Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, isn't it so sad that Rick Sanchez lost a job he clearly loved? Almost as sad as being hit by a drunk driver.

Rick Sanchez was a newsactor (as shampoo calls them) recently fired for making some cracks about Jon Stewart, the comedian/newsactor host of "The Daily Show," and for suggesting that his, Sanchez's, bosses at CNN were part of a Jewish conspiracy, or something.
Sanchez called out Comedy Central host Jon Stewart as a "bigot" for mocking him, and complained that Jews — like Stewart — don't face discrimination. He also suggested that CNN, and perhaps the media industry more broadly, is run by Jews and elitists who look down on Hispanics like himself.

Clearly, those comments didn't sit well with the network, which put out a terse statement around 6 p.m. Friday.

"Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company," the CNN statement read. "We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
Following that terse statement and the termination of Mr. Sanchez's employment, someone at Mediaite posted a morally retarded entry on, well, how touching it was to see Mr. Sanchez's twitter videos showing him putting his CNN program, "Rick's List," together.
The last video, put together hours before the fateful interview that caused him to get fired, is a poignant reminder that, at the bottom of all of this, is the sad story of a man who said some stupid things and lost a job he clearly loved.
Watching it now, one gets the same feeling you get watching a supporting character in an 80s action movie talk about how happy he is to be one day away from retirement and knowing he’s about to get killed by a drug lord or something.
Or, perhaps, a drunk driver.

You want a "poignant reminder"? Here's one for you. It's about a working class man, a carpenter of modest means, who watched a football game and got intoxicated. He walked out into the street where he was met by a motorized vehicle being driven by another intoxicated man. The intoxicated driver of the motorized vehicle, a Volvo, was not a working class man. He was not of modest means. He was a famous newsactor in the Miami area. He was well known.

And his Volvo struck the working class carpenter. That's when the justice system took over, with predictably poignant results:
Minutes after midnight on the morning of December 10, 1990, an intoxicated [Jeffrey] Smuzinick darted out in front of a Volvo on a residential street near Joe Robbie Stadium. The driver of the car, WSVN-TV Channel 7 anchorman Rick Sanchez, became the subject of a subsequent January 16 New Times story that described the odd circumstances of the accident. Sanchez, whom a Metro-Dade police officer said "smelled strongly of alcohol," first stopped his car but then later left the scene. A blood test to determine Sanchez's sobriety was not administered until an hour and fifteen minutes after the collision. Though Sanchez says he tried to aid Smuzinick at the scene of the accident and flag down motorists, eyewitnesses claim the anchorman ignored the injured man and loudly told police and bystanders that blood tests were pointless, and would hurt his public image.

Best known for his stint as a sometimes-melodramatic correspondent on Channel 7's "Crime Check," Sanchez continues his work on the station's evening and late newscasts while awaiting a September 13 court date on misdemeanor drunk-driving charges. Though the results of one test show the newsman's blood-alcohol level was .15 -slightly over the legal .10 limit - the test was performed after Sanchez left the scene of the accident. In January Sanchez told New Times he had consumed no alcohol the night of the accident. His attorney, Richard Essen, now says the anchorman returned home and had "a couple of drinks to calm his nerves" before returning to the scene. Essen doubts that Sanchez's DUI charge will ever come to trial. "I think the results of the blood tests will be thrown out," the lawyer says. "If the results of the blood tests are suppressed, then there is no evidence against him at all. The state cannot proceed."
It's wonderful that Mr. Sanchez had a lawyer looking out for his best interests, isn't it? I mean, the police waited an hour and fifteen minutes before the first sobriety test was administered. And this after Mr. Sanchez had already gone home to have a few drinks to calm his nerves. After all, it can be scary for a famous newsactor to be involved in an accident. Who among us wouldn't leave the scene of an accident like that? You know, when we've just hit a pedestrian with our car?

Go have a drink. Relax. You've got to take care of you in that situation. And of course, your enemies will use any excuse to go after you. That's how low they are -- and it was that kind of thinking that clearly informed Mr. Sanchez's "no contest" plea:
Television anchorman Rick Sanchez will plead no contest Thursday to a drunk driving charge, saying he wants to avoid a DUI trial that his TV news competitors would turn into a "three- ring circus." Sanchez, the 33-year-old, top-rated anchorman for WSVN- Channel 7, told The Herald Tuesday that he will enter the plea to avoid a jail sentence for driving while intoxicated on Dec. 10 after leaving Joe Robbie Stadium following a Miami Dolphins football game.
That's right. Mr. Sanchez just wanted to get on with his life. He would have fought that totally unfair charge, but his television rivals would have made the trial into a three-ring circus. You see, Mr. Sanchez is a newsactor, and he knows how they think. They are provocative. They turn things like a simple DUI-hit-and-run-and-have-a-few-drinks-then-return-an-hour-later into something...sleazy.

