Brown and beautiful this pit bull of a journalist is never afraid to give a voice to the folks of the working class...........
Particularly, the folks of New York City and Latinos from all across the United States as donald trump continues his war on those who come over here to work from across the southern border.
Unlike most radio news/talk show hosts, Geraldo Rivera does not silence the caller simply because they disagree.
Geraldo is not afraid of the caller--he is not afraid to hear a different opinion, say his own views and let the person on the other end of the phone have their say-so, too.
Listening to news/talk radio forever this is definitely unusual but a winning situation for the listener because we get to hear all sides of the issue.........all the big politicians call in to give their take on the daily news along with the regular folks to chat about their trials of surviving daily living on a budget.
On WABC 77 New York News/Talk Radio every morning from 10-12 AM east coast time Geraldo and his partner Noam Laden run a very informative format. It is not right or left or Republican or Democrat but a show for all people everywhere.
Every one has a voice on that show--the people call in like they know Geraldo--the show is a breath of fresh air and impressive in talk radio today.
Last week Geraldo Rivera chatted with donald trump specifically about his unrealistic thoughts and plans for immigration. Actually Geraldo quizzed him more precisely about how he could ever implicate his plan for deportation in this day and age. As usual, trump did not have an answer yet it was one of the few interviews that showed donald did not have any real ideas for action and Geraldo also managed to keep him on the subject without the donald going into endless superlatives about his so-called accomplishments or name calling or blowing up in anger.
At the end of the day Fox is lucky to have him--unlike his other cohorts who cannot fathom the issues from anyone but their own class--who really cannot walk, talk, think or conduct an interview at the same time without going O'Reilly or Bolling--Geraldo Rivera at least has a global vision and compassion for others.
Honestly, his interview skills are right there at the top of any list--everyone wants to talk to Geraldo and tell him what they think.
Well done, Geraldo Rivera, keep up the good work and thank you for fighting for the working class of the US.
Rivera planned to leave his boat in a New Jersey marina run by his friend Chick. So with me as his crew (evidently he likes to subject reporters to nautical experiences), we cruised down the Hudson toward the Atlantic Ocean. Steering the boat—named Belle, for his daughter Isabella—while drinking a Sam Adams, Rivera pointed out some landmarks from his life: Chelsea Piers, where the parents of his current wife, Erica, threw the rehearsal dinner for their wedding, in 2003; sitting on the ground alongside a ferry dock, the giant clock that was removed from the shuttered Colgate Palmolive plant in Jersey City, where his mother was born and raised; and the Parachute Jump at Coney Island, where his dad proposed to his mom after the ride had gotten stuck, leaving them suspended in midair. As we approached the Sandy Hook channel, he warned me that the relative calm of the Atlantic would soon pass. The northwest winds were bad, he said, and the ocean would be choppy.
"Can I have some of this?" I asked, clinging to the side of the boat with one hand and the Sam Adams with the other.
"Sure," he said. "Help yourself."
The beer was warm, but I finished the bottle in two swigs. Rivera whistled gaily, and joked that the waves were cleaning the front of his boat. I tried to imagine that I was tucked safely under a blanket in my Brooklyn co-op, far away from the violently pitching Belle.
Mustering a coherent sentence with great effort, I asked, "Is this a typical ride?"
"Yeah, it's typical," he said. "Typical of my life."
"Osama," he said to me one Saturday night, sitting in the largely deserted Fox newsroom before At Large With Geraldo Rivera went on the air. "That's the story. I can't tell you how many caves we crawled into looking for that sucker."
"You promised to—" I said.
"Kill him if I see him?" Rivera said, interrupting. "I will, I will."
"And bronze his head," I added.
"Those things are so outlandishly Geraldo," Rivera said.
As both of us laughed, he said, "I don't care."
I asked him whether he had made his Osama pledge for effect, or really meant to deliver on it. "They won't let me carry a gun, so what am I going to kill him with?" he said. "A Swiss army knife?"
