Rick Sanchez didn't mince any words. He said he was wrong and he screwed up.
Interviewed on ABC's "Good Morning America" a week after being fired from his hosting job at CNN, Sanchez apologized Friday for his slams at CNN and at Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, whom he had called a "bigot."
Those remarks were aired on a radio program on Sept. 30.
Sanchez explained that he was tired when he made the radio appearance, and that "my daughter had a softball game I desperately wanted to go to, and I was a little impatient. I said some things I shouldn't have said. They were wrong. Not only were they wrong, they were offensive."
A day later, he was out of a job.
He has no beef with Stewart or with CNN, he insisted, although, when pressed by "GMA" anchor George Stephanopoulos, Sanchez seemed to still be chafing from ill treatment.
"Is that really fair? Why is it always me?" he said, trying to account for his response on past occasions when Stewart singled him out for lampooning on "The Daily Show," a satiric newscast.
He also referred to the "landscape" of cable-news prime-time hosts: "There's not a single Hispanic, a single Asian-American, or a single African-American," he said.
Sanchez, who was born in Cuba and had worked at CNN since 2004, was host of the two-hour "Rick's List" on CNN's afternoon lineup. He had done a prime-time version of that show in recent months but lost that time slot to a new show featuring former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker. It premiered Monday.
"I'm not trying to make excuses," Sanchez summed up.
When Stephanopoulos asked if he would ever go back to CNN if given the chance, Sanchez said, "absolutely. CNN is a wonderful, wonderful organization. CNN didn't screw up. Rick Sanchez screwed up."