Hitchens calls on CNN to reinstate Sanchez

Christopher Hitchens, journalist and author of his new memoir "Hitch 22," poses for a portrait outside his hotel in New York in this June 7, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Journalist Christopher Hitchens on Monday called for the reinstatement of fired CNN on-air personality Rick Sanchez and called on Jon Stewart and others to join him in doing so.

He also compared Sanchez’s firing, which quickly followed his controversial comments in a radio interview, to the recent resignation of Dr. Laura Schlessinger for using the N-word.

In a Slate column, Hitchens argued: “The best way to demonstrate the hidden influence of the chosen people would be for Jon Stewart and others to join me in calling for Rick Sanchez’s reinstatement. If it then didn’t happen, it would help us understand who really pulls the strings around here.”

CNN fired Sanchez on Friday after he said in a Sirius XM satellite radio interview that “everybody 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.”

“He didn’t descend into saying that there was Jewish control of the media, but he did imply that liberalism was linked to a single ethnicity,” Hitchens wrote Monday. “Still, there is nothing criminal about this, and the speed of his firing, like the other recent abrupt disappearances of Laura Schlessinger and (former CNN senior editor of Mideast affairs) Octavia Nasr, seems to suggest a network system that cares only about playing safe and avoiding ‘offense.’”