Required Reading for Rick Sanchez and Jon Stewart


What to make of Rick Sanchez’s bizarre and self-destructive anti-Semitic outburst? Well, Jon Stewart, who was the Jewish synecdoche in his rant, made some gentle fun of it and Rick Sanchez on his show Monday night. Yes, he made Sanchez look foolish, but Sanchez had already done that on his own. At the end, he pretty much lets him off the hook by stating, “I’m not even sure Sanchez believes what he’s saying.” There were some follow-up columns today, word of an apology and the whole affair seems ready to fade as its Friday to Monday lifespan expires.

Capitalism and the JewsBut missing in the ensuing fallout has been the more delicate question, not of whether Rick Sanchez believed what he was saying, but why, throughout the ages have similar charges been levelled at Jews and believed in the first place? Why is it that the refrain of “Jews control (fill in the blank: CNN, the media, the banks, all of capitalism)” has such durability?

There are two parts to that answer, and the first is the acknowledgement that Jews have been very succesful in the media and in Western capitalism generally. Prominently successful? Definitely. Disproportionately successful? Perhaps. And at times that success has made Jews a target for groups that are dissatisfied and under duress (and when your show is getting the shove for Eliot Spitzer’s comeback, you’re definitely under duress). While that explanation satisfies the sociological explanation of how one group comes to blame another, it sidesteps a more delicate question: Why are Jews more or more prominently successful in capitalist societies?

That is the question at the heart of Jerry Muller’s suddenly all-too-timely Capitalism and the Jews which is being featured on October 25 as a part of our Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. The title itself is provocative because the Jewish community has been reluctant to discuss its own success so publicly. Muller writes in his introduction, “some Jews regard the public discussion of Jews and capitalism as intrinsically impolitic, as if conspiratorial fantasies about Jews and money can be eliminated by prudent silence.” In its willingness to look studiously at the history of Jews and the rise of capitalism, this book reminds me a lot of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood by Neal Gabler, which tackled the history of the Jewish moguls who established the film industry as an economic and cultural force in American life.

While Gabler structured his book around the biographies of the Hollywood moguls and the studios they created, Muller breaks his study into four sections: “The Long Shadow of Usury,” which examines the rise of capitalism and Jews’ early roles in it; “The Jewish Response to Capitalism” which further explains the success of Jews in modern capitalist societies and the communal response to this dominant ism; “Radical Anticapitalism” which looks at what Muller calls “the dialectic of disaster; anti-Semitism led Jews to prominent positions in Communist movements, and their very salience in a movement that threatened existing society provided new fuel for anti-Semitism.” Finally, Muller looks at the sometimes lethal mix of capitalism and nationalism — and the important ways in which nationalistic kinship can both shape and be shaped by economic development and disaster.

Of course, a logical exposition of the history and consequences of Jews and capitalism should be all that’s needed to put to rest these silly conspiracy theories and fury-fueled anti-Semitic rants.

Then again, maybe Jon Stewart should have Jerry Muller on his show. They’d have a lot to talk about.

58 Responses

  1. …and if we all know Jon Stewart (and I think we do), he’d jump at the chance to interview this author! His humor is subtle yet smart, so I don’t even know that he’d emphasize the timely connection.

    Great post. I wish more people in the world could provide such clear reason. Ugh.😦

    • Is there an answer to the question Why are Jews more or more prominently successful in capitalist societies?
      Shouldn’t the patent vacuity of the question, and the fact that success in a late capitalist society doesn’t favour individual religious/racial groups indefinetely any more?

      • “late capitalist society”

        How pathetic. For your sake I hope you’re kidding.

        and the statment “doesn’t favour individual religious/racial groups indefinetely any more?”

        Religion is not going away anytime soon. If we were still in the 1960s you may have been excused but we’re not and that statement is absurd.”

        As an atheist I wouldn’t mind it one bit. But it simply is not so.

  2. Is there an answer to the question Why are Jews more or more prominently successful in capitalist societies?
    Shouldn’t the patent vacuity of the question, and the fact that success in a late capitalist society doesn’t favour individual religious/racial groups indefinetely any more?

