Fox News General Correspondent Gerardo Rivera, perhaps the network’s most eccentric and offbeat personality, he left Fox News after spending more than two decades with the network. His outing, however, was as peculiar as the views he shared while on Fox. “Hessy Day in the North Atlantic,” Rivera, who turns 80 next week, wrote in a Thursday tweet alongside a clip of him browsing. “Anyway, I got fired from (The five) so I quit Fox.”
He followed up that announcement with an appearance Friday morning on fox and friends which featured a tribute to Rivera’s long career. “I’m leaving Fox, my dear friends,” he said, again linking his decision to his departure from The five, a round table program during the day and the chain’s most watched offer. “But I want to leave without thinking about those things. I want to leave thinking about how wonderful everyone has been to me.”
Rivera further noted that it was his interest in war reporting after the 9/11 attacks that led him to join the network and stay there despite not being a perfect fit: “He established a relationship with Fox that people normally don’t. I would consider it a natural relationship. due to political ideologies and so on, me being more progressive than many of my colleagues, but it worked.”
Rivera’s younger brother will also leave the network on Friday. according to NPR David Folkenflik. The brothers joined Fox News at the same time, with Craig Rivera, 68, serving as his brother’s camera operator and producer.
While Geraldo Rivera’s uncharacteristic politics resulted in many on-air confrontations, with him often playing the role of Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, and Jesse Watters—the last couple of years have seen those incidents escalate, particularly in The five. He often traded insults with Greg Gutfield, the show’s main act, whom Rivera called an “insulting punk” last year. And in a 2021 segment related to that year’s Virginia gubernatorial race, Gutfeld accused Rivera of becoming “more angry about people not getting vaccinated than about a rapist.”
Like most in the mainstream media, Rivera fervently defended the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against right-wing anti-vaccine claims, leading to many of his most contentious debates on the show. But his staunch criticism of Israel even placed him to the left of most CNN and MSNBC hosts. In 2021, he went so far as to say that the Americans, through the billions in US military aid given to Israel, were complicit in the murder of Palestinian children. (At that point, Rivera was accused by a colleague of “repeating Hamas propaganda.”)
When the end of your role in The five was announced last week, Rivera acknowledged that “being weird isn’t always easy,” later telling the Associated Press that he felt “a growing tension that goes beyond editorial differences and personal annoyances and grievances.” In the AP interview, Rivera said it was his decision to leave. The five, despite the fact that he later tweeted that he had been “fired” from the show. Although he added in the interview that Fox Brass “didn’t run after me and say, ‘Geraldo, please come back.'” (In a Thursday statement to the Daily Beast, a Fox News spokesperson said: “We’ve come to an amicable conclusion with Geraldo over the past few weeks and look forward to celebrating tomorrow in…his last network appearance.”)
During his farewell on Friday, Rivera slipped in one more opinion sure to rankle the average Fox News viewer: Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action, he argued, will negatively affect many people of color seeking a higher education. Referring to his time on a Columbia School of Journalism show, Rivera explained that he “was a product of affirmative action more than half a century ago.”