“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company,” CNN said in a statement. “We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.“
CNN said it would broadcast CNN Newsroom from 3-5pm, the slot formerly held by “Rick’s List,” for the foreseeable future. The move comes a day after Sanchez did his final guest hosting in CNN’s 8 p.m. slot, which will be taken over by the new show, Parker Spitzer, on Monday.
Sanchez has been the frequent butt of jokes on both the “Daily Show” and the “Colbert Report,” which have mocked him for stunts like submitting to being tased on the air. Just last week, Colbert mocked Sanchez’s endorsement of his Oct. 30th rally, saying "Oh, my God. It's like I'm a freshman and I've just been befriended by a loser upper-classman."
Dominick, who once worked for Stewart as an audience warm-up comedian, pressed him on the point, and Sanchez elaborated: “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.”
When Dominick argued that “bigot” was still pretty strong, Sanchez said: “That’s what happens when you watch youself on his show every day, and all they ever do is call you stupid.” He eventually walked back the “bigot” comment and said Stewart was “prejudicial” and “uninformed.”
When Dominick pointed out that Stewart, as a Jew, was also part of a minority, Sanchez, who is Cuban-American, retorted: “Yeah. Yeah. Very powerless people. 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 they – the people in this country who are Jewish – are an oppressed minority. Yeah.”
But others interpreted the comments to be anti-Semitic. "Shame on Rick Sanchez!,” said Elan Steinberg, vice president of American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, in a statement Friday. “His public feud with Jon Stewart does not give him license to malign the Jewish people with a classical retread of anti-Semitic bigotry.”
Sanchez did not appear on his show Friday, though his Facebook page said he was at a book signing in Atlanta.
The firing comes during a time of extreme turmoil at CNN. Jon Klein was fired from his job as the president of CNN’s domestic channel on Sept. 24, before two primetime shows that he hired talent for could hit the air. Sanchez, who joined CNN in 2004, was given his own show in January. (POLITICO)