Stephen Elliott and Geraldo!

I got to know Stephen when I lived in San Francisco and was at Stanford. In fact, I did a reading with him which was televised on C-SPAN's BookTV a number of times. (You can buy the dvd here but you've got to hunt for it.)

Anyway, Stephen is reporting on the katrina aftermath for Salon, and while I was browsing today, I came across this little anecdote. Geraldo Rivera got a lot of applause from the left blogosphere the other day for his impassioned reporting from New Orleans, as did Shepard Smith. Now I don't know if Smith was putting on an act, but according to Stephen, Geraldo sure as hell was.

Geraldo Rivera arrives in a Fox News truck. An elderly woman with blond hair grips his elbow. She's wearing thick dark glasses and a pink shirt. He carries her small white dog in his arms. He's wearing thigh-high waders unzipped to below his knees. We shake hands. "Her relative called one of our stations," Geraldo tells me, explaining how that call went to another station, and then another, and finally to him.

The woman had been stranded in her home for six days. Geraldo picked up the woman and her dog and brought them here. The woman looks frail on his arm, though not as bad perhaps as a lady collapsed on a chair nearby, unable to move. Or a woman in a wheelchair being lifted from the truck, carrying her prosthetic leg on her lap.

"That's the second time he brought her here," one of the doctors tells me, nodding toward Geraldo.


"They did two takes. Geraldo made that poor woman walk from the Fox News van to the heliport twice. Both times carrying her dog."

"Are you serious?" I ask. He says he is.

Here's the hero in action.

I should have known better.

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