Fired CNN host Rick Sanchez apologized to "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and anyone else he may have offended with his "inartful comments" during a radio show last week.
"I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice," he said in a prepared statement. "Despite what my tired and mangled words may have implied, they were never intended to suggest any sort of narrow-mindedness and should never have been made."
Sanchez, the former host of CNN's "Rick's List," made the derogatory comments about Stewart and Jewish people last Thursday on the radio show "Stand Up! With Pete Dominick" in reaction to a recent jab that Stewart made at him on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." When Sanchez reported that he'd received a tweet from House Republican Leader John Boehner, Stewart called it a case of "send a twit a tweet."
"He's upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level," Sanchez said of Stewart in an interview with Dominick.
He added that he believed Stewart was bigoted toward "everybody else that's not like him."
Sanchez, who was born in Cuba, added that Stewart "can't relate to what I grew up with," and said how, as he was growing up, his family was poor and his father was a victim of prejudice.
Dominick, who is also a CNN contributor and was once the warm-up comic for "The Daily Show," pointed out that Stewart, who is Jewish, comes from a minority group. Sanchez dismissed the notion.
"I'm telling you that everyone who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah," Sanchez said.
"I can't see someone not getting a job these days because they're Jewish," he added.
Dominick pressed Sanchez during the heated interview, and eventually Sanchez backed down on his use of the word bigot.
"OK. I'll take bigot back," he said. "[Stewart is] prejudicial."
Stewart is "not just a comedian," he said. "He can make and break careers."
CNN issued the following statement late last Friday: "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
Jon Stewart responded on Saturday at Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars" at New York's Beacon Theater.
"If you went on radio and said the Jews control the media ... you may want to hold on to your money," Stewart said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Later in the evening, Stewart said, "All he has to do is apologize to us, and we'll hire him back."
Stewart then opened the "Daily Show" Monday gunning for Sanchez.
"I think Jon Stewart's a bigot," Sanchez was heard saying in a taped replay of "Stand Up!"
"Oh my God!" Stewart squealed. "Rick Sanchez knows my name!"
Stewart especially took Sanchez to task for the personal barbs -- that Stewart "grew up in a suburban middle-class New Jersey home with everything that you could ever imagine."
Smirking at the camera, Stewart said Sanchez "really nailed what it was like growing up in central Jersey in the early '70s, the fortunate son of a single mother in the education field."
After considering that it might be mean to target someone who'd just lost his job, Stewart decided to go ahead and poke fun at an "extremely pokable show" anyway. Clips from Sanchez's "Rick's List" were spliced with scenes from NBC's "The Office," making Sanchez out to be as clueless and condescending as Dunder Mifflin's Michael Scott (Steve Carell).
"Carell is leaving 'The Office,' NBC is looking to replace him," Stewart declared, with no small amount of glee. "Sanchez is available!"