But when I brought the subject up again a few weeks later, Rivera seemed very serious. "I would still shoot him," he said. "I will still shoot him. They won't let me carry a gun. But I should have just carried a gun and fucked everybody."
So after finishing the Columbia program, Gerald was introduced to the world as Geraldo when he went to work for ABC's Eyewitness News in New York. In 1972 he used a stolen key to investigate the Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded, on Staten Island. His televised report on the rampant abuse and neglect of the residents led to changes in state law, and to new standards for the treatment of the mentally disabled across the country. More than thirty years later his Willowbrook story is still legendary among advocates for the retarded.
Willowbrook made Rivera a national star. He began hosting the ABC News magazine program Good Night, America and then became part of the inaugural cast of Good Morning, America. The night David Berkowitz—"Son of Sam"—was arrested, in 1977, Roone Arledge, the president of ABC News, called on Rivera to do eighteen minutes on the capture. And as part of the original cast of 20/20, Rivera helped pull the show out of the ratings depths, with investigative pieces and interviews with Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter, John Lennon. His fame and fortune grew. During this period he was, by his own account, reckless and "a slut" in his personal life.
But that chapter of his life—the 20/20 part, not the slut part—ended in the fall of 1985, when he objected too loudly to ABC's decision to spike a story by his colleague Sylvia Chase about Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy family. Rivera publicly chastised Arledge, saying his boss was acting out of friendship with Ethel Kennedy rather than sound journalistic judgment. His contract was not renewed.
Today Rivera owns lots of houses and even an island—so it's hard to imagine him in need of money. But by the end of 1985 he was. He had been making $1.2 million a year at ABC (while spending, by his own reckoning, $50,000 a month), and suddenly he had no income and, for a while, no good job offers. So when he got a call about doing a special on Al Capone's vault—the mysterious sealed crypt beneath the shuttered Lexington Hotel in Chicago, where Capone used to live—he jumped at the opportunity. Even though Capone's vault famously turned out to be empty, Rivera's professional prospects actually improved: the program, which aired in April of 1986, was the highest-rated show in the history of syndicated television. So he followed it with similar specials, including Devil Worship: Exposing Satan's Underground, which in 1988 became the highest-rated two-hour "documentary" ever on network TV.
"I was sick of it," Rivera said recently of his decision in 1997 to leave the daytime talk-show format. "Maury Povich was my neighbor [in New Jersey], and he and his wife, Connie Chung, are two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I saw his show just a couple of days ago, and it was all paternity tests and lie-detector tests, all stuff that I pioneered, and I look at that stuff now, and I know how smart Maury is, how sensitive he is, and for him to still be doing that—humiliating all those poor trailer-trash and mostly black people, Hispanic people—I don't know how you do that, how you bear that. I could not do that no matter how much you pay me. [My daytime talk show] was like a money tree growing in the back yard. It still could be on. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't face myself. I couldn't walk out there and pretend it had any social justification. It was just exploitation."
Chastened by the response to Exposing Myself, and souring on his own talk show, Rivera was saved when Andy Friendly, a cable-TV executive and the son of Fred Friendly (a legendary journalist and media executive who had mentored him early in his career), recruited him to CNBC. Roger Ailes, who took over the network in 1993, completed the negotiations, signing Rivera up to do an hour-long nightly show that focused on the news of the day. Within months of Rivera Live's debut, O.J. was cruising down a Los Angeles freeway in his white Bronco, a trail of policemen following behind. During both the criminal trial and the civil one that followed, Rivera Live was effectively the show of record; all the case's principals (prosecutors, defense lawyers, legal experts, Nicole Simpson's family, prominent commentators—everyone except O.J. himself) appeared on the program. The JonBenet Ramsey mystery followed, and soon Rivera Live was bringing in the network's highest ratings, besting both the news program hosted by Brokaw-in-training Brian Williams and Hardball With Chris Matthews. Rivera's soaring viewership even began to worry those at CNN, who feared that the moustached marvel might overtake Larry King.
