Transcript of CNN's Rick Sanchez Meltdown on Sirius Radio

From the transcript: ‘You know what, I really don't see you as an anchor, I see you more as a reporter, I see you more as a John Quinones – That’s what he told me.’

CNN anchor Rick Sanchez had a meltdown on Friday on Pete Dominick's Sirius XM show to promote his new book, "Conventional Idiocy." While on the 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.

Here is the transcript:


RS- It’s not just the right that does this. cause I’ve known a lot of elite Northeast establishment liberals that may not use this as a
business model but deep down when they look at a guy like me they look at a– they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier and not the top tier.

PD- Why do you say that? Give me an example – because you're Cuban-American…

RS- I had a guy who works here at CNN who's a top brass come to me and
say, ‘You know what, I don't want you to –

PD- ‘Will you wash this dish for me, Sanchez?’

RS-  No no, see that’s the thing; it’s more subtle. White folks usually don't see it. But we do – those of us who are minorities and women see it sometimes too from men in authority. Here, I’ll give you my example its this 'You know what, I don't want you anchoring anymore, I really don't see you as an anchor, I see you more as a reporter, I see you more as a John Quinones – you know the guy on ABC. That’s what he told me. He told me he saw me as John Quinones. Now, did he not realize that he was telling me, ‘When I see you I think of Hispanic reporters’? Cause in his mind I can’t be an anchor. An anchor is what you give the high-profile white guys, you know. So he knocks me down to that and compares me to that and it happens all the time i think. To a certain extent Jon Stewart and Colbert are the same way. I think Jon Stewart’s a bigot.

PD- You think Jon Stewart is a bigot? Hold on now were going to get into it, Jon Stewart my old boss, my friend.

RS: Yeah I think he's a bigot.

PD: How is he a bigot?

RS: I think he looks at the world through his mom who was a schoolteacher, and his dad who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything that you could ever imagine.

PD: What group is he bigoted towards?

RS: Everybody else who's not like him. Look at his show! What does he surround himself with?

PD: But listen he picks on Jews all the time, he's a Jew. He focuses on them and I think he overcompensates to some extent. I always noticed that he goes after himself and people like him and everybody else… I totally, I disagree with you and I defy you to give me a specific example …

RS: Let me give you an example of what I mean about that by the way.

PD: It’s a pretty strong words calling Jon Stewart a bigot calling anybody a bigot. Give me an example?

RS: That’s what happens when you watch yourself on his show every day and all they ever do is call you stupid.

PD: Well if he's bigoted against the ignorant fine! If he's bigoted against the apathetic and he's being elitist saying that others are stupid, but what group specifically … calling somebody a bigot, but against who?

RS: Anybody who's different from you are. Anybody, anybody who's not from your frame of reference. Anybody who doesn't look and sound exactly like the people that you grew up with, the people that you put on your show who always reflect somebody who’s I’m bringing in to sit around me, you know who's very different from me. I mean I’m sorry but I just don't buy this thing that the only people out there who are prejudiced are the right, there’s people who are prejudiced on both sides.

PD: But you're not giving me a specific example. You're saying he's bigoted towards people  who aren't like him. His guests come from everywhere he has the most right wing…

RS: I think, I think…

PD: Don't you point your sharpie at me Sanchez.  Don't you take your sharpie out

RS: I think Jon's show is essentially prejudicial. I think that Jon’s show is…

PD: Against who?

RS: Against anybody who doesn't agree to his point of view, which is very much a white liberal establishment point of view. He cant relate to a guy like me. He can’t relate to a guy who's dad worked all his life. He can’t relate to somebody who grew up poor.

PD: He cant relate to …  whoah whoah whoah he's a standup comedian!

RS: No, he's not. According to Time magazine, he's the guy that most Americans trust for news.

PD: Whatever, he's a standup comedian.

RS: But, its not whatever!

