Fox News anchor handed his ass in a sack by old-timer Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera (pretty much unknown in the UK - I only know him because of references in old Doonesbury strips) was on Fox & Friends this week, where President Obama was being criticised for standing under a picture of Yasser Arafat when addressing a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas. Rivera, not unreasonably, pointed out that the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner was viewed as a founding father by the Palestinians. (He actually got his years mixed up: Arafat - along with Israelis Peres and Rabin - won in 1994, while the 1993 prize was shared by F W De Klerk and that other renowned "terrorist" Nelson Mandela.) Brian Kilmeade called Arafat the "father of modern terrorism", and Rivera patiently pointed out that Menachem Begin (Nobel Peace Prize 1978) had already been given that title - presumably by my countrymen - when he bombed the King David Hotel (which still holds the record for the greatest loss of life in a terrorist attack in the history of Israel/Palestine). When Rivera went on to say that Arafat was viewed by his countrymen as a heroic figure like George Washington, Kilmeade's head exploded. Obviously the idea that people labelled "terrorists" by the people they are fighting against tend to go on to become "heroes" when they are successful (Mandela, Begin, Washington, Guevara, McGuinness) was utterly beyond his limited cognition.
Obviously beyond the brains of Sean Hannity and Rudy "9/11...9/11...9/11" Giuliani too. But then, what isn't? Giuliani accuses Arafat of being a thief, which were Arafat not dead might have been an expensive piece of speculation: it's pretty certain that he turned a blind eye to corruption but so far I haven't seen any credible evidence that he personally stole from his people (which doesn't mean he didn't, of course). There are plenty of politicians who have done as much.
It amuses me that the report from Mediaite was headed Geraldo struggles to defend Palestinian "George Washington". It doesn't appear to me that Geraldo struggled at all: it was Kilmeade who had trouble keeping up.
Of course, the right-wing blogosphere has gone nuts over the Washington-Arafat comparison. I'll let you do your own browsing: score double points for the ones which feel it necessary to mention that Rivera is half-Jewish.
And let us remind ourselves of another historical figure. A "freedom fighter" who was captured, tried both for treason and for the indscriminate killing of civilians, and executed (suffering first the indignities of half-hanging, castration and evisceration, and later that of being portrayed on screen by Mel Gibson).