Geraldo Rivera Defends Matt Lauer's Firing: ''The News Is Flirty Business''

Newsman sparks outrage when he goes on a rant, calling former Today show host a "real gentleman"

By Meg Swertlow Nov 30, 2017 3:18 AMTags

Geraldo Rivera just got himself into a world of Internet trouble—and now he's apologizing for it.

Hours after Matt Lauer's firing from NBC News over inappropriate sexual behavior, Rivera hopped on social media and caused quite a stir with a tirade of ill-timed tweets, defending the former Today show host, calling the news "flirty business" and stating that women were coming forward to "get even with bad bosses."

Hours after his tweet rant, Rivera apologized, "Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden-Harassers are deviants who deserve what is coming to them-Often victims are too frightened to come forward in a timely fashion-I humbly apologize."

The tweet storm began earlier in the day when the 74-year-old defended his pal on Twitter, writing, "Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me."

He definitely got people's attention when he added, "News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?"

The onslaught of tweets got a huge reaction from commenters, many calling out Rivera on his own shady past.

A user @unimpressedTexas wrote, "Geraldo, I suggest male commentators take a break from speaking on sexual harassment of women for a while."

D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra. Andrew Eccles/NBC.

The controversial newsman continued the outrage when he tweeted what he believed sexual harassment should be, "#SexHarassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim's employment. Shouldn't be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex's."

Twitter user @JUANLAUGHINGATU was not a fan of the tweet and commented, "You Scared Rivera ? Are You Sitting There Thinking About If You Are Next ?"

He kept the rant going when he wrote of his displeasure at the idea what morning talk shows should be all women: "Heard well-regarded women in media today suggesting morning shows go to an all-female format. That should be as unacceptably retro as the other way around."

The New Yorker kept 'em coming: "#SexHarassment allegations should require: 1-made in a timely fashion-say w/n 5 yrs. 2-some contemporaneous corroboration, like witnesses, electronic or written communications. W $ settlements in multi-millions slight chance exists some victims are motivated by more than justice."

User @KrangTNelson joked,"he said, whistling and darting his eyes around nervously."

The former host of The Geraldo Rivera show kept the storm ranging when he seemingly defended his "news is flirty business" and wrote, "This issue is so red hot right now there is no room for any thought or opinion but hang em high. If News wasn’t (formerly) a flirty biz then how do we explain so many newsroom courtships that have led to happy marriages?"

Twitter user @Guinz reacted to his comment, "You've been married five times. Shut it."

Previously, Rivera defended disgraced former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in 2016 when he wrote a similar tweet: "I've known him 40 years. He's about as flirty as the grizzly in #TheRevenant. I stand with Roger Ailes."

A Fox News representative responded to Rivera's comments in statement given to Business Insider: "Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him."

What do you think of the Geraldo's comments? Sound off!