Thursday, October 07, 2010

my last post (maybe) on rick sanchez

Ok, this will be the last (maybe) round-up of a few more articles/blogs which looked past the surface of the Rick Sanchez firing. Here are some of the highlights:

In Slate: Is it so offensive to note the effectiveness of the Jewish lobby? by the famously secular Jewish British author, Christopher Hitchens we read:

It's not that long since the late Yitzhak Rabin was complaining that groups like AIPAC had too much influence on Israeli policy. Is there any other lobby that exerts a comparable influence? Perhaps the National Rifle Association. And, of course, on the single issue of the maintenance of a failed embargo, the Cuban-American caucus and its funding base in Florida and New Jersey. (I wonder if Rick Sanchez would offer me an argument there.)

Coming to Sanchez, then, I ask myself if the world in which I have worked for so many decades—the intersecting and overlapping world of the news media, publishing, the academy, and the think-tank industry—is even imaginable without the presence of liberal American Jews. The answer is plainly no. Moreover, I can't think of any other "minority" of which this is remotely true, unless it were to be the other minority from which I can claim descent: people of British or Anglophile provenance.

In I, Sanchez Chez Pazienza gives a much more behind-the-scenes and personal account of her own experiences with Rick Sanchez and the CNN staff and why she believes we haven't seen the last of him.

The Black Snob piece: Rick Sanchez Gets Fired Over Most Epic "Jews Sux" Stupidity Ever (Rants) gives us a refresher course on the first two rules of American society:

Look. This is America and there are certain things in America that will guarantee you will get fired. One -- Be a white person saying the actual N-word in its proper context, as a dirty, dirty slur. You can be as racist as you want in America, but DEAR LORD! Don't actually SAY the word "nigger." It has magical powers apparently. So, you can make all the watermelon jokes you like. Just don't say that word in it's proper context. White people DO NOT LIKE THIS. The fact that black people also don't like this goes without saying.

Two -- Don't diss Jews.

Americans don't do criticism of the Jewish people very well. Unlike the black people, of whom you can smack around as much as you like as long as you don't say that dastardly word and mean it, you can't say anything that even looks like it might want to be wrongiddy-wrong-wrong about the Jewish people. Almost anything negative comes off as antisemitic, so you really don't have to say much to offend. Hell, just try to take the side of the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict and you could get called out as antisemitic even though you're criticizing a sovereign country with nuclear weapons ... not all sons of Abraham. Some folks, bless their hearts, don't know that Israel isn't the last word on Judaism, not even among Jews who are, wow, really critical of Israel at times.

But, whatever.

The most thoughtful and thorough discussion I've seen of the Rick Sanchez affair is in the Racialicious piece: On Rick Sanchez, Jon Stewart, and Why We All Lose Playing the Oppression Olympics by Latoya Peterson.

Peterson's piece is unique in at least two respects. First, hers is the only article I've found which didn't just take Stewart's (And Colbert's) non-racism totally for granted and actually questions the ways both shows use racial stereotypes to get a laugh (e.g. The Daily Show’s “Asian Correspondent” Olivia Munn, Dear Olivia Munn, The Daily Show Introduces Us to Gitmo, Open Thread: Cornel West on Stephen Colbert – Respect or Mockery?)

Second, Peterson's piece is also the only one I've seen on the Sanchez issue to actually take the time to debunk the idea that Jews run/own the media with any kind of evidence. She extensively quotes from a FAIR report The Jewish Media: The Lie That Won't Die and also links to Wikipedia's American Mass Media Owners

Of course, the ideal way to refute claims like Six Jewish Companies Own 96% of the World’s Media and put the issue to rest once and for all would be for someone to just do a survey or census of the media at the various levels (owners, executives, behind the scenes staff, columnists and anchors) and just deal with the issue objectively.

See also:
rick sanchez, jon stewart, jews and the media
cnn on rick sanchez
jews and the media

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