By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
12:19 PM EDT, April 27, 2013
Question: What could be wilder and stranger than the story this week of Black Guerrilla Family members essentially running the Baltimore City Detention Center for their own fun and profit?
Answer: Fox News "reporting" on the story this week of Black Guerrilla Family members essentially running the Baltimore City Detention Center for their own fun and profit.
Friday night, Bill O'Reilly brought Geraldo Rivera onto his prime-time show for a segment titled on the Fox website as "Geraldo investigates an outrageous prison situation."
Geraldo "investigates"? Are you kidding me?
The incredible charges of gang leader Tavon White impregnating female guards, running drugs and enforcing discipline while turning the Baltimore prison into a Black Guerrilla stronghold were the product of a federal investigation. And the indictment based on those allegations was released and widely reported early this week.
The Baltimore Sun has been doing its own excellent reporting in the wake of a federal indictment alleging that 25 people, including corrections officers, were involved in a smuggling scheme. Check out the latest report with an outstanding graphic showing the various players inside the facility.
But based on what he offered during his five minutes on O'Reilly's show Friday night, it looks like the sum total of Rivera's investigation consisted of him clicking the print button on his computer in New York to print out the indictment that everyone else who had been covering the story all week had already reported days ago.
Really, even by Rivera's history as a hot dog and phony, this might be a new low.
Watch the video of the segment, and you tell me why I shouldn't call O'Reilly and Rivera a couple of pathetic poseurs.
And check out how far O'Reilly, whom I used to think of as a master of the 24/7 news-talk genre, has fallen. I don't know if he's grown older and lost his keen political edge the last two years or he simply has started to sink to the level of some of his worst guests like Rivera.
I love the way he and Rivera act like no one else has been covering this story and it is up to them to enforce accountability on Maryland Public Safety Secretary Gary D. Maynard and Gov. Martin O'Malley.
"I'm going to demand right now, Gary Maynard be fired," O'Reilly said. "If he isn't, we're going to deal with O'Malley... He [Maynard] should have resigned anyway. In Japan, he probably would have to commit suicide."
Yes, that's what O'Reilly said. But he wasn't done with his gas-bag bluster yet.
"If O'Malley doesn't fire him, it's on O'Malley," he added saying that he and Rivera would enforce accountability if no one else was going to do it.
Who can take this kind of madness on a Friday night at the end of a long week? If it isn't Sean Hannity and Dr. Ben Carson, it's O'Reilly and Rivera doing their conservative cabaret act.
And for that final touch of crazy-right-wing-TV-theater, there's Rivera holding some paper (it looks like the indictment everyone had already explored days ago) up to the camera like Joe McCarthy once infamously did saying he had a list in his hand with the names of State Department employees who are Communists.
Maybe not poseurs -- just clowns.
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