PD: No, its not. You just said he can’t relate to people like you, Rick. Hold
on. Rick, I’m a standup comedian. I’ve been a standup comedian for 15 years.
It’s a really really difficult job. It’s filled with failure, it’s filled with travel, it’s filled with hard work. We might not be out there doing you know physical labor like your dad did, but I don't think it’s fair to define necessarily…

RS: No no no, you're right you're right.


PD: He worked very hard and I’m telling you he puts in 12 hours a day on that show, and his staff respects him, and I don’t agree with anything. I don't know his parents, but I’ve worked for him.

RS: You're right, you're right I’m not saying. Now wait wait. You misunderstood me, I’m  not saying that…

PD: You just said he can’t relate to people who work hard.

RS: No, he can’t relate to what I grew up with. Absolutely not.

PD: But that’s not fair. That’s not fair to say that because he didn't have your life experience he's not somehow on your level. It’s not his fault. We can’t just say…

RS: No, it's that he looks at me as not being on his level.

PD: Eh?

RS. Yeah, eh?

PD: I think you're holding a grudge because he picked on you at some point. I don't even know but…

RS: No, I’m telling you. I can see it.

PD: Didn’t you fire a bomb at Colbert last week?

RS: I can’t remember. Did I?

PD: Didn’t you take a shot at Colbert? You guys are crazy.

RS: I must have at some point. But yeah, look my point is very simple. I see stuff O’Reilly and Glenn Beck do and I say, “wow that’s very discriminatory, that’s very prejudicial.” And I look at stuff that Colbert and Jon  Stewart do and I think, “wow that’s very prejudicial.” So, you know we have a tendency to only look at one side. I’m saying we ought to be able to look at both sides. That’s all I’m saying.

PD: I certainly agree with that but–

RS: So, if we’re going to call one side bigoted, we probably got to look at the other side and say the same thing.

PD: Well, I’d be careful with the word bigot. I’d  be careful with it.

RS: Well, I’ll take the word bigot back. I’ll say prejudicial.

PD: Look at what I did here.

RS: Uninformed. Because Mark Twain said that you don't really become a man until
you've had a child, planted a tree and written a book. And that stuck with me a long long time ago and I’ve always wanted to write a book and because I’m not…

PD: And because you know you can sell it on your TV show…

RS: Wait. Let me get back to the Jon Stewart thing. You ready?

PD: You've said enough. You're digging a hole.

RS: Wait, I’m not done!

PD: Rick Sanchez calls Jon Stewart a bigot is going viral.

RS: Ok. Its not bigot it’s prejudicial. Prejudicial

PD: You took it back but…

RS: Now, here's the other point about that. Now, what the hell was I going to say? I was going to talk ok– I have a lot to say. And, I think I have a lot to say because of my life experiences, because of what I’ve done in my life, because of the way I’ve grown up, because of my failures, because of my successes. All of that. And, when you turn on a show or listen to someone’s writings and they minimize you and treat you like you don't matter, like you're just a piece of– your just a dumb, like you're a dumb jock or a dumb woman or a dumb Puerto Rican or a dumb Cuban or another dumb Mexican, which is the way I feel whenever I watch Jon Stewart. I can’t help but say, and you just asked me why I wrote this book, I wrote this book because I want people to know that I don't just sit there and read the teleprompter. Now, here’s my second point on that if I did just sit there and read…

PD: The book is written on a teleprompter, Rick.

RS: Shut up. If I did just sit there and read off the teleprompter everyday, Jon
Stewart would never say anything about me. He'd say I’m a good good Hispanic anchor. Way to go, you've done a good job stay right there.

PD: But, you know what I’m fine…

RS: I don't like that.

PD: I wouldn’t either. I wouldn't like it if someone made fun of me or discouraged or was-

RS: No make fun of me. But I am a complex human being. I’m not some some some
moron to be…

PD: But why are you being so sensitive? Why are you why do you care?

RS: Because I’m tired of it.

PD: He's yeah, but he's an entertainer.

RS: No he's not.

