Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rahm, Rick and an Old, Old Story

As the President bids a warm farewell to his Chief of Staff, the news is all about...Rick Sanchez.

Who? A daytime CNN anchor vents his displeasure in a radio interview about Jon Stewart satirizing his work, escalates into an aria against "Jewish" control of his own network and is instantly fired.

Sanchez's sad fate intersects with a memory evoked by Rahm Emanuel's decision to run for Mayor of Chicago, a hereditary position held by the Daley family--of the 1968 Democratic Convention hosted by the current mayor's father, caught on camera yelling at the podium what lip readers decoded as "“[Bleep] you, you Jew son of a bitch! You lousy mother[bleep]er! Go home!"

Sen. Abraham Ribicoff had been impolitic enough, while making a presidential nominating speech, to criticize the "Gestapo tactics" of the Mayor's minions in the streets outside acting out what was later officially described as "a police riot."

As the first would-be Jewish Mayor of the Second City, Emanuel will be running against that backdrop of what Rick Sanchez now reminds us is not ancient history.

If anything, Sanchez's anti-Semitism is relatively pathetic, coming from a second-tier TV anchor out promoting a book unfortunately titled "Conventional Idiocy" after losing a briefly held prime-time slot.

If Jon Stewart is half the human being he seems to be, the Daily Show host should invite Sanchez for a "beer summit" on air and coax him to attend his "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington at month's end.

As for Rahm Emanuel, as he courts voters in the land of Daley and Blagojevich, he will need all his abrasive charm and a psychological suit of armor for the campaign.

Would, as they used to say in my old neighborhood, having one of our own take charge of an ungovernable city be "good for the Jews?" Or should we be taking it with that time-honored shrug, "Things could be worse"?

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