Quite often I find myself tuned into The Daily Show on The Comedy Network (or catching it for free online the next day if i’ve missed it) because it truly is one of the great comedic shows out there, and there is a smattering of information passed along too – albeit in a comical way. Over the past couple of months Jon Stewart had started to pick on CNN’s Rick Sanchez quite often, usually ragging on his rather….weak lets say jounalistic integrity/seriousness. In his position Stewart watches a lot of media and likes to keep them accountable for providing the masses with unbiased information, rather than useless blather which seems to be the trend of many stations. So when Sanchez would get a little goofy, Stewart was right there to smack him for it.
Then, as most people know, last week Rick Sanchez was on a comic’s satellite radio show and called Stewart a bigot and tried to retaliate for all of Stewart’s jokes against him. He failed and made himself look like a rather big doofus/bigot in the process by then ranting how Jewish people owned the media (come on Sanchez, everyone already knows that!). This led to Mr. Sanchez being given his walking papers and no doubt a phone call to Fox News from Sanchez’s agent. I don’t know enough about Sanchez to determine whether I hate or like him so i’m talking from a position of neutrality for this rant.
I think it’s ridiculous that a newsperson gets fired for speaking their own opinion after they have been attacked by someone. Now granted his rant about Stewart was pretty off colour but i’d say it was blown way out of proportion. He’s just angry that he keeps getting picked on by Stewart, and he’s not smart enough to get back at him with jokes so it boiled over for a while and then finally exploded. It happens to us all. Unfortunately, it happened to someone who is a national television figure. That’s not really where my problem lies.
My problem with this decision is that the media now uses information and updates from random people on twitter and facebook to help fill out their programs and present stories to viewers, many of whom i’m sure have had racist, angry, hatred filled tweets or updates or whatever and yet the media has no problem putting their thoughts on tv. But when someone in the public eye vents a little anger they get crucified. I know its part of the territory, and everyone knows they have to be careful when they are a public figure – but enough is enough with this “He said something that could be construed as racist and it has personally hurt me. I demand he be taken to task”. This isn’t kindergarten anymore, and we don’t need the rest of the media world picking up this stuff and basically tattling on him.
North America believes in free speech but the more we force people to walk around on egg shells the quicker that freedom will begin to humpty dumpty on us. It’s no wonder everybody would rather sit back on their computer under an acronym or avatar and blog/tweet their rants about the price of cheese, how dumb gary bettman is, or how people have terrible taste in television shows instead of putting their real name behind something on tv, radio or in print. It’s much much easier and anonymous this way. No integrity required, your gonna love this Sanchez.