LA Times Critic: Geraldo Rivera at Katrina Was Like a "Vulture on Crystal Meth"

Los Angeles Times' media critic Tim Rutten has long had a somewhat troubled relationship with reality (for just a few examples, see here, here, and here). He also has never been shy about letting his liberal political views get in the way of doing what he actually should be doing: Analyzing the media in a fair and objective way.

However, his liberal slams on conservative media reached a new low in his weekly column, "It's hard to feel bad for Geraldo" (Sat. Sept. 17, 2005) (reg. req'd), which begins as follows (emphasis mine):

"IT would be comforting to believe that Geraldo Rivera is inexplicable.

"Sadly, when we consider Rupert Murdoch's ceaseless schemes for global domination and the venal blood lust that pulses through Fox News, Geraldo is easy to explain — which makes him simply inexcusable.

"Seeing him descend bright-eyed and sweaty on wretched New Orleans, as he did in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, was like watching a vulture on crystal meth. The word that came to mind was not 'reporting,' but 'feeding.'"

"Ceaseless schemes for global domination"? "Venal blood lust"? Vultures on crystal meth? Is Rutten talking about a television network or a murderous, communist dictatorship?

And that was just the beginning of the article!

Rutten's article then relays Geraldo's ongoing battle with the New York Times surrounding critic Alessandra Stanley's apparently false claim that Rivera "nudged" a rescue worker in order to capture video footage. Rutten's conclusion? Well, Geraldo has had a couple troublesome episodes with reporting in his own history, so he basically deserves Stanley's smear. Nice, eh? Then, in a laughable example of hypocrisy, Rutten lectures his readers on the utmost importance of "a critic's credibility." Puh-leeze.

It's nearly impossible to imagine Rutten taking such a cynical and mean-spirited approach towards CNN or any other news network. (For example, can you imagine?: "Sadly, when we consider Ted Turner's ceaseless schemes for global domination and the venal blood lust that pulses through CNN, Anderson Cooper is easy to explain — [it] was like watching a vulture on crystal meth." Uh-uh. It would never happen.)

Los Angeles Times Tim Rutten