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Geraldo Rivera, the man whose height of fame (and infamy, two things he has trouble telling apart) came when a neo-Nazi broke his nose during an altercation on his trashy syndicated talk show over 30 years ago, would like you to think he Spoke Truth To Power™ when it came to now-former fellow Fox News employee Tucker Carlson.
Twitter users would like Rivera, the token liberal on Fox, to know what they think of him. Namely: “He is such a loser.”
So, as you’ve no doubt heard if you follow cable news in general or Fox News specifically, Carlson, long the network’s top-rated prime-time host, was let go without warning on Monday afternoon.
There was no reason given at the time, just a terse statement from the network that “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
The general assumption was that it had something to do with the network’s $787 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over individuals who came on the network in the wake of the 2020 election and claimed the company’s vote-tabulation software and hardware were responsible for massive voter fraud.
However, Carlson was actually one of the first hosts to explicitly call these theories out on air, and other sources pointed to Carlson’s faith combined with the increasing instability of Fox News shot-caller Rupert Murdoch, now 92.
Regardless of what the reason actually was, that didn’t stop Geraldo Rivera from wading into the controversy like he knew what was inside Al Capone’s vault. and bad-mouthing Carlson in the process.
WARNING: The following tweets contain graphic language that some readers will find offensive.
“I don’t wish ill on anybody, but there is no doubt-as I said at the time-Tucker Carlson’s perverse January 6 conspiracy theory was ‘bulls***,’” Rivera tweeted.
“Having lost the election President Trump incited an insurrection that sought to undermine our Constitutional process.”
Now, first off: If you ever feel the need to start a social media missive with “I don’t wish ill on anybody…”, stop. Stop right there, delete it all, practice deep breathing and share something more useful, like a video of a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg done entirely with hamsters or something like that.
Second, the co-host on Fox News’ “The Five” didn’t follow up with which “perverse January 6 conspiracy theory was ‘bulls***’” and hasn’t tweeted about it since then. Carlson recently aired video of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion that showed it to be far less of a “coup” or a “threat to democracy” than Democrats have intimated, but Geraldo seems to indicate in his tweet that his qualms go back further.
Needless to say, this reaction was met with near-universal non-acclaim, including from Rivera’s co-host on “The Five,” Greg Gutfeld, who sarcastically called him “a class act”:
You’re a class act Geraldo. A real man of the people. https://t.co/20LOwVzXwS
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) April 26, 2023
And that’s the problem with Rivera’s take: The only reason he clings to a job with the network is that he’s a punching-bag liberal. He doesn’t make sound arguments. He hasn’t been much of a reporter for decades now; he’s an éminence grise, sans éminence. He’s there because he can reliably do a bit of shouty-shouty with the rest of “The Five” and that’s about it.
Carlson wasn’t just a real presence at the network, you got the sense he was the one unafraid to speak truth to power. It’s probably part of the reason he’s jobless right now. Rupert Murdoch is supposed to be the ultimate conservative media scion, but at the end of the day, he prefers Geraldo Rivera to Tucker Carlson.
Viewers, on the other hand, may prefer something else, as ratings for Fox’s prime-time lineup in the wake of Carlson’s departure seem to indicate. This is why you hear calls to boycott Fox News from the right on Twitter.
And that’s the problem for Rivera. Geraldo knows full well he can’t bite the hand that feeds him, but he doesn’t have enough sense to keep from biting the hand that keeps him fed — or, by the tone of this tweet, even acknowledging he knows there’s a difference.
To put it another way: After more than a half-century in the media, Geraldo still can’t figure out which vaults he should be breaking into and when someone’s going to break his nose.
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