On Friday’s broadcast of “Fox and Friends,” left-leaning Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera criticized the Obama administration for monitoring journalists’ communications instead of keeping the nation’s major mosques under surveillance.
“I really believe every major mosque, particularly where the preacher is someone who has a history of radicalized sermons has to really be plugged in, in a sense,” Rivera said. “Look at the surveillance here we have against reporters as benign as you can possibly get and you know, people doing their job and we have the Justice Department and the FBI probing them and following them. It is absolutely deeply distressing and it is the evidence of overkill. That is the kind of asset and those FBI probers of James Rosen — they should be probing these butchers and the Tsarnaevs and the Hasans and the al-Awlakis.”
Rivera then said he was “deeply disappointed” by the administration’s investigations into reporters.
“I have been as you know obviously from sitting on this couch every Friday generally very supportive of the president of the United States, even up to and including his impassioned statement again yesterday to close Guantanamo and his defense of drone strikes,” Rivera said. “I’m with the president generally speaking in these kinds of areas. I was deeply disappointed by this. This seems the most excessive — if this was a Republican administration, a conservative Republican administration and they were guilty of what I call Rosen-gate, here where they take our James Rosen who is just doing his job — that’s what we do. We talk to sources. You know, ‘Come on, have a cup of coffee’”
“I really believe, joking aside, this is something that truly deserves an independent arbiter,” Rivera continued. “I would love to see our boss Roger Ailes sit nose to nose with Eric Holder and let him know what he thinks of this very, very un-American, probably unconstitutional and even if barely legal, certainly distasteful and counterproductive tactic of harassing and terrorizing journalists. Who’s going to return our calls in D.C. anymore?”
Rivera added that he believed the probes were meant to scare off potential sources of information for reporters, a development he called “deeply disturbing.”
“It’s an attempt to criminalize the journalistic profession in a sense that it will make everyone fearful of pursuing leads and doing stories except those stories that the administration deems acceptable,” he added. “And I think that’s deeply disturbing.”
(h/t Noah Rothman, Mediaite)