Bill Maher confronts Geraldo Rivera: ‘You are the spin’
HBO host Bill Maher confronted veteran journalist Geraldo Rivera on Friday night for his work on Fox News, which he suggested had tarnished the former reporter’s reputation.
The two immediately clashed over the network, which Rivera insisted was right-leaning and “not state-run TV,” and suggested Maher had an outsized impression of the network’s bias because of commentators such as Sean Hannity.
“You were one of the original crusading reporters and you care very much about your legacy being as a journalist, so I do have to ask: Why Fox News?” Maher asked during a “Real Time” talk on Rivera’s new memoir “The Geraldo Show.”
In defense of the show “Fox & Friends,” a favorite of the president’s where Rivera appears weekly, the journalist suggested that MSNBC was guilty of playing up the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.
But Maher pushed back against Rivera’s characterization of the Russia investigation as merely an “illusion,” saying MSNBC only “sticks to the truth.”
“See, this is what I don’t get: I remember thinking of you as a crusading reporter who was fighting against the spin. I feel like now you are the spin,” Maher said.
Rivera is a frequent guest on the talk show that Trump has frequently praised for its fair coverage of his administration. Maher echoed claims by many in the media that the president has recycled talking points from the show in his own statements, saying there was a “loop” between the two.
Rivera, 74, first earned international acclaim when he won a Peabody Award in 1972 for bringing to light instances of neglect and abuse of mentally disabled students at a state school in Staten Island.
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