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Fox News contributors Geraldo Rivera and Leo Terrell are friends again, not that their strong friendship had ever really been threatened in the first place.
During a debate between the two on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” this Thursday, Rivera dismissively and condescendingly asked Terrell, who’s black, “When was the last time you were in the ghetto?”
This enraged Terrell, who responded by bluntly exclaiming, “How dare you!”
The stunning eruption predictably got a lot of media attention. What received far less attention was the apology that Rivera posted to Twitter only moments after the debate:
Apologize to @TheLeoTerrell did not mean to imply that he doesn’t get realities of urban life. Sorry Leo didn’t mean it personally. I wish St Louis’ new mayor the best. She has her hands full in a city beset by violent crime.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) April 8, 2021
Now fast-forward to Friday night, when, during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Rivera apologized again — this time “in person.”
“I want to apologize again to Leo. I want to make it very clear that I’m sorry that I personally smeared him by suggesting that he was disconnected from his roots. I don’t like personal attacks, I want to debate Leo on the issues,” he said.
Because he clearly believes in letting bygones be bygones — a Fox News tradition, especially when it comes to good friends — Terrell wasn’t even sweating it.
“Geraldo’s my friend. I’ve known him for 25 years. I mean, we were in a heated debate. Apology accepted. We’re gonna disagree on the issues. So it’s all good. Everything’s good. And like I said again, I welcome a good discussion on the facts. And as far as I’m concerned, that discussion is gone. Let’s look forward to the next debate in the next discussion,” he said.
(Video: Fox News)
The original debate had centered on disturbingly racist remarks from St. Louis Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones, a black woman who, prior to being elected to office earlier this month, had suggested that white people’s race disqualifies them to lead.
“[A] white person doesn’t have to worry about their children getting hit by a stray bullet when he’s outside. … While I appreciate the role of white allies in this movement of progress, I don’t believe that they have the lived experiences to lead a majority-minority city,” she’d reportedly said.
Just to be clear, the demographics of St. Louis are 48 percent white and 45 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau …
During the debate Thursday, Rivera essentially took the position that Jones had a point, whereas Terrell took the position that no, she didn’t.
“That is the most insulting, racist comment. You know what she is saying? Because you are white, you don’t understand what we as black people go through regarding crime,” Terrell argued.
He added, “That makes the assumption then that [President] Joe Biden doesn’t know. To say that she is basically in a better position because she is black is insulting, is racist, and it makes no sense whatever. I reject that argument.”
But instead of trying to rebut Terrell’s argument with reason and facts, assuming there were any that would justify Jones’ remarks, Rivera resorted to a low blow.
“Hey Leo, when was the last time you were in the ghetto?” he asked.
And the rest is history.
As the two formally made up Friday on “Hannity,” host Sean Hannity noted that, technically, they’ve both had experiences “in the ghetto.”
“I must say, in both your defense, both of you actually have been. You spent a big part of your life, Geraldo, being a street reporter in New York. Leo you have been out in the streets of Los Angeles. So in many ways, you live parallel lives,” he said.
While it’s not clear what Jones’ own “ghetto” experience is, what’s known is that she’s a Black Lives Matter activist. This is relevant because BLM is one of the loudest proponents of removing the police from poor neighborhoods.
But according to a new Vox/Data for Progress poll published this week, a majority of every demographic — Democrats, Republicans, blacks, whites, Hispanics, the elderly, the young — would feel “more safe” with police patrols in their neighborhood.
Lotta folks out there who need to read the room https://t.co/qbd2E8orih
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 9, 2021
In addition, Jones is personally an advocate of ending cash bail. But when cash bail was similarly eliminated in New York, crime skyrocketed.
“Crime is notably up in New York City this year, and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is clear on the cause: It’s the new state ‘bail reform’ laws,” the New York Post reported back in early 2020.
“Let repeat offenders roam free — and you’re bound to see more crime. That, Shea says, is what’s happening in the wake of the reforms that took full effect Jan. 1: They require the immediate release of nearly all suspects soon after arrest, with exceptions only in the most violent cases,” the Post’s report continued.
Couple this with all the data showing that it’s the poor and unemployed who are most often victimized, and it becomes clear that Jones’ so-called “lived experiences” as a black woman may not be a reliable indicator of leadership skills after all.
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