You gotta give Geraldo Rivera credit for one thing. He’s as permanent as a case of chikungunya. (More)
I know, I know. You’ve never heard of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that causes fever and joint pain, for which there is no known vaccine or treatment except letting the symptoms subside. But they can flare up again, months or even years later, because the virus never really leaves your system. I hadn’t heard of chikungunya either, but I needed something to put in the lead that wasn’t “herpes.” So there ya go.
I’m not saying Geraldo Rivera is like cold sores or shingles. That would be unfair to cold sores and shingles. In fact he’s really more like chikungunya … a nagging pain that flares up from time to time and for which there is no cure, because he won’t go away.
I figured I’d seen the last of him after his fiasco with Al Capone’s vault. He spent two hours teasing the audience with lurid tales of what might be inside. He had an IRS agent standing by, in case there were piles of stolen cash. And a medical examiner, in case there were bodies. Instead he found dirt and a few empty bottles.
And from this he learned something important, as revealed in his autobiography:
My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise.
Nothing did more to mar Rivera’s reputation than the 1991 publication of his breathless, aptly named autobiography, Exposing Myself. Fearful that a writer for Reader’s Digest was working on an unauthorized book about him, Rivera typically decided to strike first. “His agent, his wife, and I all told him not to do it,” says Marty Berman. “What he did to himself was worse than what anyone would have done. If a movie star wrote it, that would be one thing. But for a newsman, it wasn’t gallant. It was macho-asshole.”
But some people just can’t fail badly enough to get fired, no matter how hard they try, not even when the Pentagon withdrew his press credential and expelled him from Iraq after he revealed the positions and plans of U.S. troops. See why I don’t want to be unfair to cold sores or shingles?
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I powered up my Blewberry and wandered through the news and found this Geraldoffic Pile of Poo:
And I’ll tell you what will happen. They’ll have a trial. The white jurors will see it one way, the black jurors will see it another. The white jurors will look at that convenience store surveillance tape. They will see Michael Brown menacing that clerk. The white jurors will put themselves in the shoes of that clerk. They’ll say of course the officer responded the way he did. He was menaced by a 6-foot-4-inch, 300-pound kid ten minutes fresh from a strong armed robbery. The officer was defending themselves. The white jurors will put themselves in the white officer’s place. The black jurors will see Michael Brown despite his flaws as the surrogate for every black youngster.
Even Fox News host Harris Faulkner was offended:
Geraldo, you are reaching for the low-hanging fruit and I cannot let you do that with some argument.
I give people more credit than what you’re talking about. What you’re saying is that the nation is divided, particularly in kind of a microcosm way. Ferguson, Mo., is divided black and white and that’s the only issue here.
That is poor-sighted, it’s short-sighted, and it’s just not true. You have a lot of things happening in that community, outside of the fact that you’ve got blacks and whites. You’ve got an economic situation there that’s poor and that is very much a green issue. You’ve got schools closed. They couldn’t even have the first day of school because of the unrest on the streets. You’ve had, in some estimations, militarization of the police and fear on both sides, police and protest. You’ve had invaders from the outside come in. This is more than a racial issue. And for you to pick off the low hanging fruit is offensive and it incites more of it to go on. It’s irresponsible.
But Riverarrhea wasn’t finished. Faulkner ran a clip of former LAPD officer Mark Fuhrman, whose blatant racial bias irretrievably tainted the investigation of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. In fact, Fuhrman was the only person ever convicted in the O.J. investigation … on charges of perjury.
So of course he’s now a Fox News contributor, I guess because lying is part of the job description there. Anyway, on Monday Fuhrman released the results of his … well, it wasn’t exactly an investigation:
Michael Brown, from the onset of me reading and catching up with this story, he has appeared to be the aggressor from the very beginning. Whether at the robbery or the contact with the officer, he was the aggressor. Once this officer didn’t even get a chance to get out of the car before Michael Brown was on him and now the officer knows that he’s confronting a robbery suspect. He doesn’t know if he’s armed and that suspect is now assaulting a uniformed police officer. So that is a bold act all unto itself of having the gun go off after grappling with the officer.
I could conclude exactly what happened just from the little tidbits of information. When there’s an altercation in the front seat of a police car and the officer’s on the bottom, it doesn’t occur because the officer wants it that way. That is because the suspect has engaged the officer in a situation that is the worst tactical situation you could be in.
Never mind that the Ferguson police chief admitted that Darren Wilson didn’t know Brown was a suspect in the robbery. Releasing the tape of the shoplifting offense was merely an attempt to smear Brown as a dangerous thug who deserved to die.
The smear tactic worked for Fuhrman … and for Geraldo, who couldn’t resist twisting the racial knife one more time:
“Mark gives you the cop-white person take on it,” Rivera said before being cut off.
“The cop-white person take.” He didn’t come right out and say cops exist to protect innocent whites from dangerous blacks. He’ll let the Fox News audience figure that part out for themselves.
Cold sores and shingles would be ashamed.
Good day and good nuts