CNN Fires Anchor Rick Sanchez
Thursday, September 30, 2010
CNN announced Friday that "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company" after the anchor "lashed out on Thursday at his perceived enemies — CNN brass, Jon Stewart and Jews," in the words of Hunter Walker, writing earlier in the day for the Wrap.
"Sanchez went on Pete Dominick's Sirius XM show to promote his new book, 'Conventional Idiocy.' While on air, he called Stewart a 'bigot,' implied that CNN is controlled by Jews and that the network passed him over for promotion because he's Latino," Walker wrote.
"Sanchez was chosen to fill in on CNN at 8 p.m. in the wake of Campbell Brown's departure in May, but put 'Parker Spitzer,' in the coveted slot permanently. Starring Elliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, 'Parker Spitzer,' debuts on Monday. CNN insiders have told TheWrap that Sanchez, who is Cuban-American, feels he has been passed over and blamed the decision not to give him 8 p.m. on a permanent basis on his race."
In a terse statement made available late Friday to Journal-isms, CNN said, "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
Dominick's website explained:
"First, Sanchez started out expressing an anecdote from his own experience, when someone who was 'top brass' at CNN told Sanchez to his face that he saw Sanchez as 'more as John Quiñones,' referring to the Hispanic ABC News reporter. Sanchez’s example was an illustration that the problem of racism in the media business goes further than many expect, enveloping 'not just the Right,' but also 'elite, Northeast establishment liberals' that '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.' " Later, Sanchez said, "All right, I’ll take the word bigot back; I’ll say prejudicial — uninformed."
Marisa Guthrie added for Broadcasting & Cable:
" 'Yeah,' said Sanchez, sarcastically. 'Very powerless people… He’s such a minority … 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.' "
Sanchez has plenty of company in questioning the choice of the disgraced Spitzer, and the National Association of Black Journalists has also asked why no anchors of color are in the prime-time CNN lineup.
"The company missed another opportunity to place a person of color in prime time," NABJ said in June after Spitzer was named. "It just seems that cable news can never find diverse candidates who are good enough to meet their standards. We want to know your standards."
Nicholas Carlson of the Business Insider wrote Friday that Sanchez's "Rick's List" was drawing a tiny audience at 8 p.m., according to the latest Nielsen ratings.
"In August, 'Rick's List' averaged 452,000 viewers each night and just 127,000 each night in the 25 to 54 age group."
Elan Steinberg, vice president of American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, said in a statement:
"As survivors of the ultimate expression of such racist stereotyping, we believe Mr. Sanchez spoke with insensitive thoughtlessness rather than calculated hate. Nevertheless, his words are deeply offensive and shocking.
"He should immediately retract his heinous comments and apologize for them."
On NPR, media reporter David Folkenflik said he had spoken with former CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein, who is Jewish and was ousted just last week. Klein said he and Sanchez had a "friendly and warm relationship," Folkenflik reported.
Guthrie's piece continued, "It’s the Howard Beale era. And Sanchez’s conversation with Dominic is in keeping with what seems like universal epidemic of fear and loathing brought on by the recession. And while the media in general long ago has shed much pretense toward civility, this is one angry rant that CNN did not need at this time.
"It’s new president Ken Jautz’s first week on the job at CNN. . . ."
"Jautz, who has been CNN/U.S. president for a week, is not Jewish. But he’s probably really pissed right now."
According to his CNN bio, "Sanchez, born in Havana, Cuba, frequently reports while interviewing newsmakers simultaneously in both Spanish and English. He has reported live from Cuba numerous times and has interviewed Fidel Castro as well as his sister, Juanita Castro. Sanchez has interviewed several other prominent newsmakers, including First Lady Laura Bush, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, U.S.S.R. Grand Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, General Manuel Noriega behind bars, deposed Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya via satellite from his exile location at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, among others.
"Sanchez has been a weekend and a weekday anchor for CNN. In 2008, he became the first national anchor to regularly incorporate social media in his news gathering and broadcasts.
"Prior to joining CNN, Sanchez was an anchor for WTVJ-TV, and an interim anchor for WBZL-TV, both in Miami. Prior to his tenure at WTVJ-TV, he worked for two years as a correspondent and anchor for MSNBC. Sanchez joined MSNBC in 2001 as a correspondent and delivered breaking news updates for CNBC and regularly reported for NBC radio."
