OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Fox News contributor and co-host Geraldo Rivera had nothing but high praise for Fox Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch during an appearance on CNN last week after Murdoch announced he was turning over control of the company to son Lachlan Murdon.
Asked by host Laura Coates about his reaction to Rupert stepping down, Rivera — who left Fox News in July reportedly following an argument with late-night host and co-host of “The Five” Greg Gutfeld — had good things to say about his former boss.
“Well, he’s the founding father, not just of Fox News, but of a media empire that has made him one of the richest people on Earth. He’s a genius, I think,” Rivera said. “His great discovery is that half the people in the English-speaking world feel that they are ignored by the mainstream media on issues like abortion, immigration, gun reform, and climate change. He discovered that, he created this empire to serve that population, it has served him well.”
Continuing, Rivera noted that while Murdoch “got jammed up in that whole Dominion stuff,” a reference to Fox News’ recent defamation settlement with the voting machine company, he added that the former CEO has “always been nice to me, kind to me, generous.”
“When they cut my salary in half, when they had the big cut back before the pandemic, I went up to say, I said, ‘Hey boss, this is not right. I went into combat for you and this and that,’ and he called downstairs, and he said, ‘Okay, restore part of that cut.’ So, I see him as a good boss. A vibrant, charismatic guy, still full of verve and energy at 92 years old,” he said, noting that Murdoch also “surrounded himself with brilliant people.”
He then argued:
I think it does a disservice to think that it was all sleazy kind of opportunism, because I don’t believe that he believed that. I believe that he was sincerely motivated. He could have, for example, when Fox News was being created, gone the way of other Fox syndicated programs like A Current Affair and gone tabloid and celebrities and all that TMZ kind of stuff.
Instead, he went to serve a conservative audience, and while I disagree with almost everything in all of their positions, the majority of talent at Fox News, I appreciate the fact that half the people believe, for example, that abortion is a moral wrong, or that gun rights are absolute, or that immigration is bad, or that the climate is not changing. They’re very skeptical about that. So, you know, those are people who deserve to have their media.
Shortly after leaving Fox, Rivera went on ABC’s “The View” to complain about some of his former on-air colleagues.
At one point during the interview, Rivera said he had a “very toxic” relationship with a former fellow co-host of “The Five,” but he didn’t name any names. Unlike Tucker Carlson, who was unceremoniously taken off the air in late April, Rivera got a nice on-air send-off that included cake and fellow Fox personalities donning fake mustaches.
Though he didn’t identify anyone, Rivera’s departure came after sparring on-air for months with Gutfeld, with the two often getting into shouting matches on the air.
The 79-year-old said while he never did fit in ideologically at Fox News, he said the network offered to move him to another show after it became apparent he could no longer do The Five. But he declined, saying he would not accept being demoted from the most popular cable news show on TV.
“If you fired me from the No. 1 show, then I’m going to quit. And that’s basically what happened,” Rivera said.