December 26, 2001
8:57 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes, often even, life imitates art. Rarely is it as spot-on as this example. Recall if you will, actor Robert Downey's character in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. Compare Downey's character to this photo.
Now, try not to laugh.
No, really. Be serious, because this picture pretty much sums up everything thats gone wrong with modern journalism (and does so without even so much as a caption).
posted by BentPenguin (17 comments total)
For those of us who aren't exactly following what you're trying to say, perhaps you could explain a little bit more clearly....
posted by skwm at 9:03 AM on December 26, 2001

Be serious, because this picture pretty much sums up everything thats gone wrong with modern journalism

I disagree, I don't think it says much about what's wrong with "modern journalism" at all ... Geraldo is reviled not only by the "elite" press (NY Times, NPR, etc) but even by the run-of-the-mill press (CNN, etc) -- he's a tabloid sideshow in Afghanistan, and NO ONE takes him seriously.

The problems with journalism, whatever they may be, have nothing to do with that, IMO. It's like holding up a NY Post and saying "this is what's wrong with newspapers!"

He should be ignored, he's offered to resign if a panel finds he is guilty of misconduct. Let's all hope he does.
posted by malphigian at 9:05 AM on December 26, 2001

Geraldo is about as representative of American journalists as Jerry Falwell is representative of American Christians.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:16 AM on December 26, 2001

But Geraldo may be representative of Fox News...
posted by mrbula at 9:26 AM on December 26, 2001

Geraldo will never quite become the larger-than-life character he aspires to be. But at least he's out there, willing to make a fool of himself for our entertainment. Over the course of his very long career, he could have easily settled in as some network's pet Hispanic (I know -- his real name is Jerry Rivers), reading the evening news, murmuring pieties and accumulating land in Montana. But he's "out there," having adventures, meeting girls, being talked about. I can't bear him myself, but his biography will make fascinating reading for our grandchildren.
posted by Faze at 9:27 AM on December 26, 2001

as an aside, the sf chronicle used this picture in an original article by one of their television critics. it contains another humorous picture of geraldo. i can only imagine what the guy in the background is saying. "hey, head up there, some of my buddies up on that ridge still haven't seen your ridiculous outfit, complete with cell phone holster."
posted by complex at 9:41 AM on December 26, 2001

[A]t least he's out there, willing to make a fool of himself for our entertainment.

Speaking of which, here's what America's favorite tomb raider had to say about Baltimore Sun television writer David Folkenflik, the man who first reported Geraldo's "honest mistake":

"[He] has slandered a journalist who is an honest person and has contributed arguably much more to American society than he has. This cannot stand. He has impugned my honor. It is as if he slapped me in the face and challenged me to a duel. He is going to regret this story for the rest of his career."

Read it for yourself (first item).
posted by KLAX at 10:00 AM on December 26, 2001

OK OK so maybe it doesn't sum up everything wrong in broadcast journalism. It fails to address a certain self-important CBS anchor, news interviewers who toss softball interviews to scandalized congressmen and the dreaded fx of the 24 hour news cycle.

But is it really that far out of orbit from the sordid business of news delivery has become as to be anomolous to the above problems?
posted by BentPenguin at 10:00 AM on December 26, 2001

Defining 'news' is like defining 'rock and roll': it is a shape shifting part of society without a higher authority to keep slapping it back into some historical mold. That being said, do not be shocked that news became entertainment, because rather than being agenda driven, mainstream news is driven by advertising revenue.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:18 AM on December 26, 2001

Every time I see Rivera, I remember The Scrapple in the Apple.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:43 AM on December 26, 2001

Ha ha ha, a goofy photo of Geraldo! Guess THAT proves it all! He he he, here's a goofy picture of another guy I dislike...he he, guess that shows everything anyone needs to 'know' about him!..wink, wink, nudge, nudge, giggle, giggle, snort, snort...HELP! I got cheerios coming out my nose!'s another goofy photo of some figure I disagree with...HA HA...THIS IS A HOOT! Proves all my points, though, that's for sure.
posted by HTuttle at 12:00 PM on December 26, 2001

Dan Kennedy's column, "Tough Times for the Punditocracy," makes a good distinction between journalists and pundits/personalities. Reporters tell the story, pundits pontificate. Geraldo stopped being a journalist long, long ago. Kennedy concludes: "What we need now are information, insight, and informed analysis — and the media as a whole, to their credit, are giving us quite a bit. What we don't need need are pundits who breezily spout off about matters of which they later admit they know nothing." [Romanesko]
posted by Carol Anne at 12:53 PM on December 26, 2001

willing to make a fool of himself

malphigian, I think the guy is simply a fool who is too caught up in the whole "I have a camera, therefore I am" world. OK, if that is his thing, so be it. At the same time, I do not accept it. I do not accept his self serving attempts at so-called journalism. Geraldo is one of the reasons that I gave away my tv for christmas. (And mind you, it was one big ass TV!) I just have had it with these so-called journalists.

I do not have time in my world for people like him.

The question that kept coming through my mind was:"What was I getting from all these news reports?" the answer: nuttin honey.

Bent, I am with you on the link....the image is spot on. I wish the G man would look at it and get a clue.
posted by dataport72 at 9:59 PM on December 26, 2001

Now, try not to laugh.
Tried, failed. Thanks for the post, BentPenguin.
posted by Holden at 3:33 AM on December 27, 2001

This is why I stopped watching American news broadcasts!
Thanx BentPenguin for reminding me why.
posted by mantaray at 8:34 AM on December 27, 2001

try this: it's not "journalism" it's "infotainment" in which Rivera's engaged.

Which is the real problem in any of this, 'cause "Journalism" in its current use defines everything from the obit writer at the Weekly Fleegle to Katy Couric. And really, if Eskimos can have so many words for snow, than in these modern times of white-noise information production don't we need better break-downs for those under the journalism umbrella?

So yeah, Rivera and his ilk are in the infotainment biz, which is not journalism, and should not be mistaken for such.
posted by Elvis at 1:52 PM on December 27, 2001

HTuttle fills me with shame.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:45 PM on December 28, 2001

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