His "Rick's List" began on CNN on Jan. 18. CNN moved "The Situation Room" an hour later to make room for it.
- Danielle Belton, "The Black Snob": Rick Sanchez Gets Fired Over Most Epic "Jews Sux" Stupidity Ever (Rants) [Oct. 2]
- Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: After implying Jews run the media, Rick Sanchez fired by CNN
- Joe Gandelman, the Moderate Voice: Rick Sanchez Fired from CNN After Comments Calling Jon Stewart a "Bigot" and Suggestions about Jews Running CNN and News Media
Erica, 11, is a victim of her mother's drug addiction in ''A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains: Diane Sawyer Reports on America's Children Living in Poverty in Appalachia," an ABC-TV '"20/20'" program that won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award this year. (Video)
The Census Bureau handed media organizations guaranteed fodder for local stories in September with new reports on the extent of poverty in America. Local reporters and editorial pages seized on the figures but were forced to concede there was no guarantee that government would act to alleviate them.
"With the country in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents," Erik Eckholm reported Sept. 16 in the New York Times. "Millions more were surviving only because of expanded unemployment insurance and other assistance.
"The share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level recorded since 1994. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five affected, the bureau said."
On Tuesday came the bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, with something for each locality: "The number of Stark County children who lived in poverty last year easily could fill the classroom seats in the Canton City, North Canton, Jackson Local and Osnaburg Local school districts — combined," Kelli Young wrote in the Canton (Ohio) Repository.
"And a handful of them still would have had to stand in the back."
Gayle Beck, editorial page editor, told Journal-isms that the paper linked the story to its recent four-part series on “The New Poor.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel devoted all of its editorial-column space to the subject. It was already running a series "on poverty, its consequences and ideas to fight it." "How often have you heard someone say it? 'At least we're not Detroit,' " the editorial began. While those people might be right, it concluded, "that's not good enough."
The Philadelphia Inquirer commented on the city's ranking. "It’s no surprise to see Philadelphia listed as the poorest among America’s 10 largest cities," an editorial slated for Saturday begins. "It’s held that distinction before. But placing last again is disappointing, and points out the need for public officials to work even harder to create jobs."
The figures enable the beholder to assess them from other demographic vantage points. "The roots of Women's eNews are embedded in the media's coverage of the 1996 welfare law. The ferocious campaign led by Newt Gingrich and joined by President Bill Clinton promised to end 'welfare as we know it.' And it certainly did. The results are apparent and clearly predictable: Recent Census data indicate single mothers' poverty dramatically increased during the current recession and is expected to continue to rise — with the corollary that 1-in-5 U.S. children are living below the poverty line," wrote Women's eNews.
Economist Julianne Malveaux, who is African American, noted in her column for the National Newspaper Publishers Association that the black poverty rate rose from 24.7 percent to 25.8 percent. "The rate for Hispanics rose from 23.2 percent to 25.1 percent. African Americans have the highest poverty rate of any racial ethnic group. In contrast, the rate for non-Hispanic whites is 9.4 percent, less than half the rate for African Americans."
Policy prescriptions followed. The report "strengthens the argument for letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of 2010 for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans," editorialized the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. "In 2009, according to census figures, the income gap between the nation's richest and poorest citizens reached its widest margin ever."
In truth, poverty is such an evergreen it doesn't need new census figures to prompt coverage. Even journalists are affected. At the RFK Journalism Awards, which honor work on human rights, social justice, and other concerns of the late Robert F. Kennedy, entries were down by about 100 this year, to about 270, according to spokeswoman Simone Greggs. She attributed the decline to the growing number of out-of-work journalists.
Still, she said, poverty in the broadest sense — including human trafficking, crime and other collateral issues — is a recurring topic. And in this multimedia age, news organizations are collaborating to come up with new tools to tell these stories.
The question is, who is listening?
When the Sept. 16 figures were released, Michael A. Fletcher wrote in the Washington Post:
"Deborah Weinstein, a longtime advocate for the poor, calls the news that one in seven Americans is living in poverty 'a national emergency.'
