CNN fired a star anchorman, Rick Sanchez, after Sanchez let loose against Comedy Central's “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart on Pete Dominick's Sirius radio show.
"I think Jon Stewart's a bigot," Sanchez said. When Dominick asked who Stewart is bigoted against, the Cuban-American television journalist said: "everybody else who's not like him." Eventually he took back the term "bigot" and replaced it with "prejudicial" and "uninformed." When Dominick said that Stewart, a Jew, was also a member of a minority, Sanchez scoffed at the notion that Jews were somehow "powerless":
“Very powerless people... [snickers]. He's such a minority, I mean, you know [sarcastically]... 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 somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah [sarcastically].”
Sanchez is by no means the first prominent personality to charge that Jews wield disproportionate power in the media. Filmmaker Oliver Stone recently made similar charges
, then apologized.
Stewart has mocked Sanchez on several occasions for on-air gaffes, once describing his anchoring style as being “Like a guy at a party who’s doing a lot of coke, who traps you in a corner, who explains really intensely how an ant is the strongest animal on earth.”
While Jewish success in the media, as well as other fields, is hard to deny, Jews themselves are not necessarily always pleased with Jewish representatives in the media. Stewart's show, for instance, has riled many nationalist Jews for its tendency to accept the leftist-Arab narrative regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. Last Tuesday, the show ran a segment blaming Israel for ending hopes for Middle East peace, by resuming construction in Judea and Samaria, which is a leftist position..
While Stewart's show bills itself as a “fake news” show, a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that a sizable portion of the American populace relies on it as a news source. Sixteen percent of Americans said they regularly watched "The Daily Show" or its Comedy Central spin-off, "The Colbert Report." Those figures are comparable to the percentage of Americans who regularly view major news programs like Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" (17%) and PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (14%).