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Former Fox News contributor and regular co-host on “The Five” Geraldo Rivera has stunningly admitted that his former employer was right about dismissing him from the most popular show on cable news.
In an interview with liberal media-focused outlet Mediaite, Rivera — who quit Fox after he was removed from The Five — said it was a good “business decision” for the network.
“They made a very pragmatic decision, a business decision,” Rivera told Mediaite. “And it looks in retrospect that they made the right decision.”
He also addressed the oft-tense exchanges with his more conservative co-hosts.
“Was I satisfied with how Fox handled the tensions? No,” Rivera said. “The other cast members were perceived to be far more significant to the overall thrust of the program than I was. And so I became a kind of collateral damage. If you look at how well that program has done since I’ve left, if anything, back up. So I can’t say that they’ve made the wrong decision.”
“I should have left a long time ago,” Rivera noted further. “But for various reasons, not the least of which was my own insecurity about where I would end up, I stuck around and I stayed too long at the dance.”
Rivera recently went on “The View” to complain about some of his former on-air colleagues.
At one point during the interview, Rivera said he had a “very toxic” relationship with a former fellow co-host of “The Five,” but he didn’t name any names.
Though he didn’t identify anyone, Rivera’s departure came after sparring on-air for months with Greg Gutfeld, with the two often getting into shouting matches on the air.
The 79-year-old said while he never did fit in ideologically at Fox News, he said the network offered to move him to another show after it became apparent he could no longer do The Five. But he declined, saying he would not accept being demoted from the most popular cable news show on TV.
“If you fired me from the No. 1 show, then I’m going to quit. And that’s basically what happened,” Rivera said.
In what was obviously a reference to former co-host Jesse Watters, Joy Behar asked Rivera if the ‘toxic’ person was “Smeshy Shwaters.”
Rivera laughed that off, but he did not leave any doubt that the person he had problems with was male.
“I thought it was very unfair that I was not judged objectively in our disputes, but rather he was always favored,” he said.
When he was asked if the person was Judge Jeanine Pirro, Rivera said that he actually discovered her and adored her. “Check the internet,” he said.
At another point on the show, Rivera said he could “never forgive” Carlson for his exposes on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in which he surmised that there were federal agent provocateurs in the crowd that day.
Unlike Tucker Carlson, who was unceremoniously taken off the air in late April, Rivera got a nice on-air send-off that included cake and fellow Fox personalities donning fake mustaches — which angered a lot of Fox viewers.
The network celebrated him with a cake and a recap of his career during his final appearance on “Fox & Friends.” What set off some viewers was how he was feted, but former network star Carlson was simply taken off the air in April and was not given similar treatment. And since then, the network fired all the staff who worked on his show, which, according to former Fox News hosts, was very uncharacteristic.
“No party hats and balloons when Tucker left. What a crap organization,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“The greatest narcissist on TV retires. Good riddance!” wrote another.
“Geraldo gets a cake and Tucker gets his integrity,” said another user.
“Yuk.. Fox News honors Geraldo with a glowing tribute…. Yet Tucker and Bongino get the middle finger from FOX NEWS Right back at ya, Fox News!” wrote another user, adding a pair of middle fingers. “RIP Fox News.”