PD: But you're going to tell me, Rick. You're going to tell me, you're going to tell me right now that “The Daily Show” has not been extremely important in our conversation. You're going to tell me that “The Daily Show” hasn't literally made news, pointed out hypocrisy when democrats and republicans –

RS: Yeah, that’s that’s my other problem with them. Here’s what they do. This is
the game they play. I just picked on Fox News because they just had a boldfaced lie about something, so dammit that means I’ve got to find something on CNN.

PD: The-

RS: Wait. Let me finish. Wait, hold on let me find let me find oh that Rick Sanchez the little Puerto Rican guy. I’ll make fun of him. Do you have anything oh yeah last week his mispronounced the word indutably or
whatever yeah thats it find me that and well do a whole 4 minute
segment on how stupid he is because he cant pronounce the word
arithmetic

PD: But Sanchez, Rick you–

RS: And you know they do that and its wrong.

PD: They do do that, but they do, but they do it.

RS: And it’s wrong. They try and take, it’s just what you said they shouldn't
do, they should call things as they are. You shouldn't have somebody-

PD: He's a comedian, its a comedy show.

RS: No he's not a comedian. That’s a cop-out he's not just a comedian.

PD: He just performed at Cornell.

RS: Time magazine says that more people get their news from that guy than anybody else.

PD: Because they do a good job.

RS: He makes, he can make and break careers.

PD: Whose career has he broken? Who's career has he broken, Jim Crammers? He
destroyed Jim Crammer. Is Jim Cramer hurting?

RS: I don't know. How’s Jim Crammer doing these days?

PD: He's doing—he’s still the flagship at CNBC.

RS: I just don't like, I don't like dishonesty.  That’s it, that’s all I’m saying.

PD: But Rick hold on a second. You're talking about–oh he calls me whatever
Puerto Rican.

RS: Yeah he treats-

PD: If you chart how many times he's picked on Latinos versus how many
times he's picked on the population he comes from-

RS: No, he wouldn't pick on me if it didn't matter.

PD: He makes a Jew joke every-

RS: He wouldn't pick on me.

PD: If you didn't matter why would he-

RS: If I was just, if I was just the Hispanic guy who read the news at CNN
and paid attention and just read the teleprompter everyday very carefully and
never said anything never had a personality then I’d be fine. He wouldn’t-
pick on me. He's, he's upset that someone of my ilk is at almost his
level. I’m sorry, that’s my impression. I, you know why would a guy
constantly berate you night in and night out like the way they do?

PD: Because you’re an easy target. He does it with all, he does it with
everybody-but he doesn't do it-

RS: What is it about me that makes me an easy target?

PD: I don't know, I don’t know.

RS: ah-ha.

PD: I don't know.

RS: Well, I think I do.

PD: You think it has to do with your ethnicity?

RS: I think he is a– one of those left wing elite northeast establishment
guys who says I like black people and Mexicans as long as they're
right there-here let me tap you on the head, way to go Ricky you're
doing a good job but as soon as you do or say something or develop any
kind of character they push you down just like these, just like the
administrator who said he didn't want me to be an anchor he wanted me
to be a reporter because when he looks at me he thinks of the other
Hispanic reporters like Jon Quinones.

PD: Do you think that’s a conscious thing that Stewart and left wing or whatever do?

RS: No, I don't.

PD: Because he's on the same side as you on immigration.

RS: No I don't. I don't think it’s a conscious thing.

PD: But he's on the-

RS: I just gave you your answer. I don't think it’s a conscious thing.

PD: And then I didn't listen and went further.

RS: Exactly [laughs]. I just think it’s important that people who are not
minorities understand that those of us who are-and very few of us will-
say the things that we’ve just said are actually more complex than they
think we are and we get them.

PD: Stewart’s a minority as much as you are.

RS: He's, he, come on, how is he a minority?

PD: He's Jewish.

RS: Yeah. It’s yeah, very powerless people {laughs}.

PD: Whoah.

RS: He's such a minority. I mean you know, please, what are you kidding?

PD: He’s, he's you're telling me that-

RS: 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.

