How did Rick Sanchez not see this coming?
Broadcast news is littered with instances of on-air personalities losing their cool, their respect and sometimes their jobs after saying something less than smart.
Had former CNN anchor Sanchez considered what became of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Helen Thomas and the like, maybe he wouldn't have said that "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart is bigoted toward "everybody else that's not like him," that "everyone who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart" and that he "can't see someone not getting a job these days because they're Jewish."
But no, Sanchez said all that and more on the radio show "Stand Up! With Pete Dominick" Thursday and was promptly removed from his post at CNN, where he had been since 2004.
Below, five recent broadcast faux pas from which Sanchez could've, would've, should've learned:
1. Using the n-word 11 times in the span of five minutes? Yep, that's the kind of thing that can end a career, as Dr. Laura Schlessinger learned in August. After the website Media Matters posted audio from an Aug. 10 conversation Schlessinger had with a black female caller in which she offered such enlightened observations as "Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****r, n****r, n****r." Schlessinger announced she would end her radio show so she could say the things she wanted to say.
"The reason is, I want to regain my First Amendment rights," she told CNN's Larry King. "I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."
2. Helen Thomas has covered every presidential administration since Dwight Eisenhower's, but her length of service didn't do her any good in June. While at an event to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, she declared that the residents of Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine." She continued to say that the Palestinians are "occupied," and that the Jews should "Go home" -- to Germany, Poland, America and "everywhere else."
Once her remarks surfaced online, Thomas' speaking agency dropped her as a client. Soon after, the White House Correspondents' Association issued a statement calling her comments "indefensible." Following that, Thomas resigned from Hearst Newspapers, where she had served as an opinion columnist for 10 years.
3. Last year, New York Fox 5 anchor Ernie Anastos coined a catchphrase and entered the broadcast news hall of infamy when he dropped the F-bomb while chatting with weathercaster Nick Gregory. Their exchange went something like this:
"I guess it takes a tough man to make a tender forecast," Anastos said.
"I guess that's me," a bewildered Gregory replied.
Both men shared a chuckle, then the 66-year-old anchorman shocked his colleagues and the audience at home by declaring, "Keep f**king that chicken."
Stunned co-anchor Dari Alexander grimaced straight into the camera before going to commercial. The following night, Anastos turned to the camera and said: "I misspoke during last night's newscast. I apologize to anyone who might have been offended." It wasn't his first faux pas: Once, he mispronounced the station's own website as "myFoxNY.c**k."