Monday, October 04, 2010

Will you be watching?

Are you making plans to watch the television event of the year?

I'm speaking, of course, of Jon Stewart's Daily Show on Comedy Central tonight. It will be his first show since CNN anchor - who's now unemployed - Rick Sanchez, called Stewart a bigot on a radio show last week. Sanchez also implied on the same show that the media is controlled by Jews.

CNN fired Sanchez late Friday.

Over the weekend, Stewart responded to the Sanchez's remarks and said that if Sanchez really thinks that Jews control the media then "all he has to do is apologize to us, and we'll hire him back."

Stewart is expected to address Sanchez's meltdown on his show tonight at 11pm.

And I'll be right there on my easy chair, taking it all in.

Yesterday Random Pixels polled some media heavyweights to see if they planned to watch.

Here are their answers.

Jim Mullin, editor, Biscayne Times: "Of course I'll watch."

Mullin was the editor of Miami New Times for almost 20 years. In the early 90's the paper ran several hard-hitting pieces on Sanchez and Channels 7's lurid style of news gathering.

Mullin told me yesterday that when he learned of Sanchez's firing he was "taken back to a memory" of an incident involving Sanchez when Mullin was a guest on a talk show on WIOD radio in the early 90's.

Mullin was in the studio at WIOD - which is next door to WSVN's studio - talking about a New Times article that dissected the controversy surrounding Sanchez's involvment in a hit and run accident that left a man in a coma.

Mullin says as he talked on live radio with the host of the show, the studio door swung open and in walked Sanchez "uninvited and unannounced." Sanchez started to heatedly question Mullin about the New Times story the sources for the story. According to Mullin, the host of the show "did not appreciate the interruption."

"Finally," says Mullin, "someone came in and hustled Sanchez out of the studio."

Billy Corben, co-founder, Rakontur Films: Corben teaches a course in independent filmmaking at the Miami International University of Art and Design until 10pm. But Corben says if he gets home in time, he'll watch.

Corben tells friends that Sanchez made the comments about Stewart because "he's pissed that Stewart is the more popular fake news anchor."

Corben, who is Jewish - "but not an observant Jew," - says he wasn't offended by Sanchez's comments. He believes that Sanchez was "mostly joking." Corben calls Sanchez's firing "karmic." The filmmaker says that the gravity of Sanchez's comments pale in comparison to "him [Sanchez] putting a guy in a coma."

Chuck Strouse, editor, Miami New Times: "Sure, I'll watch... I love Stewart."

Tim Elfrink, staff writer, Miami New Times: Elfrink says he'll watch but says he's not sure if Stewart will add insult to injury by kicking Sanchez when he's down. "When you expect Stewart to 'zig,' he 'zags,' " says Elfrink.

"Rick," publisher of Miami's Best blog, the South Florida Daily Blog: "Well, I really haven't been following the controversy, to tell you the truth. It's like, Rick Sanchez said something stupid? I'm shocked. I just wish the louts at Clear Channel [Limbaugh, Beck] and Fox News were as principled as CNN execs seem to be."

And finally, St. Petersburg Times televison and media critic Eric Deggans: Deggans - a guy who gets paid to watch TV says, "Definitely plan on watching....though I bet AP will have a story on what he says hours before the show is broadcast... "

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Sanchez Taser
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

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