The Conspiracy

Getting the Message Out

For some of you, this news may be a bit stale, but, to me, it’s fresh and I’m ready to get to the core of this mystery. When I found out that CNN reporter Rick Sanchez got fired for saying Stewart was a “bigot” and Jews ran the media, I naturally wanted to spring to Stewart’s defense. Little did I know just how wrong Sanchez comments were.

I’ll readily admit I’m a huge fan of The Daily Show. Jon Stewart’s comedic savvy, level-headedness, and sprinklings of Jewish humor crack me up every time I get a chance to watch the show.

Sanchez charged that Stewart grew up in the New Jersey suburbs getting whatever he wanted. Looking into Stewart’s background, it seems that he did grow up with a degree of privilege, with two working parents and a steady family income. Stewart had a lot going for him. However, all was not roses, as Sanchez so ignorantly claimed. If he was going to take shots at Stewart, he should’ve done his research.

For one, Stewart experienced anti-Semitic bullying as a child. Even if it wasn’t intense anti-Semitic racism, it still must have hurt to be a kindergartner having his heritage mocked and his last name, “Leibowitz,” turned into curse words. Stewart later experienced prejudice in college.

Regarding a perfect family life, Stewart’s father left him when Jon was only 11. His father remarried and the two have a tenuous relationship. Racism at a young age and divorced parents when he was only 11-years-old: these childhood issues aren’t insurmountable, but must have been extremely difficult for a young child to overcome. Sanchez shouldn’t have put Stewart on some pedestal where he lived in a paradise surrounded by riches: indeed, his childhood wasn’t perfect. He had it good in many respects, but he did experience hardship.

On the second charge — how is Stewart a bigot? From every episode I’ve ever seen of the show, he seems remarkably “fair and balanced,” as Fox News’s ironic slogan dubs its network. Sure, he’s liberal, but does he have more of a “white, establishment” point of view than any other commentator? Probably not.

Furthermore, Sanchez went on to say that Jews control the media. Ah, that old chestnut. Sure, there are a lot of Jews in top media positions, but, as that article mentions, many of them are not Jewish. To suggest that Jews are involved in some conspiracy of puppeteering every media outlet in the country not only demeans Jews and reduces us to an image of crafty, mean-spirited individuals, but it also demeans the many individuals who are of other religions and ethnicities who have major roles in running media outlets. Jews aren’t pulling their strings, but working with other executives of many different colors and creeds.

After all of this, did Sanchez deserve to be fired? I would say so. Until he rectifies his world-view to one that is not as bigoted and misinformed, he should keep away from the media airwaves, where his inappropriate and false comments will not create biases against any more Jews or others.

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4 Older Responses to “Getting the Message Out”

  1. Rob
    January 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    If you want to be accurate and have bothered to go into so much detail about Jon Stewart, why don’t you go into equal detail about Sanchez? He actually never said that Jews control the media. It’s a 55 minute interview, Did you bother listening to it, or are you just going by sensationalist headlines that other people wrote?

    Let’s break it down. What Sanchez said about Stewart is actually irrelevant; Sanchez can call Stewart a bigot just as Stewart can call Sanchez an idiot. Everyone has the right to believe what they want about the other, and they have the right to be wrong as well. Sanchez can be dead wrong about Stewart and his background, but none of that should have cost him his job.

    So we’re left with what Sanchez said about Jews. He said that Jewish people today, in the media industry, are not an oppressed minority as Hispanics and African-Americans are. I see nothing offensive or untrue in that statement. He never said they control all media. He never said that Jews had never been oppressed. Did he put his foot in his mouth and could he have made his point more elegantly? Of course. But the misreporting of this story and labelling him an anti-Semite is atrocious. In the end, Sanchez’s point is a factual one and one that Jewish people should be proud of: they have succeeded in media due to their hard work and intelligence and are no longer oppressed in that industry. That’s an accomplishment, And maybe someday, people will be able to say that Hispanics aren’t an oppressed minority either.

  2. Elle Weiss
    January 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Amazing article, Carly. I applaud Jon Stewart for being a gentleman about it, but Sanchez was wrong, wrong and more wrong.

  3. Carly Silver
    January 24, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    Rob and Elle, thank you both for your responses.

    Rob, going back, you’re right on some counts. I did re-listen to the interview and you’re right: Sanchez never did say that Jews ran all the networks. I apologize for my mistaken reporting on that front. Jews may not be in a minority in the media, perhaps, but Sanchez scoffed at the idea that Jews were a minority (and I quote verbatim from a transcript of his interview, as seen here: http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/transcript-cnns-rick-sanchez-meltdown-sirius-radio-21386?page=0,6), saying, “He’s such a minority. I mean you know, please, what are you kidding?” I agree that Jews might not be a minority in the media world, but to disregard their minority status in every other respect is ignorant.

    Jews are a minority. Whether or not they are always oppressed is another thing. Stewart is an example of a Jewish individual who has risen above admitted anti-Semitism in his past. He has been discriminated against as a Jew. He has been oppressed. He’s also a white liberal, which explains Sanchez’s comments that network heads are also white liberals. At the same time, there are many Jews who are perhaps not liberal or are not as well-off financially as Stewart. Even if Stewart is not now the oppressed minority, he A.) once was and B.) is not the representative of the entire Jewish people. There are many Jews that are still oppressed today through racial prejudice, just as, unfortunately, there are individuals of Latino, African-American, and Arab heritage who are judged unfairly. Sanchez may not have dismissed Jewish suffering in the past, but to imply that all Jews are free of suffering and oppression today, to make one wealthy man their representative, is unfair.

  4. Dafne
    May 27, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Gunwalker isn’t a scandal, it’s detapviry. Homicidal detapviry, which was dismissed as “breaking eggs to make omlettes”. People have been killed.Obama’s sanctimonious posturing against the rights of private gun owners, while he was deliberately running guns to criminals as a matter of policy, is intolerable. This wasn’t an error, it wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t a “plan gone awry” as CNN put it, the Obama administration did this on purpose. This was their plan. They carried out their plan.Obama must resign.Instead of shaming the American presidency, he should apologize to the widows and orphans of Gunwalker after he leaves office. Then he can hire a lawyer for himself to deal with the wrongful death lawsuits he’ll be facing.

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