Geraldo Wrestles the "Old Gray Lady"

Don’t Hold Your Breath, FOX News Brit Hume told Geraldo in his “Grapevine” segment on Wednesday. The New York Times writer who defamed him has made at least 50 corrections in the last 4 years,… but the “Old Gray Lady” is standing firm against Geraldo!

The New York Times still won’t correct TV critic Alessandra Stanley’s (search) accusation that FOX correspondent Geraldo Rivera “nudged” an Air Force rescuer in Louisiana, despite video evidence to the contrary. But the Times has often corrected Stanley in the past, including one of every seven columns over the last year, and at least 50 corrections in the last 4 years.

In October, Stanley wrongly attributed a comment by FOX contributor Ceci Connolly to Fred Barnes. And in January 2004, after Stanley incorrectly identified the late admiral James Stockdale, the Times wrote, “The admiral ran as an independent in 1992 with Ross Perot, not as a Republican in 1996 with John McCain.”

Geraldo and the “Old Gray Lady” are still going at it!

Geraldo Rivera was attacked by New York Times fashion columnist Alessandra Stanley for saving old ladies in wheel chairs in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina coverage. Geraldo is pictured above in another rescue of a New Orleans woman and her poodle.

I reported on this story last week after Geraldo appeared on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.”



(This Factor segment aired on Tuesday September 6, 2005)

Here is what was printed in the New York Times on Sunday, September 4, 2005, about Geraldo:

Some reporters helped stranded victims because no police officers or rescue workers were around. (Fox’s Geraldo Rivera did his rivals one better: yesterday, he nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety.)

The story refuses to go away…

On Thursday September 8, 2005, the New York Times responded:

The New York Times has refused to correct, much less retract, a claim by TV critic Alessandra Stanley (search) that FOXs own Geraldo Rivera forced himself into a New Orleans rescue for dramatic effect. Stanley reported that Geraldo “nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety.”

But this video, on which Stanley says she based her report, shows the serviceman in question moving around to the front end of the wheelchair so Geraldo could help him lift the woman down the stairs. Still, a spokesman for the Times now says, “Several editors here have reviewed the tape and we feel comfortable that Alessandra described the scene accurately.”

Finally, on Monday the story ran in the Chicago Tribune and Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post stepped in the ring and defended Geraldo:

In his Monday column on the front page of the Style section, Kurtz writes that “a review of the videotape shows no nudging or other physical contact by Rivera. At a nursing home, Rivera and a staffer are shown lifting the woman’s wheelchair down an interior flight of stairs. Then one Air Force man takes the wheelchair and a second one comes into the picture, looking as though he is going to help carry the elderly woman down the outside stairs. The second Air Force man leaves the picture and Rivera reappears, helping the first airman carry the wheelchair outside as the camera rolled.”

He then quotes New York Times Editor Bill Keller: “It was a semi-close call, in that the video does not literally show how Mr. Rivera insinuated himself between the wheelchair-bound storm victim and the Air Force rescuers who were waiting to carry her from the building. Whether Mr. Rivera gently edged the airman out of the way with an elbow (literally ‘nudged’), or told him to step aside, or threw a body block, or just barged into an opening — it’s hard to tell, since it happened just off-camera. Frankly, given Mr. Rivera’s behavior since Ms. Stanley’s review appeared … Ms. Stanley would have been justified in assuming brute force. … Ms. Stanley’s point was that Mr. Rivera was showboating.”

But Kurtz concludes: “Still, the tape shows no nudging, so the refusal to even run a clarification gives Rivera free rein to call the paper ‘arrogant.'”

Update: (September 16, AM) Geraldo says he will sue the New York Times if this matter does not get cleared up.

An angry Rivera said the New York Times has an “arrogance, an institutional arrogance that somehow prohibits them from admitting their mistake. The fact that they refuse to correct it is arrogance, it’s an anti-Fox bias.”

Rivera’s lawyer has asked the Old Gray Lady to review the matter again, and Rivera insists he’ll sue if he doesn’t get his correction.

He declared: “They’re going to have to live with this fight.”

Update 2: (Friday, September 16, 7:20 PM) Geraldo was back on “The Factor” tonight to talk about the New York Times story written about him. Geraldo called the NYT an arrogant outfit. He is still looking for an apology from the Old Gray Lady.

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