Things didn't go as planned. Though he interviewed Bill Clinton in China forToday, and reported from Kosovo, he was always kept far away from Brokaw, who by all accounts wanted nothing to do with him or his approach to newsgathering. (In 1997 Brokaw told The New York Times, "He does what he does, and I do what I do. There's very little common ground between us.") To compensate for the snub, Rivera says, NBC gave him an office bigger than Brokaw's—though of course "mine was in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and his was in Rockefeller Center." Upfront Tonight was eventually canceled; and when Rivera reported on air that a source had disclosed to him that genetic evidence had been found on Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress, the rest of the division was told to ignore the story, on the grounds that it was mere innuendo.
For better or worse, Rivera does not avoid difficult situations; in fact, he moves toward them. I spent several hours in the office of Craig Rivera, who for thirteen years was a senior correspondent on Inside Edition, watching tapes of his brother covering war zones. The footage often shows Rivera, a black bandanna around his neck, running straight into—not away from—gunfire. In Somalia, where he and Craig had gone in search of al-Qaeda operatives, they found themselves in the midst of guerrilla fire. When Rivera walked toward the source of the shots with his arms in the air, declaring that he was an "Americano" in the hope, evidently, of ending the firefight, he was met by another volley that finally forced him to retreat. Footage from Afghanistan, where a Humvee in his convoy hit a landmine, shows Rivera sprinting toward the downed vehicle, yelling, "I've got to help. Please let me help, man."
"I'm not afraid," Rivera told me later, as he diagrammed his approach to combat on a paper tablecloth. "If you're going backwards, you tend to be standing straight up. If you're going forward, you're a much lower target. This guy [the backpedaler] is much more likely to get it than this guy [the forward-creeper]. That's always been my theory. And with my crew I almost lead them. It's like this barrier of guys coming behind me. Horatio Nelson, Lord Nelson, always said, the captain cannot do far wrong who lays 'his ship alongside that of his enemy,' and that's always been my advice to any journalism student. Nothing happens in a studio. You have to get out there and get as close to the action as you can. That's where history is made: at the point of contact."
We walked over what I consider hallowed ground today. We walked over the spot where the friendly fire took so many of our—our men, and the mujahideen [anti-Taliban fighters], yesterday. It was just—the whole place, just fried, really, and bits of uniforms and tattered clothing everywhere. I said the Lord's Prayer and really choked up.There was a problem, however. As David Folkenflik, who at the time was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, subsequently revealed, the friendly-fire incident Rivera referred to had actually happened in Kandahar, hundreds of miles away—not on the "hallowed ground" he was walking over. Rivera responded that there had been confusion—that he had actually been at the site of another friendly-fire incident. Folkenflik, who now covers the media for National Public Radio, reported that in fact, yes, there had been a friendly-fire incident in Tora Bora—but, according to Pentagon officials, it took place three days after Rivera filed his report, and it involved only Afghan soldiers, not U.S. troops. Fox News and Rivera both called the matter an honest mistake, but he remained livid. Rivera accused Folkenflik of "penis envy" and eventually met with Folkenflik's editors at the Sun to show video evidence of what he had seen at Tora Bora. When Folkenflik was awarded the $10,000 Paul Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the Media (sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Media and Public Affairs and the University of Virginia Center for Governmental Studies), Rivera publicly demanded that the award be taken back, to no avail: the award stood.
Though more than three years have passed since the incident, Rivera still refers to Folkenflik's reports as "the most grievous wound." He says his biggest error was not going after the Sun immediately after Folkenflik had filed his reports.
"I believed that the Baltimore Sun reporter was despicably unethical," Rivera told me. "I got back after Tora Bora, first of all bitterly resentful, because I should have had a fucking parade. Nobody was braver. Nobody was more out front than us; nobody got more than us or was deeper with all the fighters. Nobody pegged the Osama story more clearly than we did. Nobody. Nobody. Instead I came back to the bullshit controversy."
"I have video," he continued, "that I think can prove in a court of law by any test that it was a friendly-fire incident that I came across at Tora Bora, and that I had confused it with the one that had been reported."
