The Sanchez Affair

Two years ago, Joel Stein wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Los Angeles Times:

December 19, 2008

I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.

Stein went on,

But I don't care if Americans think we're running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.

Life is probably too short to write essays about the media frenzy over Rick Sanchez’s firing by CNN, though it’s worth pointing out that when this “Latino” newsreader of European extraction said that Jews prevailed at his news corporation and most others,

  1. The entire spectrum of mainstream and alternative American media, from the Drudge Report to the sassy liberal Gawker, called Sanchez’s interview a “racist” and/or “anti-Semitic” “rant,” even thought the likable, if dim-witted, anchorman was calmly making subtle distinctions about Jews and White liberals as best he could. 

  2. Sanchez -- not known for incisiveness or the accurate use of his English lexicon -- expressed opinions about Jon Stewart being “prejudicial” (in the sense of favoring Establishment liberals) and Jewish preeminence that are entirely fair and based on fact.

Whatever one might think of Jewish influence in the media, the fact that Joel Stein is allowed to gloat about the fact -- and Rick Sanchez hounded for alluding to it -- amounts to one of America’s biggest double standards in a crowded field.

This scandal has also reminded me of Stephen Steinlight’s arguments that, pace the ADL & Co., immigration restriction is quite Good For The Jews and that the Jewish leadership should drop its Ellis Island nostalgia. For years, Steinlight has been saying that new immigrants, particularly those from the Hispanic Third World, lack the sentimental visions of Jews as powerless and pitiable held by most American gentiles, and would be far less accepting of Jews in positions of power.

Rick Sanchez’s European physiognomy make him unrepresentative of Latinos in America -- but then quite representative of public representatives of Latinos in America -- and his comments might be a harbinger of a coming ethnic clash. It seems that the Rick Sanchezes of the world don’t like it when the Jon Stewarts of the world are depicted as oppressed minorities deserving of special status. This might get interesting.