Home Entertainment Ironic hypocrisy: CNN fires Rick Sanchez, hires Eliot Spitzer

Ironic hypocrisy: CNN fires Rick Sanchez, hires Eliot Spitzer

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CNN firing anchor Rick Sanchez for making anti-Semitic remarks is completely justifiable and would not be the least bit hypocritical had it not occurred the very same week they debuted Parker Spitzer, a show co-hosted by Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former governor with a penchant for prostitutes.

As you know by now, Sanchez appeared on an XM-Radio show and made anti-Semitic remarks and called The Daily Show host Jon Stewart a bigot.  Though the official CNN release says Sanchez “abruptly left” the network shortly after the interview aired, several other sources and common sense tell us he was fired for making the comments.

Sanchez\’s firing was just.  His remarks were offensive and uncalled for – even if a day doesn\’t go by where a cable news host somewhere doesn\’t make unsupported accusations of bigotry.  However, firing him the week prostitute-hiring ex-governor Eliot Spitzer debuts on the network is the peak of ironic hypocrisy.

It is ironic because no one knew who Rick Sanchez was before this incident and the scandal would only boost his popularity, and hence, his ratings.  It\’s hypocritical because the only reason Eliot Spitzer\’s creepy grin is on CNN is because people know who he is because his scandal boosted his popularity.

Now, I\’m all for forgiveness and second chances.  Michael Vick paid his dues and deserves the chance to play in the NFL again.  The difference is Vick is playing again because of his talent and ability, not because he gained fame from killing dogs.  Spitzer, politically experienced and charismatic as he may be, would not be given a prime-time slot unless the network thought his reputation would help CNN compete with the insanity that now comprises cable news.  Because who doesn\’t want to hear what the sex-scandal-governor thinks about tort reform?

The problem is America\’s confusion of depravity-based celebrity with well-earned capability.  If someone becomes a household name on account of immorality, this fame is not justification to profit from him/her as a mainstream star.  The moist poignant example of this is Paris Hilton, who turned an infamous rise to fame into film, recording, writing and designing careers while legitimate actors, musicians, authors and designers are waiting tables and working legitimately for their dream.

Thankfully, Parker Spitzer bombed in the ratings, but his presence on CNN is setting a bad precedent for the already over-sensationalized world of cable news – where chalkboards display made-up conspiracy theories and three people are daily labeled “the worst person in the world.”  If Spitzer somehow turns it around and makes his show a success, competing networks will hire their own infamous political pseudo-celebrity to take a job that rightfully belongs to a seasoned journalist – leading to a world where “Countdown with Marion Barry” is a legitimate possibility.

We live in a “screw up, move up” society where many have embarrassed their way to the top and today’s scandal is tomorrow’s opportunity.  As Spitzer is on-air, CNN is feigning morality while Sanchez cleans out his desk, looking to profit from his foot-in-the-mouth disease.  Sanchez has apologized and will probably lay low for a while before mounting a glorious comeback.  He has to – everyone knows who he is now.  He\’s money, baby.

  • Sam Clemens

    Hi Chad. I recommend you go back to journalism school and learn the difference between the role of an unbiased news anchor vs. a pundit spewing editorial commentary. Good luck finding a real job in media after defending bigotry because it helps boost ratings. You’re a class act.

    • http://Culturemob Caromia

      Unfortunately modern day journalism schools and media are biased. As for bigotry, it is endemic in prime-time telveision.
      .
      Every day you see Jewish actors doing bigoted portrayals of Arabs and Muslims. Every day you see the extreme-Christian and extreme -Jewish (Zionist) portrated as God’s chosen ones.
      .
      There is much bigotry, even on CNN which vicariously accepts racism and bigotry…and does not challenge it…they they are cowardly when it comes to slaughtering the lamb.
      .

  • Chad Shanks

    Sam – Thank you for reading the article and commenting.

    I said Sanchez’s firing was just and his comments were offensive and uncalled for and that supporting sensationalized media figures (anchor or pundit) in the name of ratings sets a bad precedence for news. I don’t think that makes me a defender of bigotry – I’m arguing quite the opposite.

