Should we all send THIS to Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera? He has blasted the Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings for the piece on (former) Afghanistan military theater bigwig Gen. Stanley McChrystal — blasting Hasting’s reporting which led to McChrystal’s firing by President Barack Obama and comparing the freelance reporter to Al Qaeda.
Just read THIS POST and watch the video.
Three things about this:
1. Referring to Al Qaeda in the same breath as a reporter again shows how over the top American political rhetoric has become. The idea of dealing with an issue and not totally demonizing or trying to discredit someone is quickly going out of style. There is almost no bar to lower anymore.
2. As Crooks and Liars points out (go to the link) Rivera had his own problem with the military…one in which arguably if certain things had happened military lives could have been in danger. So this is sort of like the pot calling the pot a pot.
3. In all sincerity, it has been a tragedy to watch the evolution of Rivera’s career. He is a passionate, skillful reporter and a great interviewer. When I went to the Medill School of Journalism for my masters he was idolized as an up and coming young investigative reporter. He was later fired from his high-profile job at ABC after objecting to their nixing a report on the death of Marilyn Monroe. His next big potential scoop was opening up Al Capone’s vault. He lined up a slew of stations to carry the The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault, which was broadcast live on April 21, 1986. The vault was opened and…it only had some empty bottles.
This made Rivera a favorite punchline for comedians, but he resurfaced as a a highly popular daytime talk show host with a lively show some called “trash TV.” He later moved to CNBC and NBC, did some excellent reporting work covering President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and eventually moved to Fox.
His star still shines there as a Fox News personality, but in terms of both ratings, prestige and public awareness of him it’s not shining as brightly as it used to: he is now overshadowed by others and often seems more of a guest from another era.
While at Medill Rivera was idolized by many there since as a young, no holds-barred investigative reporter — the hard-hitting, wave of the future practicing investigative and “advocacy” journalism. Rivera has been through a lot, and done far more excellent reporting than the reports, talk shows and personality quirks that made him the subject of some lampoons (from such diverse places as Weird Al, a Disney cartoon and Saturday Night Live) suggest.
But you have to wonder if the Rivera of 1972 would EVER use any kind of a description putting a reporter who wrote a confirmed piece that shook things up in the same sentence as a terrorist organization.
It says a lot about how Rivera has evolved from 1972-1973 — and about how our public “discussion” of issues has evolved.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.