FNC's Geraldo Rivera on Accusations About His Katrina Reporting

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 6, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal Story" segment tonight, the New York Times (search) has traditionally been a journalistic leader in this country. But over the past few years, the paper has turned into a pamphlet for the secular left. And that has tainted its hard news reportage.

Yesterday Times columnist Alessandra Stanley (search), a committed liberal, wrote, "Fox's Geraldo Rivera (search) did his rivals one better he nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety."

One problem. It never happened. With us now is Geraldo Rivera.

You know, it's so easy to get you or me on what we do and say legitimately. This is what I never understand at this newspaper, OK? I mean, you're a passionate guy. You get emotionally involved with the story. I'm controversial. Get us on what we do.

But actually lying, making up, fabricating, as Ms. Stanley did, and the tapes prove it. And then we presented, FOX News presented the New York Times with the evidence. Still wouldn't retract. How do — what do you make of this?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I think Alessandra Stanley is the Jayson Blair (search) of the style section. I think that she doesn't care whether it's factual or not. We're very - we're out there. We're easily criticized. They have an institutional, ideological mindset, kind of the country club of journalism.

And if you're not in the club, then you're outside. I always used to say that Bill Moyers (search) is one of their favorites. And I like the guy, he's a good guy, excellent journalist, that he could urinate on a tree and the New York Times would write how elegantly Bill Moyers urinated on the tree.

I could get an interview with Jesus Christ returning to earth, and the New York Times would say I was either too soft on him, or too hard on him, too chummy with him. You know it's the in crowd and the out crowd.

O'REILLY: But this is particularly vicious.

RIVERA: It's not liberalism. It's a cultural snobbery more than...

O'REILLY: Maybe, but I think there's more to it than this. Because you've been around for 35 years in this business. This is a tremendously emotional story. People are living and dying.

RIVERA: It's horrible.

O'REILLY: People are living and dying, OK?

RIVERA: It's a nightmare.

O'REILLY: So you're out there in the middle of this, all right. And you are helping a woman — let's roll the tape. You are helping a woman in a wheelchair.

RIVERA: We rescued a lot of.

O'REILLY: Right, which any reporter would do. All right, any reporter would do this because you can report and help at the same time.

RIVERA: All right, here's the Air Force guy. That's Mark Anthony there.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: He's the minder.


RIVERA: So the Air Force guy just asked Mark Anthony if he wanted him to take him the rest of the way. That's Mark - that's not me. I'm on the upside of the wheelchair. I was never anywhere near the wheelchair.

O'REILLY: We can tell by the tattoo.

RIVERA: Yes. We showed them the tape.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: And that's the guy she knows. Mark Anthony is the guy the old lady knows.


RIVERA: These are retired nuns.

O'REILLY: But here's what I'm trying to get at.

RIVERA: She's just lied. I see the tape and it makes me so angry.

O'REILLY: By writing.

RIVERA: (INAUDIBLE) righteous hypocrites.

O'REILLY: By writing that about you, for people who didn't see this — and everybody — most people watch FOX News, but not everybody.

RIVERA: Five times more than what (INAUDIBLE).

O'REILLY: She basically puts you in a position where you're exploiting a woman's horror for your own self-aggrandizement. You know, I would think about suing her if I were you.

RIVERA: Oh, tomorrow we're sending the legal letter. My attorney Leo Kaiser, III, we drafted it today. And our media relations person asked that we wait until 5:00pm to see whether again they'll give us the retraction or the correction. They did not.

In their arrogance, they defy the facts. Ladies and gentlemen, know that — here is how I define their newspaper in many regards. I've been shoulder to shoulder with a lot of their war correspondents.

O'REILLY: Yes, we all know they.

RIVERA: They're terrific. But they are so arrogant that they feel now that their crap doesn't stink. You know, to use my second human waste metaphor tonight. But that's what it is. They have that kind of snobbery that they just don't care.

O'REILLY: Well, they all.

RIVERA: And when confronted with the evidence, to still defy the truth is really pathetic.

O'REILLY: They also try to undermine FOX News and any — and marginalize us any way they can. And they.

RIVERA: But look, when your book was number one, you had three number one bestsellers. Did they ever review you?


RIVERA: They never gave you a review. Their writers could write a half book no — about anything, you know. Gaelic as spoken in ancient Ireland in 612. And they get a full-page review.

Because they control the media in the world media center. They have a feeling that they can do anything. And since Jayson Blair, I believe that that building on 43rd Street is rife with fiefdoms. I don't believe that there's anyone in charge over there.


RIVERA: If you're a big reporter with a big byline like Alessandra Stanley, you can say anything and your editor's going to be afraid to — but I want people when they see Alessandra and the cocktail party, I want them to remember what Geraldo said. That that's Jayson Blair in a cocktail dress. That's the Jayson Blair of the...

O'REILLY: Well, there's something extremely wrong over at that New York Times Company.

RIVERA: Let me just say that.

O'REILLY: One more, go ahead.

RIVERA: Clarita and Dusty, the dog, are doing great. You know, I've gotten hundreds of e-mails about Clarita, one of the women we rescued.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: She is in.

O'REILLY: There's Dusty, right?

RIVERA: You know, there's Dusty.

O'REILLY: You know, I have to say, though, I thought Dusty was going to poop on you.

RIVERA: But believe me, Dusty did. I wasn't going to report that, but you're an investigative journalist. So you could.

O'REILLY: Now she could have got you on that.


RIVERA: Dusty poop.

O'REILLY: And then you couldn't have said anything.

RIVERA: And she's in a shelter run by the 4-H Club (search).

O'REILLY: You did a nice job down there.

RIVERA: Thank you.

O'REILLY: You're a passionate guy. Some people like it, some people don't. That's OK.

RIVERA: I am what I am.

O'REILLY: Right. But don't lie about us at the New York Times. And don't attack us personally. And every time you do, Geraldo and I are going to come to your house. And you don't want that.

RIVERA: We're coming.

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