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Jon Stewart Fillets Rick Sanchez, Then Lets Him Off The Hook

“Daily Show” host weighs in on CNN host’s epic meltdown

Jon Stewart addressed CNN’s firing of Rick Sanchez over inflammatory comments the temporary 8 p.m. anchor made about him last week.

Some highlights from my partial, rough transcription:

So last Thursday, after we tape our program, I do what I always do. I head home, I change out of my work slacks and into my line of pure silk comfort wear …

Mr. Sanchez was apparently mad at me and our program here for some of the fun we had poked at his quite frankly extremely pokeable show. But he may have missed some of the point.


OK. I do occasionally have my issues with Rick Sanchez and his program. But he really nailed what it was like growing in Central Jersey in the early 70s. The fortunate son of a single mother in the education field.


It's one of those days I'm thinking, 'Why don't we tape on Fridays?'

I want to clarify something here. We weren't making fun of Rick Sanchez because of some slight to his ethnicity. It's just we see him as a complex television character who's flawed but fascinating to watch every week. And we put together this whole bit, and now they fire the guy. So doing the whole bit now seems kind of mean. But you gotta just have a little taste of it because it was just so … let me just give you a little bit of where we were going.

Stewart then played the bit, a mashup of Sanchez footage and ex-"Daily Show" correspondent Steve Carell's "Michael" character from "The Office."

Here's the deal. If CNN got rid of Rick Sanchez because they didn't like his show, fine. We weren’t that crazy about it either. But if they fired him for making some intemperate statements and some Jew-bating, I gotta tell ya. I'm not even sure Sanchez believes what he was saying.

It's a chance to get in touch with not our dirtier, but our better Sanchezes. Words to live by. I think the guy’s probably got a good heart.

Sanchez was also the subject of David Letterman's Top Ten List on Monday.