Geraldo Rivera and Boomer Betrayal

Geraldo Rivera was once a lawyer for the Young Lords but as we all know that was a long time ago. For many years he has been a moderate commentator on CNBC and now plays a kind of Alan Colmes role of grin-and-bear-it liberal at the Ailes-Murdoch propaganda machine known as Fox News. The above is a video of how he was shouted down and harassed from the Occupy Wall Street site at Zuccotti Park on Sunday. Fox News of course richly deserves being silenced by any thinking person, even if it means shouting “Fox Lies” without interruption. This is because the technique of Fox News has been using for its 15-year existence is to shout down anything besides its jaundiced version of “objectivity.” So this means that if you choose to play the role of “reasoned observer” for a propaganda machine, you are essentially yielding any pretense of being a journalist. You are merely holding on to a job that will protect against the vicissitudes of post-retirement life, now the kind of desperate situation exacerbated by the very policies Occupy Wall Street is railing against.

I suppose you have to give Rivera credit for having Brother Tavis and Brother Cornell on as commentators, but Geraldo’s incessantly smug references to the protestors as unwashed, crazed cretins is classic boomer betrayal. This sort of dereliction of duty to give due credit to the movement era of US politics in the 1960s and ’70s is the root to the Bill Clinton travesty that gave us NAFTA, Larry Summers, and the bubble-driven rapacious economic engine that the Bushies ate for dessert. I don’t always agree with Todd Gitlin, who has it in for “identity politics,” but at least he had the guts to speak positively and sanely about anarchism and its potential to be a principle from which democracy can blossom. This might be the most intelligent thing I’ve seen written about OWS so far. And that’s because it’s written by someone who lived through the ’60s that hasn’t made his whole life out of denying that anything positive ever came out of it.

It’s hard not to look upon with at least deep skepticism, if not outright rejection, those who smirk at human social movements that created their opportunity in the first place. It is rank intellectual and moral dishonesty and becoming increasingly transparent.


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