Farewell to Geraldo Rivera at Fox as he departs 'The Five' with honor
Geraldo Rivera leaves Fox News, cites affirmative action for his career.
Fox News Bids Farewell to Geraldo Rivera, Prompting Reflection on Affirmative Action
In a bittersweet send-off, Fox News bid farewell to Geraldo Rivera on Friday, marking the end of his tenure on "The Five." While Rivera claimed that he was fired from the network, he also stated that he made the decision to leave as a result. The cancellation of his last two appearances on the afternoon political talk show was seemingly replaced by a going-away party on the morning show "Fox & Friends," where he typically delivered weekly commentary.
Rivera expressed his gratitude following a heartfelt tribute, which featured clips from his illustrious career and goodbye messages from prominent figures such as Jesse Watters, Bret Baier, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro. However, in a timely twist, Rivera also acknowledged the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down affirmative action in higher education. He noted that his journalism career was made possible through initiatives by the Ford Foundation and Columbia Journalism School, aimed at promoting minorities in the field. Rivera's involvement with Puerto Rican activist groups in New York played a role in his initial foray into television.
Rivera's career began in local New York television, where he gained acclaim for his exposés on abuse within the state's mental health system. This success propelled him into a colorful national talk show host career, with his tribute even playfully referencing his infamous live TV stunt of opening Al Capone's vault, only to find it empty.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rivera joined Fox News with aspirations of becoming a war correspondent. As a part-time panelist on "The Five," he was tasked with representing a liberal perspective amidst the conservative majority. Colleague Jesse Watters praised Rivera, saying, "Jousting with you has been a privilege. You always brought your 'A' game."
However, Rivera's relationship with fellow panelist Greg Gutfeld grew increasingly contentious. In the past, Rivera had publicly referred to Gutfeld as arrogant and an "insulting punk." As "The Five" became Fox's highest-rated show, Gutfeld and Watters leveraged their success into their own prime-time programs on the network.
Interestingly, Gutfeld did not contribute a farewell message to Rivera's tribute, unlike Watters and Pirro. Rivera's departure from "The Five" comes after a brief suspension for his profane criticism of former prime-time host Tucker Carlson's theories. Last week, Rivera revealed to The Associated Press that tensions within the show led to his decision to quit. However, it remains unclear what specifically transpired to prompt Rivera to claim he was fired from the show, both on air and on Twitter. Fox News issued a statement, stating that they had reached an amicable conclusion with Rivera in recent weeks, without providing further details.
As Rivera approaches his 80th birthday on the Fourth of July, he refrains from characterizing his exit from Fox News as retirement. The seasoned journalist leaves behind a legacy of impactful reporting and a reminder of the ongoing discussions surrounding affirmative action in the media industry.