Geraldo Rivera under fire...from his peers
Geraldo Rivera headed to Afghanistan to be in the heat of battle. But Mr. Rivera never imagined being under fire from his peers in the media industry. It appears as if he lied about being close to a "friendly fire" incident that occurred during a battle in Afghanistan. The spot on television showed him ducking gunshots and cringing from the sounds of nearby exploding mortars. These charges are being levied against him from people in the know- those media members who were actually here, saying that he was hundreds of miles away when the action was taking place. As they roast him publicly, shame on him say his fellow reporters. Not so fast.
But what could we expect? Mr. Rivera is a tabloid news reporter, having quit his tabloid-style television show to head to the front lines of battle. While it is true that he did some excellent work covering battles and war-torn regions in his earlier years, it now looks to us as if he just knows the value of a good, if fabricated, story.
Here is the bigger picture: the news media in general, which we call Media, Inc., is nothing but an entertainment show. The American Public isn't watching the news, a public service to keep us informed, the evening news is a carefully produced sitcom that is intended for one purpose- to capture regular viewers so networks can sell commercial time to advertisers. That's it. The news is an overgrown vaudeville sideshow in perpetual courtship as a bride to the advertising industry.
Probably to your surprise, we don't accuse Mr. Rivera of doing anything wrong, rather we congratulate him for the understanding that the news is a globally produced action-entertainment show. Mr. Rivera has unwittingly exposed the complicated inner workings of news sitcoms, that is, to make an exciting performance to draw viewers. Mr. Rivera's cohorts are only grilling him so fiercely because they feel that this might attach some legitimacy to the shams they produce under the banner of "news". Furthermore, Geraldo Rivera shouldn't be forced to resign for telling a falsehood or a misstatement (I can't stand that term) he should be given an Emmy for a superior television performance. The big problem is which category to give the award, Comedy Sitcom or Action Drama.
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