- Steve Campbell and Scott Nishimura, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Tarrant County poverty, income data show the long reach of the downturn
- Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and John Podesta, the Hill: Child poverty has ramifications for nation’s future growth, prosperity
- Petula Dvorak, Washington Post: The grinding reality of growing up poor
- Editorial, Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradan: Our thoughts: Combatting poverty will take cooperation, vision
- Editorial, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: Wealth gulf widens: End tax breaks for wealthy few
- Editorial, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In a city at risk, a burden on us all
- Editorial, Washington Post: Despite latest poverty figures, Senate lets worthy jobs program lapse
- Jacob Faber, theLoop21.com: Black families losing their homes faster than whites
- Bob Hague, Wisconsin Radio Network: Assessing Census Bureau’s poverty numbers
- Nick LaFave, Fox 21 News, Duluth, Minn.: Better count of college students apparently raised Duluth's poverty rate
- Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Young, Gifted and Poor
- Don Norfleet, Fulton (Mo.) Sun: Study reveals more people slipping into poverty
- Catherine Rampell, New York Times: The Poorest States of America
- Motoko Rich, New York Times: A More Nuanced Look at Poverty Numbers
- Women's eNews: Women in Poverty — Tales from the Recession's Front Lines
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists voted 9-0 to immediately remove its student board representative, Jacqueline Guzmán-García, association President Michele Salcedo wrote on Friday.
The board acknowledged that it was responsible for allowing Guzman-Garcia on the ballot when she was attending California State University, Northridge part time, not full time as the bylaws require. She defeated two other candidates.
"Numerous requests to Guzmán-García to resign, as required by the bylaws so that the board might appoint a successor, were rejected," Salcedo wrote to NAHJ members.
"As a result of today’s action, for the first time since 2002, students will not have a voice on the national board. We are considering several options to mitigate this void, including establishing a student affairs committee."
"Will this week mark the beginning of a new phase in the way that Fox News is perceived by the rest of the media, and perhaps ultimately the public too? As surprising as that sounds, it seems plausible," Zachary Roth wrote Friday for the Columbia Journalism Review.
"Politico’s Ben Smith reported yesterday that News Corporation, Fox’s parent company, had donated $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that’s shaping up as the single most important outside backer of Republican candidates this election cycle. That news came on the heels of another $1 million contribution by News Corp., this one to the Republican Governors Association.
"Until now, the rest of the media has largely treated Fox News as one of its own. When the issue of Fox’s ideological agenda has periodically come to the surface — generally when the Obama White House has decided to make an issue of it — other reporters, particularly those in the Washington press corps, have tended to come to Fox’s defense. They’ve pointed out that Major Garrett, until August the network’s White House correspondent, is fair, and that it’s unseemly and (the biggest dodge of all) politically unwise, for the White House to go after the press. And mainstream print outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press still can’t bring themselves to flatly refer to Fox’s ideological agenda, instead relying on versions of the tried-and-true 'critics say,' formulation.
"But in giving $2 million to GOP-affiliated groups this cycle, Fox has largely dropped the pretense (and yes, other companies, like GE, that own big media outlets have made political contributions before, but not on anything like this scale.)"
- Sam Hananel, Huffington Post: Feds Sue Fox News Over Reporter Catherine Herridge's Charges Of Discrimination, Retaliation
- Ben Smith, Politico: News Corp. gave $1 million to pro-GOP group
- Scott Wong and Keach Hagey, Politico: Democrats pounce as Rupert Murdoch goes live
"The gay sex scandal swirling around the Atlanta area’s Bishop Eddie Long has brought to the forefront coverage issues journalists wrestle with when writing about a complex and complicated story," Matthew S. Bajko wrote Thursday for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
"To date four men have come forward claiming that when they were in their late teens and members of Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the bishop allegedly seduced them into sexual activity in exchange for expensive gifts and trips around the world. Long and his attorneys have denied the charges.
"The problem for the media is with the word choices reporters and editors make in telling the story. At times, some news outlets have stumbled and chosen language that appears to conflate the allegations, while others have been more careful in how they report the story.
"In its article published September 21 the New York Times labeled Long’s actions 'sexual misconduct' and said two men had accused him of 'repeatedly coerced them into having sex with him.' The Associated Press also chose the word 'coerce' in its first story about the lawsuits filed by the men.
"Yet various online sites, from the website allvoices.com to The Advocate, used the word 'forced' in their headlines and postings about the scandal last week . . . ."
- Betty Winston Bayé, Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal: Lavish Bishop Eddie Long's sex controversy
- Cary Clack, San Antonio Express-News: Men of God stand accused, but so do accusers
- George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: A Long View of Bishop Eddie Long’s Troubles
- Terrance Dean, Essence: Bishop Eddie Long and The Final Taboo
- Lee Hill, "Tell Me More," NPR: Chasing Jamal Parris: Did TV Station Cross The Line?
