Former Fox News employee Geraldo Rivera has gotten all the mileage he could, apparently, out of talking up how much he loathed the network’s on-air talent. So now, he’s trying to get some attention by talking up how much unnamed other people at Fox don’t like them, either.
In an interview with Mediaite earlier this week, Rivera again talked up his toxic relationship with “The Five” co-panelist Greg Gutfeld (without actually mentioning his name, as if the guy were Voldemort) and his outspoken opposition to Tucker Carlson, but he added a new rift to the conversation: After he called out Tucker, Rivera said, he claims to have gotten “calls from within Fox” telling him that he was “right on.”
Rivera left Fox News in June after numerous reports that things were going poorly between him and Gutfeld behind the scenes on “The Five.”
Before Rivera’s exit, a source told gossip mag Radar Online that “Geraldo and Greg do not get along,” and that, while the rivalry was heated on air, “what people didn’t see on television is how often that tension spilled over to off-the-camera.”
“There is no love lost between Geraldo and Greg, that is for certain.”
Since his exit, Rivera has gone on a magical misery tour, telling numerous outlets that while he wasn’t going to name any names, he had a sour relationship with a horrible, awful, terrible, no-good co-worker.
That theme continued in his interview with Mediaite, in which he said he didn’t want to discuss “any particular person” he had a beef with (although if he did, one imagines, it would be someone whose name rhymes with “Reg Rutfeld”), but that there were a whole lot of people at Fox who were grateful for the fact he stood up against Carlson, whose commentaries on the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Rivera labeled as “bulls***” in several interviews.
Mediaite’s Diana Falzone asked Rivera point-blank about the reasons behind his exit: “I have heard rumblings from Fox News insiders that the tension was between you and Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, who at one point actually berated you on Twitter for objecting to Tucker Carlson’s coverage of Jan. 6,” she said. “What happened there?”
“Well, you know, I don’t want to focus in on any particular person, you can read the record, but I can tell you what happened vis a vis me and Tucker because that was the real substantive part of it,” Rivera responded.
“I was shocked and outraged. I mean, I was nauseous over Tucker Carlson’s premise that 9/11 — not 9/11, that Jan. 6 was an inside job,” he continued. “So Tucker Carlson began floating the idea, and I didn’t know why. I assumed it was just evidence-based in his own mind, floating the idea that Jan. 6 was fake, that it was government agents that staged it, the agents provocateur who aggravated everything, that there was no you know, President Trump did not incite a legitimate riot.
“Then what happened is he made his remarks and then, you know, deep state operators basically took advantage of it to make Trump look bad, which was preposterous. It was ridiculous. It was you know, I actually said it was bulls***, is what I said to The Washington Post or The New York Times … I forget, one or the other, because I did several interviews between those two papers at the time.”
And, Rivera said, he had support for his position within Fox News.
“I got calls from within Fox. Right on. You know, we’re shocked, we’re outraged by what Tucker is trying to do. Thank you for speaking out, you know from people that could not speak out,” he claimed.
“You know, I even advised some prominent people just to cool it, that I could, I’ll take the heat because I felt that I was more bulletproof,” he continued. “I mixed my metaphors there, but I felt that I could say things that others, perhaps more vulnerable in their or more early in their careers, could not say. And so I was suspended for that.”
Then came his battle with Gutfeld. To hear Rivera tell it, he “had a head-to-head with two incidents, one on abortion rights. I call them insulting punk, and another I forget what it was. They always took his side. So, you know, it’s like I was — I could sense that I was hanging by a thread. Anyway, there’s another metaphor. But the way it came down, they made a very pragmatic decision, a business decision.”
Right: The network that let Tucker Carlson go while he was the top-rated host on cable news before Rivera was allowed to leave on something resembling his own terms let Geraldo go because of a “business decision.”
I think Gutfeld might have gotten a bit closer to the reason why Rivera is no longer the token liberal at Fox News in a recent quip regarding the Hollywood writers’ strike: “Missing Hollywood writers is up there with missing Geraldo, Don Lemon and jock itch.”
Yes, one understands that no love is lost between the two men, but when weighing which one is in the right, consider that Rivera’s entire half-century career has been premised on making Ted Baxter look like an understated, humbler version of Edward R. Murrow.
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A self-promoting bottom-feeder and pot-stirrer, even by the standards of establishment media, Rivera has moved from sensationalist local-news muckraker to tabloid TV schlock-purveyor to token contrarian leftist at Fox News without, apparently, learning either editorial scruples or emotional modulation along the way.
We’re now supposed to believe — as he spills his guts to every news outlet willing to give him a listen — that it was Gutfeld and Carlson who were responsible for the problems that led to his departure, not him. And he has the phone calls from unnamed Fox News personalities to prove it!
Even if this is true — and let’s keep in mind, this is the guy behind “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults,” so it’s not as if the man’s word is gold — it doesn’t say as much about Rivera himself as it does about the culture at Fox News.
Carlson was one of the last independent voices on cable TV, someone whose opinions didn’t seem dictated by producers and executives. No matter what you thought about Tucker asking questions about the circumstances surrounding the Capitol incursion, those questions weren’t prima facie “bulls***,” to use Rivera’s word for it.
If Fox personalities were patting him on the back in private at the same time he was receiving a light smack on the wrist in public, that should tell you all you need to know about who’s running the show in Murdochland.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.