It is hard to write a defense of Rick Sanchez, since I found his on-air persona-a dumb, confused blowhard-to be so unwatchable that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him for more than five minutes at a stretch. However, if his bosses were going to fire him, it should have been for all the above and not for his idiotic comments about Jews running the media . I am a Jew in the media-although not one of those all-powerful kinds Sanchez was blabbering about-but I’m generally against people losing their jobs over an ill-considered remark. I think it does the country no good that if anyone dares tread awkwardly into the minefield of race and ethnicity, the price is a quick blowing-up of one’s career. Sanchez may have thought he was being marvelously transgressive when he let radio listeners in on his little secret that Jews run the media, but Rick, being dumb, didn’t appear to know he was just mouthing the most garden-variety trope. However, I don’t think he deserved more than a wrist slap. (It is true that Jews are disproportionately represented in the media, medicine, law, entertainment, finance. But strangely nobody makes dark allegations that Jews "run medicine." Or that because Jews have won a notable number of Nobel Prizes that they "control the Nobels.")
What was more pathetic than his insinuations about Jews was the ethnic self-pity that dripped through the interview. He believes he has been held back (maybe even by Jews) because he is Cuban-American. But the fact that someone so talentless could rise to being an anchor at CNN gives the lie to his own interpretation of his life. He also thought he was an object of mockery by Jon Stewart because of his background. Rick, it was because you are so bad at what you do! Sanchez didn’t realize he should have been thrilled for the publicity every time Stewart gave him a jab. The irony was that Sanchez made his career-killing remarks while on a promotional tour for his new book, Conventional Idiocy , which is not-despite its title-his autobiography.
Photograph of Rick Sanchez by David Berkowitz for Wikimedia Commons.