Jon to Larry King: HIRE RICK BACK
On October 20, 2010, Jon Stewart appeared on Larry King Live where he said that CNN should not have fired Rick over his comments:
“What, are you kidding me? Fire somebody if you don’t think they’re doing a good job as a news person…. They fired Sanchez for what he said. I think it’s absolute insanity… [T]he idea that they would have fired him for calling me a bigot. I think if that’s the reason, hire him back tomorrow…”
Video follows, along with a full transcript of the exchange:
KING: They’re asking this: what you thought about CNN, us, firing Rick Sanchez after he called you a bigot?
STEWART: Is that 140 characters, because that sounded a lot more than 140 characters. It sounded like somebody sent you a double or triple Tweet.
KING: May have been a double Tweet.
STEWART: We’re on a news program and you’re saying to me, so there’s a Tweet. Isn’t that a question you probably could have thought of yourself?
KING: We like to involve the audience. It’s a gimmick.
STEWART: All right.
KING: Well, what do you think?
STEWART: Should they have fired him for that? No.
KING: You think they made a mistake?
STEWART: With the crap you guys have put on over the last ten years. What, are you kidding me? Fire somebody if you don’t think they’re doing a good job as a news person. This whole idea that people — you know, they fired a woman for Tweeting something on her thing on her blog. They fired Sanchez for saying what he said.
I think it’s absolute insanity. I think this idea that people have to be held to account for everything that comes out of their mouths as far as their livelihoods is concerned — does he do a good job? Were you pleased with his job? Or was it an excuse to — you know, to get rid of him?
KING: What did you think of the job he was doing?
STEWART: He’s a ham. I mean, I wasn’t crazy about the show. Do you think I want to see a newsman get tased and then get into a car and drive it into a river? It would be like, this is how you get out. What? What are you doing? But —
KING: Were you not hurt by him calling you that? Personally hurt?
STEWART: No, I was not personally hurt by him calling me a bigot. I make jokes about people for a living. If that’s the least — you should hear what people call me when I’m walking home. You have no idea the vitriol that comes my way on a daily basis. Bigot, I almost wanted to hug him and go, really, you think? That nice?
KING: Why do you pick on —
STEWART: And, again, the idea that they would have fired him for calling me a bigot. I think if that’s the reason, hire him back tomorrow, because I — you know, my feeling is, you know, when he said — you know, there was a — the thought that he had said that Jews control the media and that maybe that would have ruffled some feathers, that they felt that was —
KING: Maybe that was the reason.
STEWART: OK, but even that, I’m sorry, that is a nasty thing to say. I don’t think he actually means that. But I don’t think that’s a fireable offense. Unless it’s, you know — yeah, if you criticize your bosses sometimes. But even that.
KING: Why do you pick on CNN so much?
STEWART: You’re terrible!