    Or, perhaps the question of interest, since this is a history of Jewish success, should be: Why are Jews more or more prominently successful in capitalist societies entrenched, as it is, in protestant ethics?

    The bronx is not the new Geneva now is it.

    • All good points, although I think one could make a strong argument that certain religious/racial groups continue to be at a disadvantage in late-capitalist society. That disadvantage may not be institutionalized, but it is a sociological reality that can’t be ignored.

    • there are many excellent idea! thank you

  3. I suspect that the answer has to do with a sense of comradeship and mutual interest that pervade jewish society.

    • I learned a lot here! thanks everyone

  4. A note to all anti-semitic broadcasters: If Jews control the media, and you’re in broadcasting then Jews control your fate. You had better say nice things about them.

    Despite the possible prejudice and/or racism, it’s such a comedic situation for that very reason.

    I don’t think I like the word Jew. Is that an offensive term? Or am I just uncomfortable with it because it is referring to a group of people based solely on their ethnicity? How about Jewish Americans? I don’t know anyone who is Jewish so I have no way to ask.

    I know I hate being called White or Caucasian because it robs me of some of my ethnicity. I’m a German and Irish American — among other things.

    Anyway, I like your idea of having Muller on the Daily Show. I’d watch that episode.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  5. visit da forum helped me learn many interesting things, hoping that there would be more ideas or more for people learning

  6. let’s see they forced Lou Dobbs off because he spoke out about illegal aliens, and put in a hispanic sock puppet who turns out to hate the jews. What does that tell us about the media these days . As long as it’s hispanic it’s good. everyone else can go to hell or be outsourced to siberia

    • Uh…that “Hispanic Sock Puppet” got fired. Apparently it’s NOT good.

  7. What a great post! Entertaining and informative…

  8. Interesting post, interesting thoughts. I would love to see Muller on the Daily Show, Stewart would really dig into the subject. Anyway, congrats on being freshly pressed.

  9. Let me preface this comment by saying that I know very little about Jewish culture, Judaism, and anything related to the Jewish world. It would seem to me that all of the ‘Jew Rants’ that have been popping up here and there (thanks to people like Rick Sanchez and Mel Gibson) would come from one thing and one thing only: their own jealousy. Yes, Jewish people have been successful in the areas of media and capitalism. But why is that? Just from what little I know, I think it would have to be due to their strong sense of community. They belong to something and have faith in something that people like Sanchez and Gibson seem to have missed out on.

    • It’s actually precisely because of antisemitism that the Jews have done as well as they have. When feudal kingdoms prohibited them from buying land and the guilds prohibited them from learning crafts, they were forced into usury. They became the only (perhaps the first) group with any kind of really sophisticated financing system. There’s still an “Old Jewry” street in London’s financial district.

      Antisemitic cultures don’t trust Jews, so as a result Jews don’t trust them. They band together in strong communities and don’t let outsiders get involved in their affairs. As a result they do very well in certain key industries.

  10. Just because John Stewart is a jerk does not mean he had to be Jewish.

  11. As far as the “Jew-controlled media”
    Saudi Prince Alwaleed is the 4th largest share-holder of Fox news.
    He is not a Jew.

    • What does that prove? Why not tell us who the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest share-holders are? This reminds me of racist whites saying they’re not because they know someone black whom they are on good terms with.

      Is anyone refuting that the percentage of Jewish ownership in banking, media production, news/information, etc is much greater than the percentage of Jews in the general population?

      Why is it said to be anti-Semitic to state that Jews are successful and in control of our capitalist system? Is “rich” a dirty word now? Or is it “rich Jew” that is dirty? Not to me. I believe success is a beautiful thing.

      Now, with wealth comes power and if the powerful are doing doing more evil than good with their power then that’s worthy of criticism. Put another way, “to whom much is given, much is required”. So, is it anti-Semitic to 1) recognize that Jews have wealth and 2) inquire as to how that wealth is being used to direct world events?

      And for any struggling Jews out there, don’t be offended when you hear that Jews control our capitalist society. Obviously, it is not you, individually, whom is being spoken of.

