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Geraldo Rivera Has Gone Too Far!

Reported by Marie Therese - January 30, 2005

News Hound Editorial

I've HAD it with Geraldo Rivera, his overdone emotionality, his crocodile tears and, now, the ultimate insult - his insensitive use of a dead woman's body to make a point.

He stood beside a pick-up truck in which lay the enshrouded body of an Iraqi woman. An unidentified man lifted a portion of the covering off her face while Geraldo rhapsodized about how brave the Iraqi people were and how he could not understand why people would kill this woman. I was appalled. How would he feel if the shoe were on the other foot and he was watching a video of a terrorist using the body of a dead American woman to make a point with tears in his eyes?

Rivera, FOX and a whole chunk of the United States seem to forget that (a) we let both bin Laden and al Zarqawi get away (b) we tortured Arabs (c) Johns Hopkins and the Lancet showed that we are responsible for the death of 100,000 Iraqis (d) there's no reliable electricity and no clean water in that country (e) there are no jobs in Iraq (f) we bombed the hell out of the place and, most importantly, by using a dead Arab woman on screen he is violating her humanity and, probably, violating an ancient Muslim law as well.

So, to balance the scales a bit, here's another side of Mr. Rivera.

Last night I was monitoring the Iraqi elections for our site. Here are two notes I made at that time. I believe I caught him in a blatant contradiction and, additionally, I found his conversation with Ahmed Chalabi to be quite fascinating.

If, after reading what's below, you feel that Mr. Rivera has played fast and loose with the truth, please feel free to let FOX News Channel know your feelings by clicking here: FOX News Channel Comments (Comments@foxnews.com).

1:01 AM EST
Geraldo Rivera announced with tears in his eyes that in the city in West Baghdad where he was stationed the people were "turning out in droves" to vote. The American soldiers behind him did not smile, stood there totally stone-faced. Several times he asked that FOX run the videos he shot of the West Baghdad. The various video clips that were shown did not seem to bear out his claims. One would have expected to see videos of lines formed outside the polling place.

What FOX showed was a (1) clip of two men voting, two women voting, a large, rather empty room, populated mostly by election workers, (2) very out of focus clip that ended abruptly that seemed to be of the outside of the polling place (3) clip (long shot) of three women and several men walking, one of the women had a baby in her arms, while Rivera waxed enthusiastic, saying "turnout has been spectacular." Yet NONE of the visuals backed up his hyperbolic statements.

He then interviewed an Iraqi man who spoke good English and claimed that he was unafraid of the terrorists (his accent was interesting) and made a phone call to Ahmed Chalabi, disgraced financier. Chalabi, of course, gave the usual pro-American spiel and Rivera mentioned that his "friend" Chalabi was undoubtedly going to win a place in the new Iraqi government.

2:07 AM
Interchange between Geraldo Rivera and Rita Cosby. RIvera reported from the roof of a building in West Baghdad accompanied by American troops.

GERALDO RIVERA: Rita, it's a great day. It's a wonderful day. The terrorists can go to hell. You know, they're not gonna screw this up. This is gonna happen. Back to you.

RITA COSBY: I don't know if your camera can pan a little, Geraldo. Before, when you were showin' these amazing shots, I thought this was just a great moment, Geraldo, seeing husbands and wives, women makin' their own decisions. I mean it was just so symbolic. These families goin' [to vote]. Can you see anybody walkin' behind you now?

RIVERA (turns to look behind him): Uh, there's a - it seems that most of the big, big rush has already - (to cameraman) if you guys pan down there - (to soldiers) you guys, get out of the way - (to Cosby) you'll see where they all are now. [Camera pans to left across the roof.] They've cast their votes, they're on their sashay. It's a ways for Christian Aldamini [sp?], our ace cameraman, who coined the phrase "the dawn of a new day" at dawn today - he's good with the - [Camera finishes panning, shows mostly the back of the heads of two soldiers] There they are, Rita.

[Comment: I counted about 10 Iraqis when I froze the frame on my tape.]

RIVERA: It's amazing. There's a polling place down there. They're all out. They're on the streets. It's happening. Ya' know - um - I don't know nationwide what the turnout is, but I think it's reasonable to suggest - we've heard from David Le Miller in Mosul - we've heard from Mike Tobin in Baghdad - we've heard from Dana Lewis - we've heard from our other correspondents - it's not a scientific survey but I'm gonna tell ya', it seems like 60% is a pretty, pretty fair guess and in some neighborhoods over 80% - the Shi'a neighborhoods. I just hope and pray that the Sunnis have showed up. That, I can't tell ya' - this is a mixed Shi'a-Sunni community but I can't give you any kind of scientific read on whether or not that aspect of the community has turned out to vote. I hope so.

Updated at 12:10 AM EST: This posting was amended slightly to correct a very minor error. Geraldo himself did not lift the covering off the woman's face as I originally reported.. One of his compatriots did. This scene has been broadcast by FOX many times during the day. I have it on tape during The O'Reilly Factor at 8:07 PM EST.

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