Fox News longtimer Geraldo Rivera was scheduled to appear on Sean Hannity‘s program Tuesday night.
But Geraldo got the axe.
And it appears he got himself canceled in just two tweets.
The familiar Fox News personality was enthused about counseling Sean Hannity on war with Iran. Last week, President Donald Trump authorized the U.S. to take out Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani, a general the president has described as a “monster.” On Tuesday night, reports emerged that Iran had retaliated with missiles shot at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces.
There was talk that Trump may deliver an address to the nation.
But it was all premature chatter — the White House ultimately opted against it.
Perhaps it was this sentiment at 6:53 p.m. that was the death knell in Geraldo’s “Hannity” news hit Tuesday night.
Urging @realDonaldTrump to keep his powder dry. Plz don’t let this spin out of control. You can always hit them back. Plz don’t let this become an escalating- you hit me I hit you back harder-until we have another full-blown, bloody Mid-East War on our hands. What would we win?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 7, 2020
The Daily Beast‘s Editor-at-Large Molly Jong-Fast, who is anti-Trump, advised, “You need to go on @seanhannity, otherwise he won’t hear it.”
At 7:18 p.m. Geraldo assured her that he’d be appearing on Hannity’s 9 p.m. show.
“Thx I’ll be on with @seanhannity tonight counseling restraint & talking about these deeply disturbing developments.@elevrivera.”
Yeah, sure you will Geraldo!
By 7:38 p.m. it was all over.
“Never mind Hannity just canceled me,” Geraldo felt the need to report to his 332,000 followers.
The newsman made the best of being rejected. As #NowTrumper Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) appeared on Hannity, Geraldo pushed for prayer and restraint on Twitter.
Fox News’s opinion journalists have been sharply divided over military intervention in Iraq, with Hannity supporting Trump’s decisions and Tucker Carlson seriously questioning Trump’s reasoning for killing Soleimani. Carlson’s anti-war views in the Middle East are not new, but somehow observers have amnesia about it.
“It’s hard to remember now, but as recently as last week, most people didn’t consider Iran an imminent threat,” Carlson said on his program Monday. He needled Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for sourcing intelligence agencies as the reason Iran was perceived as a threat.
“Seems like about 20 minutes ago, we were denouncing these people as the ‘deep state’ and pledging never to trust them again without verification,” Carlson said. “Now, for some reason, we do trust them — implicitly and completely.”
Hannity, meanwhile, has been trumpeting the president’s bold move toward making the world a safer place with the general’s demise.
Hannity’s show should have received a preview on Geraldo’s stance Tuesday morning when the mustachioed journalist appeared on “Fox & Friends.”
“Don’t for a minute start cheering this on,” he told the morning hosts.
Without a Hannity appearance, Geraldo tried to persevere on social media Tuesday night.
“Everyone-regardless of party or political philosophy-should join in praying for our GI’s in harm’s way in Iraq and for their worried families waiting anxiously for their safe return,” he tweeted.
He urged Trump not to make the situation worse.
“Take apparent absence of US casualties as important intentional gesture by Iran,” he continued. “@realDonaldTrump recognize this as step in right direction. They could’ve targeted barracks etc. Seize initiative to counsel further restraint. No escalation. Don’t make mistakes you once criticized.”
Geraldo, who was infamously punched in the nose on his daytime talk show in the late 80s during a show about “Teen Hatemongers,” closed the night with a plea for peace.
“Iranian Foreign Minister #JavadZarif just tweeted that it’s over as far as they’re concerned,” he wrote. “As far as we know, there are no dead Americans from tonight’s attacks. @realDonaldTrump seize this opportunity for peace. Declare victory. Shut it down.”
It’s not “Hannity.” But hey, it’s something.
Jake Lahut, a reporter who covers New Hampshire politics for the Keene Sentinel, remarked, “Every guest on Hannity’s show is treating their time like it’s a presidential briefing.”
Geraldo got that memo.
He just wasn’t on board with Hannity’s point of view.