You don’t mess with the Sanchez

When you are forced to watch cable television news all day long — a fate that I face along with most of my colleagues — you can become amazed and fascinated by cable anchors. The selection of smart people, stoneheads, action figures, runway walkers, ego freaks and terrific professionals can boggle the mind a bit.

But Rick Sanchez is in a category all his own.

Sanchez is the Freddy Krueger of cable news. You can think he’s gone — but no! He resurfaces again, ready to pounce in a new time slot, filling his reports with more personal pronouns per square inch than anyone in the business, aggressively using Twitter and social networks, undergoing genuine torture on the air so often that you wonder if he has a little problem, and putting down some of the most…well, special…anchoring you’re likely to see.

His you-can’t-kill-me background is fascinating. In Miami, where he anchored and reported in the 1990s, the local alt-weekly named its “Least Credible News Peronality” award after him after he won it so many times in a row, according to this article. He caught on with MSNBC in Miami and eventually got his own show — and it was savaged by some critics. CNN picked him up and soon he was being tasered and waterboarded and drowned in a car and frozen in the elements, all apparently to show that hey, this stuff hurts. Jon Stewart mocked him in a memorable segment, but Sanchez just kept truckin’.

He caught a temporary gig in prime time at CNN, often doing better in the ratings than predecessor Paula Zahn. Now he’s managed to get his own hour in mid-day, using about half of the time to air his big giant head directly into your living room and about half the time to roll clips while he talks over them. I generally have to mute the TV for my own protection.

I suspect that if Sanchez ever read this last statement, he’d laugh and frankly not care. This is a man who either very, very, very much understands what he’s doing, or he’s got a serious case of savant syndrome.

Either way, he’s not going to change his style, as this treasure trove of YouTube clips clearly shows. You are on your own to react accordingly.

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