A longtime news anchor now finds himself at the center of a story and it's sparking debate across the country. On Friday, CNN fired Rick Sanchez , one day after he called comedian Jon Stewart a bigot, then later deemed him prejudicial instead. During a satellite radio interview, the anchor also implied that Jews control the media and then questioned whether Jews should be considered a minority. Click here to listen to Sanchez's comments.
In case you missed it, here's how the trouble started. On Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," Stewart has frequently poked fun of Sanchez, most recently saying on the air that his show had received a tweet from House Republican leader John Boehner. Stewart called it a case of "send a twit a tweet."
In response, Sanchez said on Friday's radio show, "He's upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level." Sanchez went on to say that Stewart is bigoted toward "everybody else that's not like him" and "can't relate to what I grew up with," when describing the prejudice he saw growing up as a Hispanic.
That's when the interviewer points out that Stewart, who is Jewish, is also a minority. Sanchez dismisses that saying, "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?" Sanchez said, adding a sarcastic "Yeah." "I can't see someone not getting a job these days because they're Jewish," he said.
And with those words, it set off the firestorm. The next day, CNN issued a statement saying Sanchez "is no longer with the company." CNN thanked him for his years of service and wished him well. Read more from CNN.
The story of a seasoned journalist, now tangled up in a story of his own, is sparking debate from coast to coast. One reader writes on The Huffington Post website, "Rick went overboard with his comments about Jon Stewart and he should simply apologize."
Another takes it a step further saying, "His attitude toward Jewish people is anti-Semitic. His contempt for them is dripping from his words."
Yet another supports the ousted anchor saying, "Rick Sanchez was not only a great anchor but a common sense person. I will watch CNN much less. So he made some comments that might offend a group of people, get over it!"
Another writes, "I would rather a man tell his true feelings. and not hide behind the 'political correctness' of what 'others may want to hear'".
Click here to watch an introspective look at the controversy on CNN's Reliable Sources.
Rick Sanchez has been covering stories for CNN since 2004, and until now, was the host of "Rick's List." Today, he joins the ranks of the unemployed, having become part of the story, a cardinal sin in journalism.
There have been thousands of comments about the Sanchez situation posted online since his abrupt ousting Friday. We want to know what you think. Do you feel Sanchez went too far? Do you think CNN was right to fire him? Or do you support Sanchez? Leave your comments below.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.