I don’t watch cable news. I don’t have cable. All my news comes from good old fashioned sources like print media and of course, the internet. I don’t follow Rick Sanchez on twitter nor have I seen much of his work. What I have seen from him usually irritates me and represents a narrow minded, assimilationist perspective of what Latinidad should look like.
What I do know for sure, is that Rick Sanchez was fired from CNN last Friday, one day after making remarks that have been called everything from controversial to anti-semitic.
According to CNN’s own site, Sanchez “left” the company following a critique on Jon Stewart that ended up being a rant against CNN management and then against Jewish people, whose oppressed status he doubted.
On Thursday, Sanchez appeared on the XM Sirius radio program “Stand-Up with Pete Dominick.” During the interview with Dominick, Sanchez called “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart “a bigot” and then said that he was bigoted against “everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?”…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,” Sanchez responded.
What some Latinos are doing however, is calling racism and double-standard on the part of CNN. It has been noted by some in the Latino blogosphere that Sanchez was fired quickly for a few seconds of anti-semitic speech while it took a national campaign and years of struggle for Lou Dobbs to be fired from CNN after years of almost daily anti-Latino, anti-immigrant, and anti-Mexican hate speech.
Some have called for Sanchez to be reinstated. Others are saying that Sanchez was playing the “woe is me as a Latino song”.
There is no doubt in my mind that being a Latino working in the media is a complex space to navigate and that yes, there is racism against Latinos. I have experienced it myself working in this “new media realm” and I have spoken/written about it and it seems like this is whst Sanchez was trying to do too. Albeit, he did it by playing oppression olympics.
Does this give Sanchez a free pass though? Could CNN have handled it a different way and was this about the anti-semitism of the remarks or the accusations of racism?
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, who has Lou Dobbs as a lifetime member, hasn’t commented.
Image via/ The Maynard Institute