July 5, 2011 at 9:02 AM ET
This just in: Jon Stewart is not a bigot.
So asserts Rick Sanchez in a move that might surprise some people, considering the former CNN anchor was fired last year for calling "The Daily Show" host exactly that.
But now that conservative pundit Bernie Goldberg and Fox News have jumped on Stewart following a June 9 show segment in which the comedian mimicked Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's effusive, preacherly style -- while also noting the flaws in Cain's remarks -- Sanchez has retracted his accusation on his personal blog.
"I was on receiving end of Jon’s jokes for a long, long time. I was thin-skinned enough to think that I was a target due to my ethnicity. And I was wrong," writes Sanchez.
"Jon’s not a racist or a bigot -- not even close. The insinuation that he is any of those things, hiding under the cover of comedy, is just plain wrong. The assertion that Jon 'gets away' with jokes because FOX classifies him as a liberal, and that a conservative would get eviscerated for saying the same things, doesn’t hold water. Unless we’re ready to classify Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as comedians rather than pundits, anchors or hosts on a news network, then any comparison to Jon is a false one.
"Jon’s goal every night is to inform and illuminate, and to be funny while doing so. Whatever Jon’s political leanings, he is an equal-opportunity comedian and satirist. Whether you’re black, brown, green or purple, whether you’re Hispanic, White, African-American, Arab or Chinese, whether you’re liberal, conservative, libertarian or just plain apolitical, Jon just goes where the funny is (and sometimes it’s the jugular). Nobody gets a pass. And that’s exactly the way it should be."
For the record, Stewart seems to agree -- as he noted in his June 28 show:
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