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Eddie Long isn't practicing what he preaches
- David Squires, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.: Bishop scandal could open gay debate in black church
- Wendi C. Thomas, Memphis Commercial Appeal: Sexual doesn't preclude spiritual
- Cynthia Tucker blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Long’s accuser sounds like a real Christian
- A. Scott Walton, theRoot.com: One of Bishop Long's Accusers Speaks Out
Agent Marc Watts, anchor Diann Burns, their son Ryan Watts, then 8, and their 13-room Chicago home were the subjects of a piece by Lynn Norment in Ebony magazine's August 2005 issue. (Credit: Vandell Cobb/Ebony)
"Former local news anchor Diann Burns and her husband, Marc Watts, an agent, business manager and media trainer, are planning to relocate to the West Coast," columnist Lewis Lazare wrote Friday in the Chicago Sun-Times.
" 'Diann, my son and I sat down and talked about it, and this seemed to make the most sense for us now,' said Watts, who indicated much of his work takes him regularly to the Los Angeles area. Among other things, Watts spends considerable time now running TV and radio talent [Roland Martin's] production company New Vision Media out of Los Angeles. Watts also works with a Santa Monica-based firm called Comment PR, which trains professional athletes to deal with the media. . . .
"Watts, who serves as his wife's agent, said Burns would likely have more opportunities to work again in television news in California, where he said she could explore new jobs in local or network news or with a TV production company. Burns was a popular news anchor for 18 years on top-rated WLS-Channel 7 before jumping in 2003 to CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where her contract was not renewed in 2008. . . .
"Watts has put the family's 13-room Lincoln Park home on the market for $4.8 million."
"The Los Angeles Times has brought into the public eye a topic once debated mostly by policy analysts and bureaucrats: the evaluation of classroom teachers. And it did so with maximum splash, by publishing the names and effectiveness ratings of 6,000 elementary school teachers based on its analysis of students' test score data," Katy Murphy wrote Tuesday for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.
"In the weeks since, the newspaper has been vilified and praised for its decision to publish those names. And on Monday, before a lively audience gathered at UC Berkeley, L.A. Times reporter Jason Felch shared the newspaper's motivations for doing so — as well as plans for further analysis of the raw data obtained from the Los Angeles school district through public records requests.
" 'There is a culture, not just in Los Angeles schools but across the country, where differences in instruction are ignored,' Felch said.
" 'As a result, Felch said, not only do bad apples remain in the classroom, but few teachers receive the help or feedback they need to improve.' . . .
"On Sunday, police found the body of a fifth-grade Los Angeles Unified teacher, 39-year-old Rigoberto Ruelas, under a bridge. While it's not clear what caused Ruelas to take his life, his teachers union — which had previously organized a boycott of the L.A. Times — demanded the database come down. Ruelas had received a slightly below-average overall rating. The L.A. Times published a statement on Sunday evening, extending its condolences to the family.
"Anthony Cody, a former Oakland middle schoolteacher who now serves as a mentor in the district, said that while evaluations must improve, the series was an example of a growing hostility to teachers.
"He may be the first casualty in America's war on teachers," Cody said of Ruelas.
In covering the memorial service, Brian Watt wrote for Southern California Public Radio, "By all accounts, Rigoberto Ruelas put in a lot of hours. He arrived at school early, stayed late. He visited students’ homes to meet their families, bringing groceries if they were in need — even a mattress for a kid he learned had to sleep on the floor."
"But little of that showed up in the numbers. . . .
"A few hours before the memorial service began, the L.A. Unified School District confirmed that Rigoberto Ruelas was a very effective teacher. Deputy Superintendent John Deasy released a statement saying that in his final evaluation with the District, Ruelas had earned a great performance ranking.
" 'The epitaph of Rigoberto Ruelas should not be "less-than-effective," ' the statement said."
- Christina Hoag, Associated Press: LA Teacher Suicide Sparks Test-Score Debate
"Neither James nor his manager, Maverick Carter, cited specifics when talking to CNN for a story that aired Wednesday night.
"James did not want to spend much time on the subject after Thursday's Heat practice.