Mr. Sanchez wanted to avoid all that.

And as for Mr. Smuzinik, well, he had a lot less to worry about than Mr. Sanchez:
Meanwhile, after two months in a coma, Smuzinick has regained consciousness and is making slow improvement. His right side remains largely paralyzed due to massive brain damage, but he can move his left arm and leg and sometimes hold his head upright. Using hand signals, he can answer yes or no to simple questions. Doctors last Friday removed a feeding tube from his trachea, and Smuzinick can now eat liquid foods. He has indicated that he hopes he can soon move from HealthSouth Regional Rehabilitation Center in Cutler Ridge to the town house in Pembroke Pines he purchased and finished remodeling shortly before the accident.

"The first eighteen months after an accident like this are crucial," says Dr. Kenneth Fischer, a neurologist who treated Smuzinick at North Shore Hospital until March 21. "Whether or not he will improve further is hard to say. It's very unlikely he will ever be able to function independently or converse spontaneously."

Though Smuzinick's health insurance policy covers most of his medical costs, it doesn't pay for rehabilitative care. Family members say unpaid bills for physical therapy now total about $81,000. To save money, they have removed Smuzinick from the clinic's head-injury program. Using videotapes to learn therapy techniques, friends, relatives, and former co-workers have begun to provide a semblance of the rehabilitation program they can't afford.
You see, Mr. Sanchez had his reputation to worry about. Mr. Smuzinick was in a coma. Then, after that, all he had to worry about paralysis. And his feeding tube. And brain damage.

You can see why Mr. Sanchez wanted to avoid the "three ring circus" that newsactors create when someone stands up for his rights by going to trial to prove his innocence in a trumped-up drunk driving case.

Oh, and Mr. Smuzinick passed away a couple of years later.
"Jeffrey Smuzinick, who was left paralyzed after being struck by the car of Channel 7 anchor Rick Sanchez, died Monday in a Pennsylvania nursing home. He was 36. Smuzinick was injured Dec. 10, 1990, after he ran out into traffic following a Dolphins football game. He was struck by a 1991 Volvo driven by Sanchez. Smuzinick suffered severe head injuries and was in a coma for many months. He underwent rehabilitation in Florida ..."
That is poignant.

A video of some privileged ass hole talking about how much he loves his job -- a job he should never have had in the first place -- just a few hours before he loses said job.

Seriously, CNN -- why did you ever hire this man in the first place? Why did he continue to work at all? I would think that people would not watch a man who had done such a thing.

He drove drunk.

He struck a pedestrian. (Now, the pedestrian apparently might have run out into the road and been intoxicated himself, but still -- perhaps if Mr. Sanchez hadn't been intoxicated, he might have been able to avoid the collision.)

He left the scene of incident.

He claimed to have deliberately tampered with evidence (his own blood alcohol level) by having a few drinks at home.

Why oh why would anyone hire this man, ever? The collision is one thing. But the attempting to cover it up, leaving the scene, and the story about having a few drinks afterward? That shows an inherent dishonesty.

Nothing about this man is believable. Including that "poignant" video of Mr. Sanchez working at a job he "clearly loved." Really? "Clearly"? No. I don't buy it.

And as for Mr. Sanchez's beef with Mr. Stewart. A lot of it stems from the fact that Mr. Sanchez is a complete moron, even more moronic than most newsactors. Some highlights:

Is Iceland too cold to have volcanoes?

What is nine meters "in English"?

Where is Hawaii, exactly?

Screaming out the window, and actually making Lou Dobbs look good by comparison. Seriously, how do you make that jackass Lou Dobbs look good?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - This Whole Tiger Woods Thing
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The master of the segue.

And here you can find "Daily Show" clips with Mr. Sanchez. This is what drove Mr. Sanchez to make his "Jon Stewart is a bigot" remarks.

There is no way that Mr. Stewart might have been picking on him because Mr. Sanchez is a moron. It must be racism. It must be a conspiracy.

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