June 26, 2010

Geraldo Rivera is a gigantic mustachioed hypocrite

Journalist Geraldo Rivera, who got hit on the head with a chair by a Nazi, is upset at freelance writer Michael Hastings, whose article in the current issue of Rolling Stone brought about the nomination of General David Petraeus as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Geraldo, appearing on the roundtable of prominent intellectuals "The Factor with Bill O'Reilly," called Hastings "a rat in an eagle's nest." Geraldo said each time one of General Stanley McChrystal's posse of cowboys made a statement which tended to undermine the bedrock constitutional principle of civilian control of the military, Hastings should have asked, 'Dude, are you sure you want me to print that?'

This despite the fact that Gen. McChrystal and his entourage were made entirely aware up front of Hastings's occupation and project. Hastings was a war correspondent for several years, reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan for Newsweek and other publications.

Geraldo also once briefly reported from Iraq for his current employer Fox News in 2003, until he was picked up by the 101st Airborne and "dropped at the Kuwaiti border"* after he "compromised operational information by reporting the position and movements of troops," according to the Pentagon. Geraldo did so on live television.

Thus is "a rat in an eagle's nest" perhaps not Geraldo Rivera's most consistently appropriate characterization of Michael Hastings.

By the way, the right wing's messenger-assassination of Rolling Stone generally is facile and absurd. It's ran excellent political reporting for decades, and published one of the best books on U.S. politics ever, Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

(McGovern adviser Pat Caddell has since completely lost his marbles.)

* Apparently from not too great — or great enough — a height, as he was still raving on Fox News as recently as yesterday evening.

eta: I missed the part where Geraldo compared Hastings to al-Qaeda.

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