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stewart with shake.jpg

You Stay Classy Rick

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 4, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 4, 2010 |

We don’t talk about cable news that much around here, both because we’re classy like that and because we prefer our fiction to make sense. Then there was that little thing with Homeland Security [remainder of paragraph redacted, your IP address has been noted]

Ahem. But this time they dragged Jon Stewart into it, and that makes it trade news in my book. CNN (now former) anchor Rick Sanchez (and you have no idea how hard it was to not use the term “dirty Sanchez” in the headline for this) decided to quit his job the messy way, by telling a radio host not only that Jon Stewart was a bigot but that the media companies in general and CNN specifically are controlled by Jews. You know what the best evidence is that you aren’t a real journalist? When you shoot slurs from the hip on satellite radio with no foresight that this might come back to bite you in the ass because you’ve made sure that no one ever managed to put their foot in their mouth on your show. Why is that host asking me questions and letting me dig deeper and deeper? Why don’t we cut to a commercial of cute puppies?

Here’s the big quote that was really in the nail in the coffin

“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.”

To me that’s not the worst part, not the part that really gets at what’s eating at Sanchez. Because from some angle you can almost work your way out of it, cast it in just the right context so that he’s very incompetently pointing out that it’s possible for an ethnic group to be historically oppressed and yet in present circumstances in a particular country not be particularly oppressed. But then we get nuggets like this in response to the question of how Jon Stewart is a bigot:

“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.”

Ah of course, those overly entitled children of school teachers who are destroying America! You’ve got it all wrong internet, Sanchez isn’t a bigot, he’s just a classical Marxist! Down with the bourgeois pigs!

Over the weekend, Sanchez was predictably fired (or rather, resigned, because when you’re extra super special and important like journalists they ask for your resignation). Stewart responded with all the joy of Mickey Mantle tossed up with runners on base to hit off of a tee, saying that if what Sanchez said was true, “all he has to do is apologize to us, and we’ll hire him back.”

What a son of a school teacher. Audio of Sanchez’s foot swallowing below.

(source: MediaLite and THR)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.