  12. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! You’ve got a great post here – concise, respectful, insightful and thought-provoking. I’ll be looking into this book, and checking out the rest of your blog🙂

  13. I say, Congrats to all Jewish people who’re successful. I wish you/them all more success.

    As a Christian I look at it Biblically. I believe the Jewish people are a blessed people and are meant to be a blessing to others. Thus, you’re able to succeed financially and others are able to succeed thru your shared endeavors or the fruits of them. It also underscores and explains the vilification over the centuries. Jealousy and greed.

    The Jewish people often entered into trades that “Christians” “weren’t allowed” or wouldn’t do, yet there was a market, demand and need for them.

    Sanchez is a fool, and eventually we all reap what we sow, whether we’re Jewish or not. Being Jewish doesn’t entitle anyone preferential treatment either… but I still say that as a whole, in general, as God’s first chosen people, you are and will be blessed and bless others in turn.

  14. I always thought hard work was largely responsible for their success. It is certainly no guarantee of success, but it is hard to achieve success without hard work.

    Besides, the Jewish people have survived for the past four thousand years. Certainly there have been changes, but their cultural and religious identity has remained. How many peoples can say that? Not many. There is certainly a case for Divine blessing on the Hebrew people, especially given the attempts to eradicate them by Hitler, et al. I believe the Lord has blessed them.

  15. good review..

  16. I grew up in a predominantly Jewish area and one thing I noticed is that Jewish people seemed to have a strong work ethic which they pass onto their children. Maybe there is something in it.

  17. I’ve never been able to figure out why Jews have ever been put in the position to justify their perceived success. I don’t believe there SHOULD be an answer to the issue of why they’ve found personal success. Success does not belong to one group of people alone and no one person is entitled to it. There are plenty of Jews are no more successful than the average American. I have Orthodox friends in Far Rockaway (Queens) who are pretty much working class. I do believe that groups of people in general have a right to boast about their accomplishments and their contributions to culture and society. I just don’t believe that there needs to be a “Why”. Anyway, I totally agree with you about the silliness of it all – the questioning, the conspiracy theories. It’s just as ludicrous as the accusations pointed at Jewish people during the plague and the claims that they caused it. Never mind that many of them died from the plague, too.

  18. oh god! I hate politics and the problems it causes! why can’t anyone just live a simple life. who cares about who get power! as long as you’re alive and healthy! thats the important part!

  19. I blame the Dutch.

  20. I have a theory:

    Maybe Jews, culturally, put more of an emphasis on education and family.

    And maybe, just maybe, Jews, on average, have a higher IQ than the rest of us.

    • Hmmm…I was right.

      Remember that pesky little Bell Curve that people are constantly trying to discredit and disprove?

      On average, Jews are smarter than the rest of us.

      http://www.forward.com/articles/10505/

      • Actually, your referenced article doesn’t prove you’re right in the slightest.

        As far as I can tell, the author of the Bell Curve didn’t offer any numbers (n=EVIDENCE) to support his hypothesis that Jews are genetically or even phenotypically smarter than the rest of us. In fact, all I see in your referenced material is an oversubscribed written theory that does not speak to any empirically based truth.

        You must not be very smart.
        Guess you aren’t so right afterall.

  21. I feel that it is not always success. Some Jews are imagine anti-semitism so badly that they suffer from it in their own head. That is the truth for many Jew probably as a result of the history. Over the years many Jews give up on their connection to the Jewish world and often this just happens as a result of being a tiny minority in some areas. I heard that Jews are vanishing as a culture in all but a few areas. The minority eventually will get so small that it won’t really be a demographic for the most part in my opinion. I live in a multi-cultural apartment complex and really like feeling in my heart that regardless of race, sex, age, height, ethnicity we are all human trying our hardest to survive, be happy and get along with each other. As a thinker I feel the issue is happiness that we need to be really concerned with. It seems like many of the attempts of capitilism to bring happiness to people has failed miserably.

