Growing up in the era in which many of us did, we remember Geraldo Rivera as the mustache-sporting talk show host who did not seem particularly entertaining to kids who would rather be doing anything than stuck in the house on a summer day with our parents thanks to inclement weather. We remember hearing him on the television and wondering why Saturday morning cartoons were not on every day. As we grew up, so did Geraldo Rivera. He became a news correspondent, and someone unafraid of saying what was on his mind in the middle of any given controversy. Now he’s showing off his dance skills on Dancing with the Stars, and we simply do not know if he will be able to keep down the drama and not create controversy he’s so famous for. Of course, that makes us want to talk about some of his most unforgettable television moments.
The Afghanistan Issue
In 2001, he was in Afghanistan during the war. He said on air that he was on the ground during friendly fire and walked over the ground on which 3 US soldiers were killed while saying the Lord’s Prayer. It was later discovered he had actually been 300 miles away and was lying, so he said he was so confused by a ‘war fog’ that he mistook that scene for another in Tora Bora. However, the Tora Bora incident actually happened three days after he reported this information.
Al Capone’s Vault
Does anyone remember this instance? It was huge. It was 1986. I was only three at the time, and while I certainly do not remember the time, I do remember hearing so much about it growing up. The term was used all the time, and never in a good manner. Basically, Geraldo Rivera obtained notorious gangster Al Capone’s famous vault and created a television special to open it. The world was expecting to see cash, money, secrets and so many other things come out of that vault. During a two-hour special, he talked and talked and hyped it up even more, and then opened it to find essentially nothing more than some empty bottles and some dirt. It was a big mess.
The Airborne Issue
It was 2003; it was during the crux of the war on terror. He was traveling with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. During a live broadcast, he did the stupidest thing imaginable; he drew a map in the sand showing where he was with the division and then told the world where he was and what secret plan that the division had underway for attack, giving away all the private and classified details on live television.
The Trayvon Martin Incident
Regardless how you feel about this particular situation now or when it occurred, you had an opinion. Geraldo Rivera made it his business to tell the world that he basically felt that George Zimmerman was guilty of shooting this boy for no good reason other than the fact that he was wearing a hoodie at the time. It was a shocking statement from a journalist whose main objective is to stay neutral and relay both sides of the story without attempting to sway viewers’ opinions.
The Casey Anthony Incident
Living only an hour from Orlando, this was a big deal around here. The case of a mother accused of killing her little girl whom was not reported missing for more than a month in July 2008. The two-year-old girls’ body was found in December the same year in the woods no far from her family’s property. During the trial after the mother was arrested and charged with murder – before she was shockingly released – Geraldo reported on the coverage saying of Casey Anthony, “I think it will end the prosecution case with a bang, so to speak, to show that this was a selfish, narcissistic, self-involved slut,” in reference to a tattoo that Anthony received saying “Bella Vita” just a few weeks after her daughter was killed.
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