Rick Sanchez Let Go From CNN After Calling Jon Stewart a "Bigot"
Jon Stewart, Rick Sanchez
CNN fired host Rick Sanchez Friday, a day after he called Jon Stewart a "bigot" during a radio interview.
"Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well," the network said in a statement obtained by TVGuide.com.
During an interview on the SiriusXM radio program "Stand Up with Peter Dominick," Sanchez said there is racism in the media, not just from conservatives but also what he called "elite, establishment liberals."
"Deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier," he said
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Sanchez pointed to Stewart as an example, calling The Daily Show host a "bigot" and alleging that he only surrounds himself with people like him. "He can't relate to a guy like me," Sanchez said. "He can't relate to somebody who grew up poor."
Stewart and fellow Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert have repeatedly taken jabs at Sanchez on their programs. In March, Stewart dedicated an entire segment to criticizing Sanchez' coverage of the Chilean earthquake, calling CNN "the most trusted name in over-caffeinated control freaks. ... That's the thing about news in a disaster. You need the information fast and inaccurate."
Sanchez later took back the term "bigot" and called Stewart "prejudicial" and "uninformed." Dominick noted that Stewart could be considered a minority because he is Jewish, but Sanchez, who is Cuban America, rejected that notion.
"Very powerless people," Sanchez said, laughing. "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?"
Sanchez, 52, had been with CNN since 2004 and began hosting his own show, Rick's List, in January. CNN Newsroom will now take over that timeslot for the immediate future.