" 'I think people are looking too far into it,' James said. 'But at the same time, sometimes it does play a part in it. I've said what I had to say, and I'll continue to move on.' "
"In the interview, CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien asked about 'The Decision,' the one-hour special on ESPN in which James announced that he would play for the Heat, and some of the negative headlines it generated.
" 'It's just about control and not doing it the way it's always been done or not looking the way that it always looks,' Carter said.
"O'Brien asked if race played a role.
" 'I think so at times,' James said. 'It's always, you know, a race factor.'
"Said Carter: 'It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure.' "
- Jonathan Abrams, New York Times: Cleveland Stews Over Its Breakup With James
- J.A. Adande, ESPN: LeBron James, race and the NBA
- Mike Freeman, CBSSports.com: Lambasted LeBron conveniently sees hurtful role of race
- Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, "Pardon the Interruption," ESPN: Impact of Race Comments?
- David Squires blog, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.: LeBron gets hater-ration on "race" remark
TMZ's caption read, "Here's Meg Whitman's undocumented former housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan at her Gloria Allred press conference on Wednesday (left) — and 'Jersey Shore' tantastic party girl Snooki in her booking photo back in July (right)."
"Yesterday, TMZ.com posted a piece under the WE’RE JUST SAYIN’ section of their website, which emits a dubious xenophobic and racially charged tone," Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano wrote Thursday for the change.org website.
"The post features a photograph of emotionally distraught Nicky Díaz Santillán (California Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman’s former housekeeper) juxtaposed with a photograph of an arrested Jersey Shore star Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki. The placement of the two photographs disturbingly suggests an immediate similarity between the two."
"However, it was not enough to suggest that a distraught Latina has something in common with a woman being arrested. The folks at TMZ further outdo themselves by adding the following lines under the photographs:
" ' Neither was born in the United States.'
"We're just sayin'. "
- "NASA and Univision Communications Inc. are teaming up to launch an on-air and online initiative to help engage Hispanic students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education," the organizations announced on Thursday. "Featuring Hispanic employees from NASA as role models, the 30-second videos will present new perspectives on education and STEM careers. Among many featured NASA staff members are astronaut Jose Hernandez, who talks about his life and how he became an astronaut, and Margaret Dominguez, an optics engineer, who talks about the engineering challenges of putting a mirror as large as a tennis court in small spacecraft."
- "Justice must be rendered to the journalists working for national and international media who were the collateral victims of yesterday’s police mutiny in Ecuador," Reporters Without Borders said Friday. "In the course of a 12-hour crisis that nearly became a coup against President Rafael Correa, media freedom was repeatedly violated and journalists were attacked by policemen protesting against the elimination of their bonuses."
- "Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard for the past decade, will retire at the end of the academic year in June 2011," the Nieman Foundation announced on Friday. Giles, 77, said, "It is time now for new leadership to build on what my colleagues and I have added to the program over the past decade."
- In Montgomery, Ala., "Television reporter Eileen Jones has accepted a plea deal in connection with an incident in which she ran over a police officer’s foot in June," the Montgomery Advertiser reported on Thursday. "The city agreed to drop a misdemeanor assault charge if Jones pleaded guilty to failure to obey an officer, Montgomery Municipal Court Administrator Ken Nixon said."
- "A federal grand jury indicted two New Orleans police officers today for lying and obstruction of justice in connection with the shooting death of Danny Brumfield Sr., a 45-year-old man shot in the back by police in the days after Katrina," Sabrina Shankman reported Thursday for ProPublica. The incident was investigated by ProPublica, the PBS program "Frontline" and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
- "In another example of international downsizing by American networks, TVNewser has learned CBS News is letting go four longtime camera/sound crews from the London bureau," Chris Ariens reported Tuesday. "Gone are cameraman Siphiwo Ralo, a South African who, in the early ’90s, helped the network get access to the ghettos as apartheid was coming to an end. He’d been with CBS since 1985. Also gone, Nick Turner, who learned of the changes via phone. He is undergoing cancer treatment and not working at the moment. Cameraman Massimo Mariani and sound man Andy Stevenson are also being let go. The men have covered war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia and beyond."
- "In a surprise to WFTV-Channel 9, the primary investor has dropped out of Spanish-language station WAWA, which was to be placed on a WFTV digital 'subchannel,' " Hal Boedecker reported Thursday in the Orlando Sentinel. "The investor effectively pulled the plug on the operation, causing nine people to lose their jobs."
Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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