Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

Rick Sanchez: Fox News and MSNBC Biased, But I'm Not

CNN's Rick Sanchez positioned himself above the fray between "right wing" Fox News and "liberal" MSNBC on Thursday's Rick's List. Sanchez named Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and their network to his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," after the Obama administration supposedly exposed his competitor's left wing bias, and claimed that he "wasn't necessarily liked" by the current or previous administrations.

Before putting his colleagues at MSNBC on his "list," the CNN anchor invoked his longtime vendetta against his other competitor and took a swipe at the last vice president: "Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network."

Sanchez then moved on to his main subject: "Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.'" He continued with the claim that "if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House [Press] Secretary Bill Burton."

Burton, speaking for President Obama, sang the praises of Olbermann and Maddow during a September 28 briefing on Air Force One, citing them as examples of people who "keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values," continuing that the President "thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service."

After reading the quote, the CNN anchor speculated that he wasn't "sure that neither Olbermann nor Maddow is happy about Burton's comment. We tried calling them today for a comment about this segment, and so far, we've heard nothing back." Actually, Olbermann enthusiastically responded to the deputy White House press secretary just hours later, as Mediaite pointed out on September 29: "I want to thank Mr. Burton for his kind words and the President for his, and I want to- sort of rise to this bar."

During the last part of the segment, Sanchez hinted he was outside the partisan divide between his competitors:

SANCHEZ: ...[I]n an effort to praise them, Burton has actually revealed MSNBC's bias, or at least what the White House perceives as their bias. It's right there. I mean, that's what he is saying- pushing and prodding progressive values is 'an invaluable service'? What if, as an American, I don't agree with all progressive values, Mr. President? And by the way, since when is news supposed to have a limited point of view- only progressive? Oh, that's right. I just remembered. Ever since Fox decided to give mostly the conservative Republican side, and then MSNBC followed suit with mostly the liberal Democratic side- I guess I forgot. Look, from what I can tell, I wasn't necessarily liked by the Bush White House, and I don't think I'm particularly liked by the Obama White House as well. And you know what? That's the way I like it.

Without using any direct label for himself, the anchor is essentially claiming, as he has done in the recent past, that he and CNN "play it down the middle." But past instances indicate otherwise. Besides all the times he has gone after Fox News and conservative talk radio, along with individual conservatives, Sanchez gushed over then-candidate Obama's overseas trip in July 2008: "[The] trip...seems to be captivating the rest of the world as much, if not more so, than many in the United States." After the President's inauguration, he slammed those making light of the Democrat's frequent use of a Teleprompter as being on the "far right" during a March 27, 2009 segment.

One can only speculate why Sanchez thinks the Obama White House doesn't "particularly like" him, but it isn't for a lack of rushing to their defense. Perhaps he irked Mr. Obama after he accidentally labeled the chief executive the "cotton-picking president of the United Sates" on August 30. "The world may never know," to quote a line from the classic Tootsie Pop commercial.

The full transcript of the segment from Thursday's Rick's List, which aired 45 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour:

Screen Cap of Graphic From 30 September 2010 Edition of CNN's Rick's List | NewsBusters.orgSANCHEZ: Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network. Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.' Look, if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House Secretary Bill Burton. You ready? Here it is: 'If you're on the left, if you're somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, or one of those folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values, then he (Obama) thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service.' Now, I'm not sure that neither Olbermann nor Maddow is happy about Burton's comment. We tried calling them today for a comment about this segment, and so far, we've heard nothing back. But essentially what's going on here is, in an effort to praise them, Burton has actually revealed MSNBC's bias, or at least what the White House perceives as their bias. It's right there. I mean, that's what he is saying- pushing and prodding progressive values is 'an invaluable service'? What if, as an American, I don't agree with all progressive values, Mr. President? And by the way, since when is news supposed to have a limited point of view- only progressive? Oh, that's right. I just remembered. Ever since Fox decided to give mostly the conservative Republican side, and then MSNBC followed suit with mostly the liberal Democratic side- I guess I forgot. Look, from what I can tell, I wasn't necessarily liked by the Bush White House, and I don't think I'm particularly liked by the Obama White House as well. And you know what? That's the way I like it. Olbermann, Maddow, MSNBC- at the very top of 'The List (tonight that) U Don't Want 2 Be On.'

-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.