May 19 2011

Spinster aunt temporarily icked out by stupid Geraldo Rivera column

Holy shit, remember that dude Geraldo Rivera? The edgy, muck-raking journalist from 40 years ago? But then he kind of turned into a supremely annoying one-man tabloid? I hadn’t seen him around lately, so I’d assumed he’d been sent off to Joke-Butt Island, where guys with 70s porn mustaches go to die, but no, he popped up in my news reader this morning with a column in Fox News Latino on professional throbbing-gristelian (rhymes with “Aristotelian”) Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rivera writes like a third-rate blogger. As a second-rate blogger, I ought to know.

His column is titled “Geraldo Rivera: Arnold’s Telenovela.” In it he enumerates the “three stereotypes [that] color her story.” By ‘her’ he means Mildred Baena, the woman who Schwarzenegger — who as you know is now at the center of a so-called “love child” scandal — exploited, pronged, and impregnated. Rivera calls Baena “Patty” or “The Mexican Maid!”

The “three stereotypes” involve Baena’s status as an immigrant menial whose sex appeal was irresistible to the powerful robot governor. Rivera fills in the narrative with colorful speculation.

Rivera’s main objective in the piece appears to be a takedown of Schwarzenegger (flecked, of course, with the admiration all dudes feel for other dudes who demonstrate in their sexploits “chutzpah, arrogance, narcissism, and cosmic balls”). He does, in fact, suggest that, if the title weren’t already held by John Edwards, Schwarzenegger would be “the creep of all time.” However, no journalist — and certainly no “journalist” — was ever able to resist depicting the victim of a famous sexual harasser as anything other than the essence of sex itself, and Rivera is no exception.

Using a writing style that is both lumpen and pulsating with tabloid idioms (“honey trap,” “uncontrolled sex machine”), he wastes no time in insulting Baena. I give you the first two sentences of the article:

Mildred Patricia Baena […] would never be mistaken for Salma Hayek; yet she has now become the country’s most prominent Latina, temporarily eclipsing even Shakira and JLo. Like Latina Raquel Welsh or Rita Hayworth in their time, she was irresistible, attracting the affection, loyalty and generosity of a big man, larger than life.

He then flips the misogyny switch from pornulation to sentimental maudlin mode. Not just a woman with “classic smoldering appeal,” Baena is also the essence of fantasy wifeliness: long-suffering, patient, self-sacrificing, loyal, will put out and do laundry, etc.

“To raise her son in the literal shadow of that swaggering man, keeping the truth of their child’s parentage secret for a time even from Arnold, required world-class love and trust.”

That’s right, Geraldo. She was his toilet; that always breeds world-class love and trust.

Kill me now.


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  1. ew_nc

    Geraldo Rivera could read the Scum Manifesto aloud and it would sound like a Penthouse letter. He is creepiness personified. It’s his very essence.

  2. Vivienne Grainger

    Men (she said with loathing). Well, certain thereof, anyway. You can’t shoot them, at least not without giving up years of your life to a justice system which is run by them.

    “Backflushing the genepool” isn’t a recognized legal defense, yet, but sometimes it does seem like the only realistic response to both Jerry Rivers (his real name, folks) and the ex-Gubernator.

  3. Sarah

    Geraldo’s been on Faux News for several years now, but since that kind of *is* Joke-Butt Island you weren’t that far off.

  4. Boner Killer

    The coverage of the whole scandal has been completely nuts! The portrayals of everyone involved are so damn typical of the American News Machine – Sympathy for that kid…yikes.

  5. Suzan

    Many years ago there was an intrepid Latino Journalist, slightly edgy and a vault that turned out to be a shark.

    The intrepid reporter got on the water skis anyhow saying, “Feh.. It is only a shark. Surely I can jump it…”

    And he did…

    The rest is history…

  6. AlienNumber

    Nothing Blame-worthy to add. Just: you are The first-class blogger of all time.

  7. yttik

    My theory is that there are currently several horrendous sexual assault cases going on, but they don’t cast men in a very good light. After the initial voyeurism, the patriarchy decided they need a self esteem booster so they can once again feel virile. Even the worst excuse for a human being doesn’t feel all powerful and macho reading about an AIDS stricken immigrant being sexually terrorized while trying to work her minimum wage job, like the IMF Chief brought to light. Arnold makes them all feel manly and good about themselves again. The Gropenator, the Sperminator, it’s just a big testosterone party. They’re going to bathe in Arnold’s glory until it has been wrung dry of the last drop, at which point they will finally end the story by blaming Maria.

  8. damequixote

    Geraldo. As if my day didn’t have enough XY idiocy in it. Thoughts of the overly moustached one (few and far between) bring back the memories of him in fist fights and usually losing badly. Remember the wildly white-tape-bandaged-nose after that one huge set brawl? Good times.

    After this takedown, dude needs more tape.

    Thanks, Twisty. Let ’em have it.

  9. Saurs

    Everything yttik and Jill said. This “story” provides dudes respite from more obvious recent examples of male exploitation of women by liberally stretching the known facts to fit the preferred bodice ripper narrative, complete with chest-heaving virile dude-in-charge, sexified Latina “Help,” and subsequent love child. Men – in their attempt to make this a testament to how cool Schwarzeneggar is, or whatever – are so fucking pathetic right now.

  10. cabochon

    “Joke-Butt Island, where guys with 70s porn mustaches go to die”

    Twisty, as anyone with discernment knows, you are inspired!

  11. DaisyDeadhead

    Did you know one of Geraldo’s ex-father-in-laws was Kurt Vonnegut? I think he’s always been somewhat intimidated by that and therefore tries to write… colorfully.


    (Tried to make that a Vonnegut-style take down)

  12. Sharky

    What really gets my goat is the way sexual assault and (presumably consensual) sex scandal news stories are reported using near identical language. The level of voyeurism and woman-blaming in both types of stories is fairly similar. Much of the reporting of the Strauss Kahn story has been particularly sickening in the way it conflates his earlier ‘womanising’ behaviour with the rape allegations. It’s like people genuinely can’t tell the difference.

  13. Eliza

    “Backflushing the genepool” as a recognized legal defense . . . too good not to be true. Alas.

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