Geraldo Rivera and Dan Bongino raged at each other over the police shooting and killing of Daunte Wright. Or at least they made a big show of it for the cameras.
The second food fight of the week occurred on the Wednesday night Hannity show. It began when Rivera suggested a solution to prevent police from accidentally shooting and killing people with guns, instead of tasers, was to put tasers in the dominant hand and the gun in the other.
Bongino, who lied about his experiences as a Secret Service officer in a book and parlayed it into a career as a conservative firebrand (after three failed attempts at public office), said, with theatrical, disgust, “I don’t even know how to respond to that.”
“How about responding with facts?” Rivera shot back. “You’re nothing but a name caller. You’re a cheap-shot artist.”
Host Sean Hannity played ringmaster: “Geraldo, you’ve got to let him have his say.”
Bongino was full of contempt: “I never talk when he talks because I like him to just say these things because they’re so easy to refute but he cannot stop talking when I do. You never wore a badge, period. Not interested in your reporting on it because reporters deal with facts, and you brought the race card into it the other night when we had this debate, despite having no facts to back that up.”
“How about this fact?” Rivera countered. Citing reporting by The Washington Post, which he called “the most comprehensive study ever done on the subject,” Rivera said Blacks are twice as likely to be shot by cops as whites, per capita.
Bongino could not have cared less. “Why do we bother?” he sneered. “Geraldo knows everything, apparently, despite the fact that he knows nothing.” Bongino claimed, “They did an actual study on police contacts and found no systemic racism,” as if that should make Blacks getting killed by cops OK. “But he doesn’t know any of that,” Bongino added.
“I know more than you, what do you know? What did you have, a 10 minute career as a cop?” Rivera interrupted. “You’ve been running for office for the last 20 years.”
“Take a Valium,” Bongino responded. “You’ve been talking forever. You really got to pipe down. My gosh, you’re a 70 year old man. Calm down, get a hold of yourself."
Bongino claimed that Rivera’s plan can’t work because it would require a police officer to fire his or her gun with the non-dominant hand. “If you were ever a cop, you’d know that,” he added. He also claimed that the weapon would be more accessible to “the bad guy” if an officer was tackled and on the ground.
He kept digging at Rivera. “Maybe a little bit of humble pie - back off, stop telling everyone about your great reporting, deal with facts, and realize you don’t know what you think you know, you just know what you think you reported on. Those are two separate things. I don’t pretend to be a journalist, I’m an opinion maker. Stop pretending to be a cop.”
“What Bongino does is make me the issue,” Rivera replied. “Is anything that he has just said useful on this topic? We are dealing with tension from coast to coast. Cities where there’s now violence and rage.” He said he condemns rioters but that there has to be a solution.
Bongino would have been off-brand if he tried to come up with a constructive solution that didn't further divide and inflame. So he blamed Rivera, i.e. people who are too sympathetic to Blacks, for the unrest: “It’s happening because people like Geraldo continue to pump out a race narrative with no data to back it up at all.”
“I just gave you the facts. You only accept facts that you agree with,” Rivera shouted. “This man is why they have that rage.”
“That’s all you’ve got. … All you want to do is see the country burn,” Bongino said, smirking.
“I want to see the country burn?” Rivera yelled. You son of a bitch. I want to see the country burn, you punk? You’re nothing but a punk. You’re a punk, Bongino. You’re a punk.”
“You wouldn’t tell that to my face." Bongino was still smirking.
“Let’s see,” Rivera said, as Hannity closed the discussion.
You can watch it below, from the April 14, 2021 Hannity. If the video becomes unavailable, you can watch it at The Daily Beast.
However, I will give Geraldo some credit. At least he’s not trying to get attention by going full-tilt extremist like Tucker Carlson or Maria Bartiromo or full-tilt liar like #LyingKayleighMcEnany.