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Fox’s Geraldo Rivera criticizes network for immigration ‘spin’ in coverage of Iowa college student’s death

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Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera on Thursday night criticized the network’s coverage of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’s death, saying it was putting a “spin” on coverage by emphasizing the illegal immigration status of her accused killer.

“I know that most of the Fox audience disagrees with me, but I’m begging you to have compassion and not brand of this entire population by the deeds of this one person,” Rivera said during an appearance on Fox News.

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Fox host Martha MacCallum pushed back, saying that Tibbetts’s death was related to immigration issues because of reports that her accused killer, Cristhian Rivera, was an undocumented immigrant.

“We at this network are putting that spin on the story,” Geraldo Rivera responded. “This is a murder story, not an immigration story.”

Various political figures have weighed in on Tibbetts’s death after an undocumented immigrant this week was charged with murder in her death.

President Trump and some GOP lawmakers have said that Tibbetts’s death has underscored the need for stricter immigration enforcement.

Meanwhile, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Thursday accused various media outlets of being “accomplices” in Tibbetts’s death. 

“Even Geraldo Rivera,” Patrick said Fox News’s “America’s Newroom.” “I’ve never met the guy. Seems like he has a good heart. I saw him on here Fox saying, ‘I feel badly about this but…’ There is no ‘but.’” 

Rivera responded to those statements by calling Patrick a “bottom-feeding politician.” He added that Patrick was stereotyping millions of people. 

Tibbetts, who was a student at the University of Iowa, was last seen July 18 jogging in the town of Brooklyn, Iowa, before authorities discovered her body this week.

Cristhian Rivera’s attorney Allen Richards has denied that his client was in the country illegally. He called Trump “sad and sorry” for weighing in on the matter and potentially tainting a jury selection.

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