CNN's Rick Sanchez: Nixon/Kennedy Debate Took Place in 1962?
Rick Sanchez stumbled again on-air on his CNN program on Monday, getting
the year of the famous Kennedy-Nixon television debate wrong by a
margin of two years. Sanchez, who was trying to describe South Carolina
Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene's first public speech as
the "converse" of the debate, initially guessed 1962 as the year of
the debate, but then broadened his answer to "early '60s"
The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
This detail surprised Sanchez, who then launched his comparison between Greene's speech on Monday and the historical Nixon/Kennedy debate:
RICK SANCHEZ: Really!? YELLIN: Yeah-SANCHEZ: You know, this is like the converse of the Nixon thing. Remember how people watched the speech there after Nixon- YELLIN: Right.SANCHEZ: Debated Kennedy- 1962? Nineteen-sixty- anyway, early '60s.
Yellin smiled and nodded uncomfortably after her CNN colleague gave that wrong answer, but didn't explicitly correct his gaffe afterward.
Sanchez continued with his recollection of history:
SANCHEZ: When Kennedy debated Nixon, everybody who was in the audience said- oh, my God, Nixon killed him- just destroyed him, wiped the floor with him. Yet, everyone at home said- no, Kennedy won that by a mile, and it's because they could see Nixon's perspiration, and the camera goes in so tight, and you saw the stubble and the- you know, the five o'clock shadow-
YELLIN: (unintelligible) (laughs) Right.
SANCHEZ: Well, we were watching this guy here on television and he did come across- jumpy, nervous, jittery, inexperienced, and sweating like he was- like, sweating too much.
YELLIN: Right. You know, it was-
SANCHEZ: Is that what's going on here?
The CNN anchor, who
sparred with Balan after the Iceland "joke" back in April, did get
a kick out of a Tweet he made
after correspondent Brooke Baldwin, later in the program, spilled her secret about her recent
engagement, "stealing [his] thunder," as he put it. Sanchez
and displayed Balan's Tweet on-air after a commercial break. Here's looking at you, Rick!
-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.