  22. […] What to make of Rick Sanchez's bizarre and self-destructive anti-Semitic outburst? Well, Jon Stewart, who was the Jewish synecdoche in his rant, made some gentle fun of it and Rick Sanchez on his show Monday night. Yes, he made Sanchez look foolish, but Sanchez had already done that on his own. At the end, he pretty much lets him off the hook by stating, "I'm not even sure Sanchez believes what he's saying." There were some follow-up columns toda … Read More […]

  23. Sanchez never raised his voice or said “I hate Jews”.

    Did I missed it? Outburst? Anti-Semitic? Can some one reply and show or quote Sanchez “anti-Semitic outburst”?

    Thank you.

    • Sanchez never raised his voice or said “I hate Jews”.

      Guess what Mr. Bob, I couldnt care LESS if the schmuck hates Jews or not.

      The people that are taking the REAL beating in this country is Christians.

      These talking heads have no clue what REAL Jew hatred is. And whats worse, is that they are worse to Christians in America.

      • …it’s “Bab” not “Bob”…

        • Bab, Bob, Boob, whatever.
          I am just telling you, I dont give a damn who hates the JEWS.
          We are used to it, and now Christians need help, they are going through psycho persecution from the anti-America, Christian hating left wing loseers.

          • Lol well I think if you reply and/or address me, you should type my name correctly, if not out of common sense, out of respect.

            Yes, I agree. We Christians suffer every day, it’s a part of life, we’ll get over it, trust me. Our believes usually don’t fall in line with status quo or pop culture and we see it everyday…

          • If it were not for Einstein, a Jew, we’d be still writing letters to each other on paper. Those who are interested in the modern world, need to research just how much has indeed been delivered or discovered by Jewish scientists, mathematicians, artist and musicians.
            If you are not aware of their vast, world- covering contribution, then you can afford to display your ignorance against them, and we will forgive your inchoate stupidity.
            By the way, I am not a Jew.

  24. […] What to make of Rick Sanchez's bizarre and self-destructive anti-Semitic outburst? Well, Jon Stewart, who was the Jewish synecdoche in his rant, made some gentle fun of it and Rick Sanchez on his show Monday night. Yes, he made Sanchez look foolish, but Sanchez had already done that on his own. At the end, he pretty much lets him off the hook by stating, "I'm not even sure Sanchez believes what he's saying." There were some follow-up columns toda … Read More […]

  25. this is an excellent read for sure. I’ve been doing some personal and academic research on this for some time now. Do hope it provides brilliant insights and wouldnt indeed sidestep a more delicate question: Why are Jews more or more prominently successful in capitalist societies?

    • You’re raising a false question. Jews are not successful in every capitalist nation.

  26. What a stupid, stupid post. Muller is Jewish, so what a surprise that he would thus go to great lengths to overemphasize Jewish success in the most colorful way possible. This is ridiculous pandering.

    These are the facts:
    Blacks tend to defend blacks; Jews tend to defend Jews; Hispanics tend to defend Hispanics; whites tend to defend whites when controlling for all else. This is a racial trait that shouldn’t make any group particularly proud.

    What Ford doesn’t realize is that nothing Muller says will invalidate Sanchez’s perfectly fine points. They weren’t anti-Semitic in the slightest, as Sanchez didn’t say anything derogatory about Jews. He gave his opinion and that’s it.

    • Blacks tend to defend blacks; Jews tend to defend Jews; Hispanics tend to defend Hispanics; whites tend to defend whites when controlling for all else. This is a racial trait that shouldn’t make any group particularly proud.

      I don’t know, man. Seems like there’s a whole lot of whites who would much rather defend the “other guy” against the white bogeyman of “institutionalized racism” despite the fact that whites are more often the victims of non-white criminals than non-whites are the victims of white criminals.

      • Like I said, controlling for a plethora of factors including circumstance, political view, etc..whites will defend whites.

        I don’t agree with the rest of this bullshit post. The race of criminals doesn’t matter. In addition, whites are the victims of other whites more than 85% of the time.

  27. […] by Josh Ford – The Blog at 16th and Q – 10/05/2010 […]

  28. Good point. Also you could ask: Why is capitalism talked about as being bad by so many people around the world?

    Rich people in general will always have a lot enemies. And jews have a long history for being business people with a great talent for buying cheap and selling at a high price.

