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Some Constructive Criticism For Geraldo Rivera Over Shabazz Interview

Reported by Guest Blogger - July 17, 2010 -

By Aunty Em

Yes, Geraldo Rivera, I’m talking to you. I know that the Fox News Channel, from Megyn Kelly right on down, has been hammering this race-baiting non-story for longer than it would seem to have legs. I can even see why you’d want your own bite at the apple, if only to display your outrage at the very ugly comments by a New Black Panther Party member caught on video. However, your interview last weekend (07-10-10) with NBPP Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz was such a train wreck, that it may very well be the worst tee vee you’ve ever produced, and that’s saying something considering your Al Capone special and that time you got a faceful of chair.

Yet, I’ve always thought that you were one of the few Fox personalities who didn’t usually push Fox News' right-wing meme de jour. No, you tend to find your own path, as absurd as it may be. You outdid yourself in absurdity this weekend. Because I also think this could be a teachable moment for you, which is why I thought I’d give you the benefit of my decade working in tee vee news. Granted you’ve been in the news game longer than I, and achieved a much higher level of success than I ever had as a mere tee vee news writer. Call it hubris, but please don’t dismiss this criticism out of hand.

What the hell were you thinking?

For starters, you should have remembered the old adage that “revenge is a dish best served cold.” At least you made it obvious at the top of the segment you were nursing a 15-year old wound, which has festered. It was obviously time to finally lance it. This goes all the way back to the O.J. Simpson trial. You played some cut and paste video from those halcyon, bygone days when some of the Black community took exception to your opinion of the OJ verdict, Shabazz among them. However, you never played any of your comments from back then. No matter, the chyron from that earlier segment told the tale: “Shabazz goes after Geraldo; Tries to turn African Americans against him.” You brought far more heat than light to this subject and allowed your infected abscess to conduct the interview.

Interview? It was more like an interrogation. Like Megyn Kelly’s non-Fair and Balanced browbeating of Kirsten Powers, you never really gave the man a chance to speak. Your outrage had you interrupting constantly, circling back to the same question, which was whether Shabazz endorsed the clearly ugly, vile, racist comments made by King Samir Shabazz. While you interrupted and badgered Shabazz in order to ask the same question over and over again, you ignored his several disavowals, as well as the disavowals he already made in an interview with Kelly a few days earlier, not to mention those he made elsewhere on the tee vee dial.

It needs to be noted that I have yet to see anyone defending the NBPP, except for Shabazz. Which is to be expected; he’s the chair. So, why the manufactured hysteria?

To be fair: on the rare occasion when you allowed him to speak, Shabazz tended to filibuster. Which leads me to another adage: “Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself.” Had you allowed Shabazz to speak at any length, you might have received the “gotcha” moment you were clearly hoping for. He may have said something stupid or incendiary, but we’ll never know.

This brings me to another point I wish to make. If you are going to go after someone in an interview, you need more than one arrow in your quiver. Asking the same question over and over again doesn’t bring anything new each time you ask it. It’s just Journalism 101 to have a follow-up question.

However, what surprised me the most is how a ‘wise Latino man’ would subscribe to the race-baiting on the so-called Fox News Channel. Please understand, I never expect a single person to be a spokesman for an entire race and/or culture, but…but…but…

I guess what I am trying to say is that for a man from a minority culture in this country, it does not behoove you to buy hook, line, and sinker into the DOJ Jihad started by Meggy that has now infected the entire Fox News Channel schedule. No good can come of promoting that story, as well as the new Fox False Equivalency of the Week™: that the NAACP is a racist organization.

These are dangerous seeds being planted within the body politic of American discourse and Fox News is spreading the manure. Let’s be clear. If there was even a kernel of truth to these seeds, I say plant them, water them, and let them flourish in the light of day. But you know full well (I hope) what a mendacious news network you work for and how, and why, Fox is playing up the Nixonian Southern Strategy of dividing the Black community from the White community, and why it’s playing off Latinos against “Real Americans”™ in the Arizona Immigrant Wars of ’10.

So, I will ask you a question. I promise that if you answer it, I’ll never ask again, unlike your Shabazz 3rd Degree.

Do you denounce the continued race-baiting of the Fox News Channel, from Glenn Beck saying that the Jews killed Jesus, to its NAACP slurs, to the trumped up DOJ story or are you on-board with Fox News and ready to stand on the front lines if, and when, this divisive hate leads to violence from either side of the color line?

Tick tock.

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