Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera has issued a lengthy, heartfelt apology for doubting those who accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. Even more surprising, he apologized to New York Magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, dubbed, “Ailes’ personal Inspector Javert.”
In a Facebook post tonight, Rivera explained that he had a long friendship with Ailes and thought him “more likely to tear your throat out than engage in sweet talk.” But no more:
The man we knew as the blustering genius who invented our mighty Fox News Channel is a deceitful, selfish misogynist, if the charges against him are true. And if they are true, then his shame and banishment are well earned.
Like virtually all my colleagues at Fox News, I was totally blindsided by his sexual harassment scandal, which is why I responded to Gretchen Carlson’s initial filing of her lawsuit with extreme skepticism. The man she described in her pleadings was unknown even to those of us who thought we knew him well.
Now I am filled with regret for stubbornly discounting their various allegations. The Murdochs would not have turned the world upside down but for good cause. Moreover, I apologize for my skepticism. Like victims of sexual assault, those alleging harassment deserve the presumption of credibility.
And then there’s this, unheard of coming from someone at Fox:
Even Ailes’ personal Inspector Javert, Gabriel Sherman, the New York Magazine writer I have called a “nerd with a grudge” deserves my apology. He is on the right side of history. Might does not mean right. I was wrong, and am paying the price.
The “price” Rivera referred to was a decision by HarperCollins (a sister company to Fox News) not to publish his book. The reason, Rivera said, was because of his “relatively flattering portrayal” of Ailes.
Rivera took a swipe at Fox’s competitors. But he sounded more wistful than combative or competitive.
[T]he Ailes scandal will continue to percolate at least in part because of the fear and loathing by competitors for Fox News, the ratings leader. Because it suits their perceived competitive advantage, CNN and other news networks will continue to report, repeat and regurgitate every detail in this melancholy saga. Now that Mr. Sherman has been hired by MSNBC, he will most assuredly be encouraged to stay obsessively focused.
Although that is understandable, it is not fair. Having worked at all the networks over the last 47 years I can say definitively that the social culture is industry wide. Our rivals would all be better served to clean their own houses.
Rivera concluded by urging others not to make the same mistake he made:
To all the victims of sexual harassment, direct and indirect, I am sorry for what happened to you. As the father of three daughters, including one in the news business, I urge all who have been offended to reach out. Similarly, if you see harassment, say harassment, even if the alleged offender is an old friend.
Hell may not have frozen over, but it must have cooled down several notches.
Rivera photo via screen grab.
Ailes’ loyalists are turning against him to save their broadcasting careers. The Trainee better think twice on that pending lawsuit against New York Magazine. It may backfire, given the sentiment at Fox “News” Channel.
NOTE TO RIVERA
The fact that the HarperCollins refused to publish your book should send you a hint: they don’t want you.
Be a man and exit this network before the window of opportunity closes. The longer you stay with this network, your broadcasting career will come to a halt. No more lucrative speaking engagements. No more book deals. No more anything. The suits want to clean house before they bring in the new chief of Fox News Channel. Exit now!
So, yes, he’s probably being self serving but I also think he meant what he said.
“The man we knew as the blustering genius who invented our mighty Fox News Channel is a deceitful Republican propagandist, if the charges against him are true. And if they are true, then shame on me for participating in playing his partisan games. Like virtually all my colleagues at Fox News, I was totally blindsided by his right-wing bias.” ;^)
What I smell with Geraldo, Greta departing, etc. is post-Ailes Fox News is an internal battle between the Ailes ass-kissing loyalists and those who resented the same or who were abused by the monster. Geraldo needs his Fox gig because he doesn’t want to go back to shilling specials opening Al Capone’s vault.
I’ve always regarded Geraldo as a cheap whore without too many principles, gliding along whistling whatever tune the paymaster ordered, never giving a thought to his culpability as an agent of the most evil, cynical propaganda machine since Goebbels. Still do.
Has Geraldo already sent his resume out to every headhunter in the business? You betcha.
Although that is understandable, it is not fair.
AWWW — widdle Geraldo doesn’t think it’s “fair” that people are going to continue talking about the “Fair and Balanced” network’s sordid goings-on.
I’ve got two words for you, Gerry: TOUGH SH*T.
Did you think it was “fair” for Fox to continue to percolating the fake controversies surrounding President Obama’s birth and birth certificate? Or how ’bout emails, Benghazi, and any number of other fake controversies Fox continues to drum up about the Clintons?
Doesn’t feel so good now, getting a heaping tablespoon full of your own medicine, does it?
I wonder what Ailes could ever have done to antagonise the Murdochs so badly? Those recordings of Gretchen’s sessions with Ailes must have been pretty graphic, indeed.
Every one of these people (and a few others I didn’t name) took to national teevee to defend Ailes and shoot down Gretchen without knowing any of the facts. At the very least, they should have just said nothing and let the investigation do its work. They all owe Gretchen an apology and the women of FOX “news” should be thanking her for shining a light on what was happening there.