As Matt Lauer’s ouster demonstrated, the great Hollywood-media-politics sex harassment shakeout isn’t anywhere near over. One character quite a few of us have been waiting for revelations on has been Jerry Rivers, who in a desire to show himself as more Latino than thou now calls himself Geraldo Rivera. And sure enough, the clock has been ticking.
The most oafish, oleaginous, left-wing, and self-aggrandizing one of them all is hard to imagine as a gentleman around the ladies. Yet it was downright odd that he wasn’t one of the first to topple among the media group, along with Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, Leon Wieseltier, Jann Wenner, Michael Oreskes, Glenn Thrush, Lockhart Steele, Hamilton Fish, Matt Zimmerman, a bunch of BuzzFeed guys, and quite a few other leading lights of the mainstream media.
Geraldo has sex harassment written all over him.
And well, yes, the suspicion turned out to have been probably true. Stage diva Bette Midler has come out and accused Rivers of drugging her and groping her years ago and not apologizing for it. Or rather, reminded, given that Rivers brazenly admitted the act himself in one of his memoirs. That makes Rivers a sex-harasser like the rest of them, and probably on the worse end of the spectrum, given that the act involved coercion, not just personal grossness.
Imagine carrying that around with you for decades, the knowledge that this self-loving TV personality was the type of guy who’d drug and grope and walk off thinking you were just a Barbie doll and the act didn’t matter. Pretty disgusting, isn’t it?
Rivera was last seen defending sex-harasser Matt Lauer. Perhaps now he can start answering some questions about what women who have come forward are saying about him. Based on Midler’s account, he doesn’t sound much better than Lauer.
The sex-harassment shakeout has a long, long way to go for the media bigs. The clock is ticking on Rivera, one of its least worthy members.