A little more than a year later, in March of 2003, Rivera was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. After two hours of reporting, Rivera was told he needed to come up with something for another Fox program. What he came up with was this: during his on-air report he drew lines in the sand, outlining where his division was located and where it intended to go.
Today Rivera deems the incident "total bullshit," calling it a "non-story" generated by a single spokesman at the Pentagon. Indeed, he says, his drawing was far less revealing than the graphics that former generals, sitting alongside the network anchors in New York, used to detail the military's plan of attack. And Rivera points out that when he returned to Iraq, a week after the incident, he was welcomed back by the same unit he had supposedly put in danger.
"Attacks like this are more illustrative of the people who hate me than they are any way of me—because action talks and data walks," he told me. "That's why I said [the CNN anchor] Aaron Brown would shit in his pants if he had been in some of the places I was. That's true. That's absolutely true. It's the same way about all of them—every one of those Geraldo detractors. How many times have you been shot? How many times has your car been blown up? How many times have you ever been winged? How many times have you gone into it, taken a gulp, and stepped out of the airport?"
Rivera's brashness is less pronounced in real life than it is on TV, and it dissipates even further over time, especially when he's with his family. Spending the days before Christmas with them in Puerto Rico, I saw the Rivera family as less Brady Bunch than X-Men—some kind of social-psychology experiment gone terribly right. Four children from three different mothers, along with one young wife, they are a group of disparate individuals who have no particular reason to get along, but are drawn together by something. That something, of course, is Rivera. His oldest child, Gabriel, twenty-five, lives in Lake Tahoe and works with computers; he had brought along his girlfriend, currently in graduate school at UCLA. His son Cruz, seventeen, attends boarding school in Portland, Oregon. The two girls—Isabella and Simone, twelve and ten respectively—would meet up with the group later.
Erica, the fifth Mrs. Rivera, is a pretty, dark-skinned thirty-year-old who grew up in the Jewish bastion of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The daughter of a labor lawyer and an educator, Erica Levy went to New York in her early twenties, with a degree from the University of Wisconsin and experience in business television; she landed a job at CNBC in 1998. Two years later she met Rivera through friends, and on their first date—dinner at Café Luxembourg—she fell in love.
Telling her folks back in Ohio what she was doing was not as easy. The response was certainly understandable: outrage and heartbreak and concern from parents who had sent their daughter off to Madison in hopes she would meet a nice Jewish boy and settle in Cleveland, only to have her move to New York and fall in love with a four-times-married fifty-seven-year-old. Erica, they said, what are you doing? Three months passed. Finally, one morning, Erica and her father, who seldom fought, exploded over the phone. That day she went to work, and that night her folks called, saying they had watched Rivera Live and had agreed with what Rivera said. They asked if they could come to New York to meet him. According to Rivera, he and the Levys became "instant best friends." And so two years ago Erica entered Manhattan's Central Synagogue in a strapless Vera Wang wedding dress to join Rivera for, perhaps, the rest of his life.
When I brought up the assertion of his fourth wife, C.C. Dyer, that he is simply "incapable of being faithful" to anyone, Rivera said, "That certainly has been my story. But not now. I've been clean and sober [sexually speaking] for four years, and I've had a million opportunities, obviously, being on the road, especially being in Asia. But I've been studious about it. I figure, I've got a thirty-year-old wife—why am I going to be greedy about it? I've finally given it up. Socrates was free of it at eighty. I was free of it before Socrates."
The island looked like a construction site—from 1836. Five or six workers were building a wooden gazebo, while a couple more were drilling through to a spring that will provide fresh water. There will be a big stone barbecue pit. Rivera—with his shirt off and tied around his waist, revealing tattoos on both biceps—pointed to the future site of his hammock. Wooden bridges are all over the island, leading to various beaches, where dead coral will be removed to uncover soft white sand. There will be a sunset beach and a sunrise beach and, at the center, a wooden watchtower. "I'm really a hippie at heart," Rivera said. "I'd love to live on my island and look like Howard Hughes and have the kids come and pick the lice out of my hair."
