Monday, September 06, 2010

Douchebag of the Week (9/6/10): Geraldo Rivera...

Geraldo Rivera is celebrating 40 years of the Mighty Morphin' Mustache in the Media. Good for him, I guess; it's not often that someone can say they've done something so incredibly useless for so long and that it can be spun as a cause for celebration, but this highly-publicized, week-long Victory Lap of his over at FoxNews was already starting to implant a very rancid aroma in my nostrils even before it took it's turn for the absolute worst last night.

Because Geraldo took the cameras into his home, to show you what life at the Rivera Compound was all about.

I want to say up front that I don't dislike Geraldo; Nature, unfortunately, needs parasites, and if you're going to earn your considerable personal fortune by wallowing in the misery of others, then it behooves you to be the best damned misery pimp you can be, and Geraldo has definitely succeeded in that regard. I mean, who can forget all the classic moments of a career devoted to the lowest common denominator: the Manson interviews, the infamous Klan Chair-throwing incident, the over-hyped Vault of Al Capone, the providing of vital intelligence to the enemy over the air from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan, and my personal favorite, making certain the cameras caught the man tossed into the Mississippi by the tempestuous flood waters of Katrina?

Granted, I'm probably not going to jump into a raging river at the height of a Cat 5 hurricane myself, but Geraldo did at least have the decency to yell at his police escort to "do something" about that guy in the water. It's a sad commentary when the police in New Orleans at such a time have to escort Geraldo about. But then again, it's not like the NOPD was actually out doing their real job at the time.

You always get the impression with Geraldo that it's about HIM, even when he's claiming to be the Champion of the Common Man, or the new Ernie Pyle to the men at the front, and just in case you might have forgotten that Geraldo is, indeed, the Ninth Wonder of the World, he made certain that you received that impression... giving you a tour of his luxurious home. Our reward for all of our "support" over the last 40 years was to be invited into the Inner Sanctum, where Geraldo enjoys the fruits-of-his-labors-at-the-expense-of-others. An opulent retreat with a 10-story-high roof-top swimming pool, the "Me Wall" with all his awards bestowed by other members of the Flapping Rectum Classes, the Rec-Room full of designer furniture and huge flat-screen televisions, the original masterpiece paintings on the wall, the exquisite sculptures, and of course, the Boat.

It's exactly what Americans living in a time of dire economic uncertainty just pine to see, obviously. We're supposed to be giddy and impressed with Geraldo's collection of stuff when many of us are having difficulty keeping the lights burning and the house from being foreclosed on? For someone who claims to be the ultimate Advocate for Joe Sixpack, it was in shockingly poor taste to rub our collective noses in your wealth.

I was impressed by his family; his wife is a stunner, and his daughter is as cute-as-a-button, and it's not their fault that they live as they do. None of this is not directed at them, only at Pimp Daddy Rivera.

I can't think of a single way in which Geraldo Rivera has enriched or improved my life, or the general welfare, with what he calls "investigative journalism". Prior to last night, I never gave it,nor what he does, much thought. Now it's front-and-center after last night's tour-de-force of The Mustache, and the only thing I'm grateful to Geraldo for is that I didn't barf up the beef-and-bean burrito I was eating at the time; he showed enough restraint to at least not make us totally envious with the gold-plated toilets and diamond-encrusted dinnerware.

Frankly, I'm not entirely sure where one would get the idea that Joe Average wants to be given a tour of all-the-shit-that-you-have-that-he-never-will, but after a few decades of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the Real Housewives of Chillicothe, Jersey Shore and MTV Cribs, I can only surmise that someone does or else the networks, and TV personalities, wouldn't indulge in this sort of nonsense. There's a pathology at work here; the Have-nots, certainly must be envious of the Haves, but what makes them want to torture themselves by being reminded of how poor they are in comparison? Especially NOW?

The other side of that coin is what makes the Haves think they're doing us a favor by showing it to us? And if you'll allow me a third-side-of-the-coin for rhetorical purposes, why is it that, as a culture, we find it necessary to so richly reward someone in this fashion for what amounts to posturing before a camera? Even at his best, Geraldo is all sizzle and no steak.

And here he is, celebrating a career built upon vacationing in another's misery, as someone much smarter and more famous that I am once called it.

Perhaps if Geraldo were actually a Journalist, instead of someone who makes his living interviewing the worst mass-murders, presenting farce-as-fact, contriving confrontations in order to boost his ratings, and mentioning Joran Van Der Sloot every five minutes (at least Greta waits a dignified 15 minutes between Natalee Holloway references), I would be, if not truly happy for Geraldo and perhaps maybe amazed that he's been the integral part of my life that he believes himself to be, then I could, at least a bit more tolerant of him.

But last night was the deal-breaker for me. Thanks for reminding me of just how unfair life really is, and rubbing your wealth in my face! I guess I should be grateful you didn't parade the servants out and introduce them to us; here's Consuela the housekeeper, Manuel the Gardener, Ernesto the Fruit Polisher, and Edwardo, Keeper of the Privy Stool.

You may be flogging a book in which you postulate that Hispanics are the future of America (as if! People from a manana culture who don't value education, the law, or hygiene, don't have a future, anywhere!), but I'm betting there's at least one Undocumented Domestic that you haven't paid Social Security taxes on somewhere in that vast expanse of mansion, which makes you a hypocrite.

For 40 years of making your fat-dumb-and-happy living off the misery of others, for being a total douche who believes that I actually want to see the interior of your luxurious domicile that puts the Kennedy Compound to utter shame, for believing that you are far more important to the history of the culture than you truly are, I nominate you, Geraldo Rivera, as Douchebag of the week.

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