Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez says, "I never said that Jews controlled the media. Never said it," in an interview in The Daily Beast.
Sanchez also said that Jon Stewart’s continual criticism of him had been traumatizing, calling it "ridicule without recourse." Before Sanchez was fired for remarks he made on a radio show, he was the subject of jokes made at his expense on Stewart’s "Daily Show," with the Comedy Central program airing, among other segments, a clip of him being tasered.
Sanchez told the Daily Beast that it made him start "to feel disrespected, that that caused me–because of my heart, my sinew–to overreact … I overreacted and paid dearly for it. I screamed and I got fired." Sanchez also said the furor over his comments on the radio show and his firing had been traumatic and had "immobilized me so much."
Sanchez, who is Cuban-American, said he only recently went back to listen to the radio interview, which he said didn’t match up with what was written about it at the time. "I never said that Jews controlled the media. Never said it."
At the time, the Associated Press wrote, "Sanchez said that Stewart is bigoted toward ‘everybody else that’s not like him.’ He said Stewart ‘can’t relate to what I grew up with,’ saying his family had been poor and he had seen prejudice directed at his father. Sanchez dismisses it when [the interviewer] points out that Stewart, who is Jewish, is also a minority."
After that, according to the AP report, Sanchez said, "I’m telling you that everyone 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?"
Then, the AP said, Sanchez added a sarcastic "yeah" and later said, "I can’t see someone not getting a job these days because they’re Jewish."
In the current Daily Beast interview Sanchez says, "’My whole conversation was about empowerment and that suddenly was taken in a different direction,’ Sanchez noted. But he added that he was ‘appalled’ by the interview, calling it ‘my being tired, being angry, being careless, and in many ways I brought it on myself by being sloppy.’"
As for his career plans, Sanchez said he is having "promising conversations with some people in the business to create a platform for me that I could revel in it," although he declined to comment on specifics.