When CNN commentator Rick Sanchez appeared on Pete Dominick’s satellite radio show yesterday, he said a few things I predict he’ll regret.
First, he called Jon Stewart a “bigot”. Then, when Dominick suggested that Stewart is Jewish and therefore understands being a minority, Sanchez scoffed, insisting that people “a lot like Stewart” (Jews) run CNN and other networks. Touchdown for Team Jews Dominate The Media.
According to the Huffington Post, “the conversation began with Sanchez decrying ‘elite, Northeast establishment liberals’ who ‘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.’
Sanchez said: “I think to some extent Jon Stewart and [Stephen] Colbert are the same way. I think Jon Stewart’s a bigot.”
Dominick, who is a radio host on Sirius, a CNN commentator and a former warm-up comic on “The Daily Show” pressed Sanchez on his assertion.
Mediaite has a great recap of the conversation:
Dominick: How is he a bigot?
Sanchez: 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.
Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?
Sanchez: Everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?
A few minutes later, Sanchez takes back the word “bigot,” changing it to “prejudicial” and “uninformed.” Later in the interview, Dominick brings up the fact that Stewart is Jewish, so is a minority himself. Sanchez laughs this off:
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.
Sanchez is right about one thing: the majority of American Jews are not oppressed. But, despite their achievements in this country, Jews are still a minority—a very tiny percentage of the American population and the world. And even though today a large number of Jews find themselves in positions of power and influence, that hasn’t come without centuries of oppression, struggle, near-extermination and ultimately, hard work. Let’s not forget the Holocaust didn’t happen 2,000 years ago; it occurred in the mid-20th century. But instead of celebrating a triumph of survival followed by moral purpose, Sanchez’s tone implies it is somehow wrong that Jews are powerful, as if to say, ‘let’s not feel bad that the Jews burned in ovens—they run CNN!’ As if power could ever banish the scars, remove the tattoos, or heal the deep collective wounds of the past. Seriously, Sanchez needs to sit through a Passover seder.
As we’ve seen in recent months, any insinuation of Jewish media domination explodes across public discourse like Fourth of July fireworks. Even though the notion of domination is quite silly since in today’s media world there are more diverse and competing voices than ever before. But let’s just say a disproportionate number of Jews hold positions of power in media: What’s so terrible? Is it making Jews more Jewish? Is it encouraging mass conversion to Judaism? Is it bringing Israelis and Palestinians any closer to peace?
No: It’s bringing you “Mad Men” and “Modern Family”, “The Daily Show” and “The Social Network”. And it’s also given Rick Sanchez a soapbox on one of the most watched news networks in the world. Shame on those Jews.