    Best regards

  29. Capitalism? and the Jew in today controlls what?
    modern capitalist ? we lost the capitalism over the Nazis. we still have a Nazism problem which is the “capitaism” after the world war 2. the Jewish should be a basic of capitalism but do not get respected in their role . everything you see in the media is the oposite of capitalism which they call “capitalism” . in capitaism noone of these would be ever allowed to keep their money. they all do something for which you have to take them their money away because they are all infiltrate the capitalism. that someone of these jewish are part of this controll in the Nazistic style you mostly can complete forget. you should not confound “cowboy” with jewish in the way Lude with Jude. Also many banks went bankrupt (because they are no Part) Goldwyn Meyer and Metro never got their problem fixed etc,. With a lot of Luck we have again some which do something in the surrounding “capitalism” . ( i think you never know what problems for example one of these new once have around .)

  30. Ive always found the whole Jews and Capitalism thing really interesting and Id like to thank you for mentioning those two books. I hope ill be able to find them here in Pakistan – definately gonna go looking!

    Check out my blog if you have some time🙂

  31. Very good review.

    Sanchez’s comments were odious, but did CNN overreact? They should have fired him because he was a bad anchor!

    • I agree. I couldn’t stand to watch him because of how he reported. The off-the-cuff and add-lib commentating was horrible to watch.

      CNN definitely overreacted. Especially since they didn’t condemn what he said. If they thought what he said was offensive, they would have apologized but nothing was said other than that Rick had been let go.

      Oooo…someone shared an opinion that someone else didn’t like. Gotta love American for shutting down any opinions that aren’t favoured.

      Come to Canada. We’ll treat you better!

  32. Interesting post, and congrats on freshly pressed. Can you please tell me how to get on the front page?

    I grew up with Jewish family and have a good grasp of history, but I’m not Jewish. The concept of “Jew” is tough — it’s both ethnicity and religion in one. The discomfort you say Muller addresses in his intro should be confronted — silence only helps the haters.

    Confronting things openly is almost always best, so I liked this post and will probably pick up the book.

    • No clue how we ended up getting freshly pressed, but I’ll tell you… it is a mixed blessing, as some of these comments make clear.

  33. […] Required Reading for Rick Sanchez and Jon Stewart (via The Blog at 16th and Q) Posted: Oktober 10, 2010 by Poempida in Uncategorized 0 What to make of Rick Sanchez's bizarre and self-destructive anti-Semitic outburst? Well, Jon Stewart, who was the Jewish synecdoche in his rant, made some gentle fun of it and Rick Sanchez on his show Monday night. Yes, he made Sanchez look foolish, but Sanchez had already done that on his own. At the end, he pretty much lets him off the hook by stating, "I'm not even sure Sanchez believes what he's saying." There were some follow-up columns toda … Read More […]

  34. The U.S. might not be here today if it weren’t for the Jews.

    During the Revolution, Haym Salomon, a Jew, was the banker for the struggling infant republic. Without his money, there may never have been an army for George Washington to command.

    By 1776 and the War of Independence, there were an estimated 2,000 (mostly Sephardic) Jews (men, women and children) living in America, yet – though their numbers were relatively small – their contribution to the cause was significant.

    For example, in Charleston, South Carolina, almost every adult Jewish male fought on the side of freedom. In Georgia, the first patriot to be killed was a Jew (Francis Salvador).

    In addition, additionally, the Jews provided significant financing to the patriots.

    The most important of the financiers was Haym Salomon who lent a great deal of money to the Continental Congress. In the last days of the war, Salomon advanced the American government $200,000. He was never paid back and died bankrupt.

    Source: http://www.jewishpathways.com/jewish-history/jews-and-founding-america

    Although I’m not Jewish, I have Jewish friends and I learned through them that family is important. While the family is falling apart in America, it appears that the Jews are holding their families together as the Chinese are.

    In fact, the Chinese share many values that the Jews do. They value education higher than most people and the family and respect for elders is another cornerstone of both cultures. I’ve even read where the Chinese have been called the Jews of Asia.