PD: They have a history of oppression, no?

RS: No question about that.

PD: They can’t relate to that.

RS: I grew up in Miami. Everyone of my best friends was Jewish. What are you
talking about? But to tell me that-


PD: They can’t relate to that. A Jewish person doesn't always have a
constant fear in the back of their head that we should resist the
holocaust.

RS: I think his father could.

PD: I think every Jewish person feels that way.

RS: I hope so.

PD: Of all the Jewish people I talk to, I have a good buddy of mine I talk to, he’s so paranoid about this whole mosque thing because it is-and you hear Bloomberg and all these other Jews talking about it-because it is when are they coming for us again?-so I disagree with you. And I’m not Jewish and I’m not Puerto Rican, I have had every privilege it’s not easy being bald-

RS: So just because someone’s Jewish means they are not capable of being prejudicial, is that what you’re trying to tell me?

PD: No, no, no, I’m saying just because-

RS: Because if that’s your only defense-

PD: Jewish people can relate to oppression-

RS: I don’t.  I don’t. I just don’t think-and when I say that about Jon Stewart, someone way out to the left…

RS: I’m transparent and I’m real and that’s all and I hope you haven’t taken anything-

PD: I appreciate your honesty and it will be interesting to see if Stewart ever responds to this. But, but, but I-

RS: I hope he does.

PD: Have you ever laid into him anywhere else before?

RS: Um, just on the air lately.

PD: But but-

RS: I don’t respect the guy.

PD: My point is, I don’t relate to blacks, Hispanics, Jews, gays anything. I am a white American and I have never dealt with any of that I mean I kind of relate a little bit–

RS: My point though, Pete, is too many people out there-

PD: But that doesn’t mean that I should-

RS: Walk in my shoes for a day-

PD: But that doesn’t mean that I can’t make fun of it. I’m a comedian-

RS: Yeah-

PD: I have to make fun of stereotypes. I think I come out on the right side of the jokes but if I can’t make jokes, if I can’t take shots at people for the sake of comedy, um and I’m not, you know I was wrong when I said he’s just a comedian, he isn’t, he is a news man to some extent. I agree with you. I was wrong about that but I mean in essence, that’s what we do and I’m defending Stewart more from a comedian’s point of view-

RS: And for all I know, he doesn’t even write, maybe it’s his staff who doesn’t like me-

PD: Listen, he’s got a brilliant staff, a brilliant and pretty diverse staff but I don’t know if there are any Hispanic writers to be fair and honest. But just as a comedian I want to tell you something-this might help, it might not, I don’t give a rat’s ass-we don’t think very much about peoples’ feelings we think about being funny. I can’t tell you how many times at night when I’ve been driving away from a gig going, you know what that probably wasn’t right, because I’ll take a specific thing in the room, some woman who won’t shut up, and I’m talking about, you are the most annoying woman I’ve ever heard in my life and I really lay into her, but it’s for a joke. We lower others to raise ourselves. That’s how we make a living, and we are not thinking and I’m certainly not thinking about Rick Sanchez’s, whose got four hours on CNN everyday, feelings if I’m John Stewart-

RS: Or his kids or anyone else, yeah.

PD: No-

RS: Well you should. You should. I do in my job every time I have to tell a story about somebody, the first thing I ask myself is how would I like this if somebody said this about me, that’s the first thing that I ask. I don’t see that when I watch Colbert or John Stewart. They just skewer people mercilessly and they don’t give a damn and they walk away and you know what, if they were just comedians it would be great but unfortunately their show has transcended comedy. It is now more important than Walter Cronchite so it’s like we’re living in a generation where Walter Cronchite is out there crying-

PD: Is that because you guys aren’t doing your jobs well enough?

RS: Probably.

PD: Ok, Rick I gotta go because I gotta take a moment here but I really enjoyed getting to know you, I really did, and I appreciate your honesty and I think you’re a really ballsy man, I really do, I respect it, I do, I have a newfound respect for you.

RS: I like being really transparent.