Fox News viewers aren’t unaccustomed to seeing Shepard Smith actively rail against his cable news’ network’s talking points, but a more unexpected development occurred on Monday’s edition of The Five when Geraldo Rivera followed suit. The former issuer of troop coordinates went head-to-head with former Bill O’Reilly stooge Jesse Watters on the ever-controversial subject of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The discussion grew even uglier when Watters faux-chided Rivera as “racist” for calling himself the “designated piñata” of the conservative channel before accusing the Trump administration of treating migrants like the titular walkers from AMC’s The Walking Dead.
In particular, Rivera (who appears to be railing against Fox News’ coverage as well) stated that he’s “ashamed” of how the U.S. has been confronting the migrants, and as of this week, these tactics have included the tear gassing of a group that reportedly included children. Watters had already begun his portion of the discussion by criticizing other news networks’ coverage of the story and railing against the migrants, but Rivera dismissed his colleague’s approach and insisted that the atrocity is real:
“This goes to my soul. Fulfilling my role as the designated piñata on Fox News, I wanna say I am ashamed. The tear gas choked me. We treat these people — these economic refugees — as if they’re zombies from The Walking Dead! We arrested 42 people, eight of them were women with children! We have to deal with this problem humanely and with compassion. These are not invaders. Stop using these military analogies. This is absolutely painful to watch!”
President Trump has defended the use of gassing while insisting that only “very safe” tear gas was deployed, but Rivera is appalled by what he’s seeing. Further — and against Trump’s own characterization of Mexicans as rapists and murderers — Rivera has had enough of that rhetoric and (attempted to) inform Watters of the non-sinister reasons why migrants are fleeing to the U.S.:
“We are a nation of immigrants. These are desperate people. They walked 2,000 miles. Why? Because they want to rape your daughter or steal your lunch? No. Because they want a job! They want to fill the millions of unfilled jobs we have in the agricultural sector. They want to wash dishes in the restaurants. They wanna deliver the pizzas. For goodness sake! We suspend our humanity when it comes to this issue, and I fear that it is because they look different than the mainstream.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Geraldo Rivera may be going rogue.