    • Sam Clemens

      Hi Chad. Outside of pimps, you must be the only person in America who believes Eliot Spitzer is more popular now because of his prostitution scandal than when he was NY Superman AG taking on Wall Street. Certainly, Spitzer has become famous… or more accurately infamous. Infamy is not a synonym for popularity. And a news anchor is not the same as a pundit. Sure CNN is exploiting Spitzer’s name recognition to sell a show. But Spitzer’s show is a commentary show so anything goes. Just like when Glenn Beck and Pat Buchanan had shows on CNN and they had a platform to shout outrageous things. If Sanchez was simply a CNN pundit he could have called Jon Stewart a Nazi peodophile and no one would have batted an eyelash. The difference is that Sanchez was hired to be a daytime news anchor for a “non-partisan” news show. He destroyed his own credibility to tell the news without bias. There is no irony in your comparison of Sanchez to Spitzer. They are filling totally different job requirements. If you want to focus your irony energy, question how certain TV news networks pick and report news during the day in order to create ideological talking points for their pundits in the evening…

  • http://tarawrites.com Tara M. Clapper

    CNN’s real crime is not making a distinction between pundits and anchors. Sanchez’s show was kind of in the middle. He was to present news AND comment on it. He IS opinionated and that’s why they hired him.

    This happens on most major news networks now. It’s sad.

  • http://Culturemob Caromia

    p.s.
    I have seen John Steward say much worse and get away with it…Well, looks like we have another Faux news show…Goodbye CNN.

    • CHELA LUCAR

      I agree 100% with Caromia !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • albuquerque

      i totally agree with you..til this day he still talking about it..ugh!

  • B. Kagan

    Eliot Spitzer was not only morally disgusting, he fought his wife and daughter in court saying he had no way of making a living and tried to weasal out of a commitment to make up to his daughter and ex wife the embarassment of what they had to live through. Now that he is employed will he finally be some sort of man and voluntarily give support to the family he disgraced. I won’t watch him.

    On the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed Rick Sanchez. I always looked forward to his news and commentary. What he said may have been wrong, but he was fired in a matter of seconds. It sounds like they wanted to get rid of him and were waiting for something. What he said was wrong but and apology could have been accepted. I think that was the networks way of getting rid of him quickly.

  • C. Davis

    CNN is Cable NEWS Network, NOT Cable Opinion Network. I started out really liking Rick Sanchez, but as his popularity increased, his personal opinions overtook his ability to present the NEWS, objectively. Now Don Lemon is doing the same thing. He critiqued President Obama’s performance this morning at length – I don’t want to hear the opinions of these talking heads. Their political leanings have no place on a NEWS network.
    As for Spitzer, I’ll be using my remote to change the channel. It’s time to stop rewarding degenerate behavior.

  • CHELA LUCAR

    Hi Chad, I enjoyed very much reading your article, and I agree with it 100%…what kind of message is CNN sending to the viewers hiring Spitzer ? no moral principles, what a disgrace !! I really hope CNN does even worse than before with their TV ratings !!! also, what kind of message CNN sent when they fired Sanchez immediately after his comments ? POWER !! CNN is just confirming what Sanchez said in that radio interview period

  • R Wilson

    When I heard Rick Sanchez was fired, I couldn’t believe it. I watched him occassionly skipping thru the TV clutter. In a very short time I could tell this guy carried a pretty big chip on his shoulder. I thought this guy has to go, and low and behold!! Now, CNN needs to really get spanked on that Spitzer creep hiring. My God, why would they lower themselves to his ilk. He says he awaits a good conversation with Parker, if he could only understand her. I guess that a slap to her Southern heritage. Yeh, Spitzer will drag CNN to a new level.

  • albuquerque

    why do we tend to only look for peoples mistakes and have so much negativety to say about that person. ive been watching rick sanchez for the last 3 yrs now and ive enjoyed every moment of his shows. every now and then i may have disagreed on his opinions but it doesnt mean anything. thought that was the whole idea of media coverage. speaking your opinion. we will always agree or disagree on situations but it doesnt mean we should be shot down by our opinions. rick was only speaking his opinion just like everyone else in the media. remember he’s just as human as everyone and people make mistakes. accept his apology and move on. ias for jon stewart needs to get over himself and move on from this situation. wonder who else stewert will fire next….grow up stewart..

