OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A Fox News segment went nuclear this week when “The Five” cohost Geraldo Rivera butted heads with cohosts Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld on punishment for Border Patrol agents involved in an incident that made national headlines.
It started last September when Border Patrol agents were incorrectly accused of whipping Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas. The agents were exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing but they will still be disciplined for violating Department of Homeland Security policy.
It is not known what policy they violated or what the discipline to them is going to be, but it had the cast of “The Five” in a fierce debate.
“In terms of the Border Patrol,” Rivera argued, “this is, you must admit, when you look at this visual — put up a shot, put up any of the shots of that series —”
“No! No! That’s so wrong!” Perino said. “You’re a lawyer; how can you say this?”
“Yeah, you’re a lawyer!” Gutfeld said.
“You have four grown-ups, and they’re riding these big horses,” Rivera said. “And you got these people that just walked 5,000 miles risking everything, and now there are these big, macho guys —”
“Oh my God,” Perino argued.
“How would you handle it, Geraldo?” co-host Jesse Watters said.
“Big, macho guy? You can’t even give these guys a little — you know what? Because you can’t even apologize for being wrong on this,” Gutfeld shouted.
Rivera said that he is “delighted that they are not being criminally prosecuted,” but Gutfield responded, “No, you’re not. That’s not true!”
“Don’t tell me what I am feeling. You can have your opinion, but don’t have my opinion,” Rivera said. “I think this whole sorry chapter is better off in the rear view.”
“Because you’re wrong!” Gutfeld said. “Any time you’re wrong, you wish it would be in the rearview mirror, but no, it’s in the front view right now.”
But it was President Joe Biden who said that the Border Patrol agents would “pay” before he knew all of the facts and after only seeing a photo.
“You said on the campaign trail that you were going to restore the moral standing of the U.S., that you were going to immediately end Trump’s assault on the dignity of the immigrant communities.
“Given what we saw at the border this week, have you failed in that promise? And this is happening under your watch. Do you take responsibility for the chaos that’s unfolding?” a reporter said to the president on September 24, 2021.
“Of course I take responsibility. I’m President. But it was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous,” the president said.
“I promise you, those people will pay. They will be — an investigation is underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous; it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are. Thank you,” he said.
But months later National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said to The New York Post that Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Personal Responsibility had a 500-page report on the investigation and even as the agents did not commit any crimes they could still be fired.
“No one knows what’s in the report,” he said. “I don’t know what’s in it. As of yesterday afternoon, the chief of the Border Patrol didn’t know what’s in it.”
“I’ve never seen a 500-page report where no one did anything wrong,” he said.