CNN's Sanchez fired after calling Stewart a bigot

CNN anchor Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company, according to a statement released by the Atlanta-based cable network.

“ We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well," according to a statement from CNN.

Sanchez called comedian Jon Stewart, host of the uber-popular Daily Show, a bigot on a satellite radio program.

Sanchez appeared on "Stand Up! with Pete Dominick" Thursday on SiriusXM radio, and said "I think Jon Stewart's a bigot." Audio of the comment  is available on YouTube.

It was an odd forum for Sanchez, considering the show's host, Pete Dominick, is the former warm-up comic for Stewart's show. Dominick defended his former boss, challenging Sanchez to name a group that Stewart was bigoted toward.

"Anybody who's different" than Stewart, was Sanchez's reply.

The discussion became heated before Sanchez finally relented, saying Stewart was merely "prejudicial."

Sanchez, who is not shy about reminding viewers of his Hispanic heritage, said, "He can’t relate to a guy like me. He can’t relate to a guy whose dad worked all his life. He can’t relate to somebody who grew up poor."

Dominick said Stewart, who is Jewish, is also a minority. "Please, what are you kidding?... Yeah, a very powerless people," said Sanchez.

Sanchez also made cracks about MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and Fox New's Bill O'Reilly, saying the other cable news organizations were partisan and not really doing journalism.

Atlanta-based CNN has fallen behind Fox and MSNBC in ratings, and recently replaced Jon Klein as its boss. A skeptic might say Sanchez's comments about the other networks' talking heads may fall in line with CNN's marketing strategy. By calling MSNBC too liberal, and Fox too conservative, Sanchez is telling listeners CNN is the moderate choice for news.

CNN's John King has espoused similar views recently. And this isn't Sanchez's first rodeo.

Sanchez did not appear on CNN Friday; he appeared instead at a book signing for his tome, "Conventional Idiocy."