  • Brian

    I agree that Sanchez was stating personal opinions much more frequently in recent shows on CNN, and I found it uncomfortable in what was supposed to be News. Probing questions, fine, but personal opinions, not acceptable. Maybe he felt the noose tightening and he decided to go out with a bang.

  • Inita

    I am sorry CNN fired Rick. I enjoyed his show. Rick speak honestly about most situations. He will be alright. Where one doot close another will open. God bless. You Rick.

  • James Capers

    There is so much disappointment, these days, and so much that disappoints.

    On the current topic, Rick Sanchez, much is being said and written about him that is disappointing. I like Rick even though he became a bit arrogant on CNN; but Sanchez is the only reason I watched CNN after Anderson Cooper mocked Christians and called Tea Party members Tea Baggers (a disparaging expression of bigotry that insinuates they engage in a male homosexual oral-genital act).

    As for reporting news, I think Sanchez’s statements about Stewart and media heads was merely a statement of fact. Since when is stating facts an expression of bigotry, racism, or anti-Semitism?

    Bottom line: Because of bigotry, I no longer have any reason to watch CNN–or visit this Web site.

  • karl

    I’m a little disappointed he got fired. I didn’t watch him often but whenever I did I was never disappointed.
    Are you all telling me his show wasn’t supposed to be a comedy?
    Some days it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Some days like those old Mighty Mouse cartoons.
    I feel weird about it now.

  • Kay DeWitt

    I READ THIS ARTICLE ONLY MINUTES AFTER I WROTE, AND POSTED, THE BELOW COMMENT AFTER HAVING READ ANOTHER ARTICLE ABOUT RICK SANCHEZ I AM GOING TO PASTE THIS COMMENT BELOW SO THAT YOU CAN SEE HOW MY COMMENT RE-ECHOES THE MESSAGE IN THIS ARTICLE!…BELOW IS THE PASTE OF MY COMMENT:
    I find CNN’s firing of Rick Sanchez…for the reason they purport..to be hypocritical in view of the fact that their “star”, Nancy Grace, is always spewing her hatred at people…no matter what their nationality…and they are not moved to fire her…AND, worse yet, when her acid-tongued, vindictive posture toward Melinda caused this young woman to commit suicide they didn’t fire her because Nancy’s “show” pulled in high ratings. All week CNN has used its programs to make a cry for our kids who committed suicide because they were bullied, and yet, they did nothing when Nancy Grace bullied Melinda to death! I am thrilled to hear, from a blogger below, that CNN is dying on the vine because so many of their shows, like Nancy’s, are nothing more than cheap tabloid news shows!

  • Chad Shanks

    Kay – I agree with your thoughts on Nancy Grace. “The Soup” does a good job of mocking her, but she doesn’t get as much media attention as other cable news personalities, despite how awful she treats her guests. I wasn’t even familiar with her situation with Melinda (and I regularly follow these sorts of things).

    For anyone interested in what Kay was referring to, here’s an article about it: http://www.slate.com/id/2149686/

  • Ramesh039

    Rick was way better than these boring old robots. Spitzer’s prior issues don’t factor in for me. Everyone has issues – Rick ran over someone. The issue is that both Spitzer and Parker are boring. CNN is obviously trying to make a nighttime version of Morning Joe with this – having them all dressed up like they’re going to a ballroom dance, etc. Annoying, boring. Maybe it appeals to women and middle aged people. But as a guy I prefer more personality, hard-nosed smarts, opinion, action, excitement -and Rick delivered on this. And he is no buffon – he is actually very smart – and gets to the heart of an issue – much like another one of my favs Chris Matthews. Both guys are pretty much moderate/centrist and slice issues from both the right and left side of things, plain talking guys who are perceptive and smart. I simply can’t stand the boring “straight news” type people, or ideologues from either the left or right. They need to give Rick his show back.

  • Dan

    The show was synergy for CNN. Bad call! Rick if you do another similar show I’m willing to watch.