Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera decided to offer somewhat of a defense of Matt Lauer from the sexual allegations made against him, and the internet did not appreciate his commentary.
Here’s what Geraldo said about Matt Lauer’s firing
Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 29, 2017
“Sad about [Matt Lauer,] great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me,” he tweeted.
“News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of [sex harassment allegations] may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation,” he added. “What about [Garrison Keillor?]”
Lauer had been fired Wednesday morning because of sexual harassment allegations that had been reported to NBC News. The details of the accusations were salacious and sensationalistic.
“A jerk’s a jerk in dating,” he added in another tweet. “[Sexual harassment] 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,” he concluded.
What was the reaction to Geraldo’s comment?
Commentators on social media thought his comment was bizarre and revealed more about him than it did about Matt Lauer.
Not sure having a remote door lock button on your office sex dungeon counts as "flirting" or "courtship" but you're the media professionalhttps://t.co/T6fi2qWed2
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 29, 2017
"courtship"– Is that what they're calling that these days? Give a woman flowers, hold open doors, whip your genitals out of your pants. https://t.co/txRxm3LNGp
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) November 30, 2017
Excuse me, Geraldo, dropping one's pants and sending a co-worker a sex toy is not courtship. https://t.co/ue5qnzCkVJ
— Caitlin Huey-Burns (@CHueyBurns) November 29, 2017
“I stand with Roger Ailes,” said Geraldo after Gretchen Carlson's allegations were first made public.
Also, I've been in the news game a long time. I've never once thought of it as "a flirty business," nor did I ever confuse predation with flirtation. https://t.co/ZHdejCnvZc
— Jay Bookman AJC (@jaybookmanajc) November 30, 2017
The inevitable apology
Rivera eventually apologized about 6 hours after the original tweet.
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
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 30, 2017