated.

As a guest on the Sirius/XM show, “Stand Up with Pete Dominick,” a program I personally love for its informative and independent prospective, Sanchez got into a discussion on the media. In this conversation, he brought up his dislike of Jon Stewart for being a “bigot.” That is to say Sanchez thought that Stewart took news from a biased and elitist prospective, and was generally intolerant to differing opinions, much in the way Sanchez sees people on the right. After continued argument over the topic, the host, Pete Dominick, convinced Sanchez that the word “bigot” was not the right word to use in this situation, causing Sanchez to say that Stewart and other opinionated news hosts were “prejudicial.”

This constitutes mistake number one. The word “prejudicial” probably would have been fine in the argument, but Sanchez chose his wording wrongly, choosing a word with a lot of negative connotation that Sanchez probably didn’t mean. You could argue all day about his opinions on Jon Stewart, but the point is he chose his wording wrongly.

Then the conversation moved back onto Stewart, after a quick detour to promote Sanchez’s book of course. Dominick brought up that he thought that Sanchez was holding a grudge against Stewart because Stewart had made fun of Sanchez recently. Sanchez said he took it personally because he felt like he was being picked on due to his Latino heritage. Then Dominick replied with this statement,”Stewart’s as much a minority as you are.” To which Sanchez replied sarcastically, “Yeah, very powerless people,” referring to Stewart’s Jewish heritage.

” He’s such a minority, I mean, you know [sarcastically]… Please, what are you kidding? … 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. [sarcastically]”

Yeah, no matter how you look at it, that’s offensive in of itself. To belittle another ethnicity when you perceive that they don’t have the have the same ethnic or prejudiced experience as you? It’s misinformed and racist since it’s being applied into a broad sense. Plus, he mentioned the company that employs him specifically.

As a result, the next day CNN fired him. This coming a week after they forcably fired the man who gave Sanchez his show in the first place, Jon Klein.

In the end, Sanchez will inevitably find employment elsewhere. Probably one that doesn’t require the need for his opinions very often, but the point is that Sanchez is still a good television personality, and probably deserves work elsewhere.

CNN on the other hand?

Unless the new head of the network makes major changes, as in overhauls the entire network, CNN will continue its rapidly moving downward spiral into oblivion, passed by in a day that requires bright colors, loud and memorable personalities and trustworthy opinions and news. None of which CNN really provides, at least in the mind of the general public. As soon as the interview was over, host Pete Dominick gave the announcement that he himself would be joining CNN as a host. So maybe there’s hope after all. I just wouldn’t put any money on any major, positive changes anytime soon.

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