“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.”
A pretty stunning opening graph of a Facebook post published by Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera Thursday night amid an upheaval at the network he has called home since 2001. He has known Ailes, however, since 1994, when Ailes first hired him at CNBC. He and his wife, Erica, attended Ailes’ “intimate” wedding to Beth in 1998.
“My wife Erica and I ache thinking about how she must be suffering,” he wrote.
Entitled “Roger and Me,” Rivera wrote a lengthy, at times heartfelt essay about his relationship with ousted Fox News President Roger Ailes. Ailes was brought down by a sexual harassment lawsuit from ex-FNC anchor Gretchen Carlson, which recently settled for $20 million.
Rivera initially defended him, even blasting New York Magazine writer Gabe Sherman for his coverage.
Despite that harsh opening graph, Geraldo can’t help but remember the man Ailes has always been to him.
“I left the comfortable confines of CNBC to rejoin him at Fox News as senior war correspondent assigned 22 times to cover the bloody battlefields of Afghanistan and later Iraq,” he wrote. “Through that period, he had my back through thick and thin, and I knew he would be there for my family if anything befell me in the field.”
But now everything is different for him.
“Now I am filled with regret for stubbornly discounting their various allegations,” Rivera wrote. “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.
“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.”
It’s fair to say that Geraldo has suffered his own personal shortcomings. Those shirtless selfies from 2013 and again in 2014 — one in which he’s only wearing a towel — come to mind. “70 is the new 50,” he wrote at the time. The episode even cost him a speaking engagement at the ultra-Catholic Duquesne University. It wasn’t “in line with the school’s values.”
In his 1991 memoir, aptly called Exposing Myself, he admitted he had a sex addiction.
Probably the biggest whopper in Geraldo’s essay is that HarperCollins has killed his war memoir because of his association with Ailes and the praise he lavished on him in his book.
Despite apologizing to Sherman, he goes on to say that what he anticipates will be his laser like focus on Fox News and the scandal swarming around Ailes 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,” he wrote. “Our rivals would all be better served to clean their own houses.”
He explained, “For a lot of reasons, news is a flirty business. With its pressure cooker environment and long hours, it is sometimes the only place young professionals can meet. Just add up all the newsroom romances that have resulted in marriage over the years.”
Geraldo mentioned his daughters.
He sadly even seems to say goodbye to Ailes forever.
“To all the victims of sexual harassment, direct and indirect, I am sorry for what happened to you,” he wrote. “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.”