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About (Late) Last Night: Jon Stewart goes easy on Rick Sanchez

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Hurty Sanchez

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Rick Sanchez was lucky to have lost his CNN job on a Friday. Along with calling "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart a "bigot," Sanchez made off-color comments about Jews on Thursday before being fired by the network. But the weekend allowed the dust to (mostly) settle, and without the late-night jokesters laughing at his expense, Sanchez could pack his things in peace. And in disgrace, of course.

At a charity event on Saturday, Stewart couldn't resist entirely. When he asked attendees to make a donation toward autism education, he said: "If you dented a car, $50. If you cheated on something to get ahead, $500. And if you went on radio and said the Jews control the media … you better hold onto your money." He showed some restraint, but on Monday night on "The Daily Show," Stewart had his chance, and he took the high road. More or less.

"I want to clarify something here; we weren't making fun of Rick Sanchez because of some slight to his ethnicity," Stewart said on Monday's show. "It's just that we here see him as kind of a complex television character, who is flawed but fascinating to watch every week, and we put this whole bit together to kind of demonstrate that point. And then they fire the guy! So doing the whole bit now just seems kind of mean." Stewart paused. "But you gotta have just a little taste of it!"

The montage that followed perfectly paired clips of Sanchez with Michael Scott, the bumbling, politically incorrect boss on "The Office," who, Stewart noted, needs a replacement. "Sanchez is available," Stewart reminded, in his trademark, condescending falsetto.

As for Sanchez, sensitive as he is, he has to know this ribbing could've been much worse.

-- Joe Coscarelli


CNN fires Rick Sanchez after remarks

Who you calling a bigot?

Comments () | Archives (6)

I hope Sanchez gets a new national gig and soon because he's likable and I see him as a talented and good family man. Goofy too!
He is long winded and if you only take his sound bites you're not giving him the time to draw his point.

It is somewhat surprising to me that Jon Stewart's group would target and mock a news personality that in my mind, approached broadcasting the news in a way that parallels Jon Stewart's style. I don't watch CNN much anymore, but Rick Sanchez at least appeared to challenge the top down driven news stories, as opposed to the average new broadcasting lemmings.

Kudos to John Stewart for taking the high road. It would have been easy to poke fun at Sanchez, but John chose not to rub salt in the wound.

Rick should have been flattered that he had reached a stature for Jon Stewart to even notice him and make fun of him. Rick could have had some fun with it on air, like all those years ago when Johnny Carson made fun of McDonald's. McDonald's had just passed the point of selling its first one million burgers, or some such achievement, and Johnny joked about it, saying something like, "That must represent almost 50 pounds of meat!" Well, McDonald's wrote him a very, very funny letter in response, and I think included some coupons. Johnny read the letter on air, and it was great. McDonald's enjoyed the publicity and had fun with it. Rick just takes himself too seriously, which is mostly what Jon made fun of, not Rick's ethnicity. Rick just seems too narcissistic to look at himself and his demeanor objectively and blames his problems on his ethnicity. I think he's more conscious of it than is his viewing public or his bosses. Still, I used to enjoy Rick's show, despite his obvious lack of journalistic "weight."

"Off-color." Right. For implying -- not even stating, but implying -- that which is demonstrably TRUE.

Spare me.

I can't believe no one sees the obvious: Sanchez was relentlessly bullied by Stewart. Who is Stewart to mock and repeatedly make Sanchez the butt of jokes? Who in Sanchez' shoes wouldn't be angry and take the first opportunity to call Stewart a name on national radio? How long will media feel entitled to pinch, punch and poke anyone they don't like before an audience of millions?

Bullying is in the news. Children are killing themselves as a result of the behavior exhibited by Stewart and retaliated against by Sanchez. People wonder how children become skilled bullies. Well, it's because they see it modeled, day after day, on programs like South Park and "comedy" programs like The Daily Show. If Stewart were 14 years old, he'd be taken to the principal's office and reprimanded for bullying. But he's an adult and a comedian, so that gives him license to make Sanchez the butt of jokes--not once or twice, but over 20 times? Indeed, Sanchez became a target of Stewart's bullying masquerading as biting wit. I personally don't care for Sanchez but I cannot stand Stewart. He has no compassion, no subtlety and shows no indication whatsoever that he has ever put himself in the shoes of another. Whatever gets him a laugh is what he says and there are many comedians like him.

Wake up, America. What children learn comes straight from the boob tube and the loudest, most obnoxious boobs seem to be turning America into a very cruel place.


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