    The Chinese also sheltered Jews in China as far back as a thousand years in Kaifeng where they were allowed to settle, which was the capital of the Song Dynasty.

    China also allowed many Jews to leave Europe during World War II to live in China without persecution. China may be the only country in the world without a history of persecuting the Jews.

  35. I think Jon handled the situation like a true gentleman.

  36. […] is an article written with the assumption that both Rick Sanchez and Jon Stewart could benefit by reading the […]

  37. American Jews make up only 2% of the population of America. Yet: 46% make over $100,000 per year, they make up 15% of the U.S. Senate, 13% of the U.S. House of Representatives, 67% of members of the Board of the Federal reserve, 33% of the U.S. Supreme Court. Media: Just taking CNN only, 55% of corporate officers for TBS, which owns CNN, are Jewish. On air, Larry King, John King, Howard Kurtz, Eliot Slpitzer, Jeffrey Toobin, Paula Zahn, etc.. Rick Sanchez has nothing to apologize for.

    • I am glad that YOU see that the Jooos are doing so well.. Gee, what the hell would we do without you Nonverbo?
      There are 44 Jews in the house and senate on their way out, so praise G-d and stop whahhhhing.

      I barely make 40 g. I didnt join the actors unions because left wing Jews AND gentiles in theatre and Hollywood are PIGS, 40g is FINE.

      Just an FYI, the MOST watched news station FOX, its 4th largest contributor, Alwaleed Bin Talal the prince is NOT a JEWWWW.

      However-I couldnt care less what this Sanchez says.

      I KNOW what real Jew hatred is, and that was NOT it.

      Firing people for expressing their views about a people that are SUPPOSED to be a light to the nations, and are not acting so, is deserved, like this blog here, who thinks that marrying homosexuals in synagogues is a ‘good thing’, but it isnt, it is Chillul HaShem (desecration to the name of G-d).

      IMO, blogs like this with their condoning sad and bad lifestyle, and too cowardly to tell the TRUTH about g-d DESERVE the Jew hatred, and make me sick for crying about anti-semitism, when they are CAUSING IT.

      Leviticus 18:

      כב וְאֶת-זָכָר–לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הִוא. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.

      Just so that some other people see, that not every Jew is a coward:
      that above scripture is what G-d says about the abomination of homosexuality, which this phoney “Jewish” blog ENDORSES.

      You can stand for what is right without doing wrong.

      Ezekiel 33:
      ג וְרָאָה אֶת-הַחֶרֶב, בָּאָה עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וְתָקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר, וְהִזְהִיר אֶת-הָעָם. 3
      if, when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the horn, and warn the people;
      ד וְשָׁמַע הַשֹּׁמֵעַ אֶת-קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר, וְלֹא נִזְהָר, וַתָּבוֹא חֶרֶב, וַתִּקָּחֵהוּ–דָּמוֹ, בְּרֹאשׁוֹ יִהְיֶה. 4
      then whosoever heareth the sound of the horn, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head;
      ה אֵת קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר שָׁמַע וְלֹא נִזְהָר, דָּמוֹ בּוֹ יִהְיֶה: וְהוּא נִזְהָר, נַפְשׁוֹ מִלֵּט. 5
      he heard the sound of the horn, and took not warning, his blood shall be upon him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.
      ו וְהַצֹּפֶה כִּי-יִרְאֶה אֶת-הַחֶרֶב בָּאָה, וְלֹא-תָקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר וְהָעָם לֹא-נִזְהָר, וַתָּבוֹא חֶרֶב, וַתִּקַּח מֵהֶם נָפֶשׁ–הוּא בַּעֲו‍ֹנוֹ נִלְקָח, וְדָמוֹ מִיַּד-הַצֹּפֶה אֶדְרֹשׁ. {פ} 6
      But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the horn, and the people be not warned, and the sword do come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. {P}
      ז וְאַתָּה בֶן-אָדָם, צֹפֶה נְתַתִּיךָ לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְשָׁמַעְתָּ מִפִּי דָּבָר, וְהִזְהַרְתָּ אֹתָם מִמֶּנִּי. 7
      So thou, son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore, when thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, warn them from Me.

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