Rick Sanchez still interested in hosting TV, radio show

Ex-CNN anchor says comments not comparable to Gibson's

NEW YORK -- Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez on Monday said the comments that got him fired aren't comparable to tirades by the likes of Mel Gibson or Michael Richards.

In an online chat Q&A moderated by the Washington Post on Monday, a person from Denver, Colo. asked Sanchez if he cut other notable personalities, such as Gibson and Richards, as much slack when they made comments that insulted minorities as he is asking people to cut him now.

"My comments were very different from the comments expressed by Gibson [and others]," Sanchez replied. "I did not bring religion into the conversation during my comments. I was only answering a question from the interviewer who suggested that Jewish people are not capable of being prejudiced. I argued inartfully that all of us are capable of being prejudiced whether we are Jewish, African American, Asian or Hispanic."

Sanchez also asked another questioner to view his comments in the broader context of his work. "I can understand why many have taken offense to those selected comments, and I truly apologize for them," he said. "However, it's very important to take into consideration that I have spent a large part of my career confronting anti-Semites...my record is replete with instances where I've chased down neo-Nazis, called out Aryan nation leaders and taken
on the KKK."

Sanchez also once again said while he screwed up, there are broader lessons to be learned from his experience. "We're living in a 'gotcha' time where comments like mine are blown up, while the bigger, more important issues of our day are ignored," he said. He later added: "If I have in any way helped to start a conversation about how we as a country begin treating each other, no matter where we come from, then maybe some good will come of this."

Sanchez on Monday also addressed his professional future, saying he is interested in hosting a TV or radio show again after a break, during which he will write a book. "I relish the opportunity of being able to once again be host [of] a show on television or on radio to make people think," he said. "In the meantime though I will concentrate on my publishing efforts by
sitting down to pen another book about this experience and continue to promote my latest book, "Conventional Idiocy'."

Asked if he had talked to cable news networks or other potential employers, Sanchez told the online chat: "At this point all I want to do is take some time off so that I can get through this and be with my wife and kids. I am flattered by the number of calls that my representatives have received about my future employment. Then I will sit down with my representatives and comb through any of those possibilities."

He also told the online audience that he'd be willing to go on Comedy Central's "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" to apologize to him again on-air.

"I wake up at night seemingly anxiety-ridden over prospects for my future," but his relationship with family and friends have helped him cope, he said.