Back on the main island, Geraldo, Cruz, and I settled in for a late-afternoon lunch outside at a restaurant by the water. Next to us a family waited for their meal. The mother was a tall woman with blonde hair and long red fingernails. The father was a heavyset man with a ruddy complexion. Two young boys ran around the table, while the parents glanced frequently in our direction.
Speaking for his father, Cruz said, "He is."
The father told Rivera that he was one of the Young Lords that Rivera had represented in New York in the late 1960s. The man, now a merchant—vessel captain, was heading out on a trip to Portugal that evening.
"I was a socialist then," he said, in English.
"We all were socialists then," Rivera said.
"I was a junkie, too," the man said.
"Coming down here cleaned you up?" Rivera asked.
"No," he said, "I did it on my own."
After the family ordered us another round of beers, the man said, "You are an example to us all."
"We never had dinner [after my departure from ABC]," Rivera said, speaking of his old boss, Roone Arledge. "But I remember once—it was funny—in the men's room of the Columbia journalism school, where we were doing the Fred Friendly memorial [in 1998], and I was giving an address, and I ran into Roone, and we just stood for five minutes, and it was regretful and conciliatory."
Rivera's departure this evening would mark his sixth trip to Iraq since the U.S. occupation began. Though he agrees with President Bush that the insurgency will eventually die down, he said he felt queasy about this trip. He described the insurgents' capacity for violence as simply "awesome."
"But on the other hand, my going there is a giant fuck-you to [the insurgents]," he said. "They know that I go. They all have cable TV. They know I bring this bravado. These concerns I'm voicing to you—I don't express them on TV. So I go swaggering in there. 'Here I am—fuck with me if you can.' And the GIs get a tremendous kick out of it. I'm going to pump them up at every place we stop. To do my best at any place I stop, and I'll sign as many autographs as I can, do as many 'Hey, Mom's as I can. In a sense it's my duty."
C.C. Dyer says that Rivera gravitates to war zones because he didn't go to Vietnam. "Geraldo tried to avoid the Vietnam War, and I think he's always felt guilt-ridden about that," she told me. "And subsequently he's tried to cover every war since then." I doubted that Rivera would share his ex-wife's assessment. But when I put the guilt theory to him, he readily agreed. "You're damn right," he said of his avoidance of Vietnam. "I felt guilty; there's no doubt about that."
"I was totally against the Vietnam War—I hated the war," he told me. "The war sucked. But John Kerry served, and he hated the war too, and somebody else went instead of me. And I felt guilty about it. That's how I feel about this trip to Iraq, so I can come full circle. How can I not go and make someone else go?"
Rivera says this act of his life will soon end. He has a newborn coming in August. His contract with Fox will end in November. He has one more four-year deal left in him, he told me, after which he'll have a kid starting school. Ideally, he says, he would like to return to television in the vein of Howard Stern, with a daily television-cum-radio show.
"I think this next contract could be my biggest news contract unless I fuck up between now and the summer, and I don't intend to," he said. "Fox has first dibs, but the problem with Fox and me is they're wildly successful. Where are you going to put me? Who are you going to knock out? Every single slot is filled. From three o'clock to eleven o'clock they've got a hit show. Where would they put me? I don't know … But I know wherever I go—I could go to the lamest cable network, I could go to Court TV, I could go to Trio, I could go to Bravo—make one up, and I know my show will do respectably against the competition. And I know that. And they know that. In a sense I'm like a franchise ballplayer at the end of my career. I'm like Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens. That's who I identify with: old guys who still can throw ninety-five-mile-an-hour fastballs."
"It's just like Johnny Carson dying," Rivera said. "Johnny Carson snubbed me all those years, never putting me on the show. You know, Brokaw retired, and I'm going to outlive every one of them. I'm going to outlive all of them. That will be my ultimate revenge."
copied from theatlantic.com.....2005