Geraldo Rivera called out his own network, Fox News, for putting “spin” on its coverage of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ death — by emphasizing the alleged killer’s illegal immigration status.
“I know that most of the Fox audience disagrees with me, but I’m begging you to have compassion and not brand this entire population by the deeds of this one person,” Rivera told host Martha MacCallum during a Thursday night interview.
“We, at this network, are putting that spin on this story,” he added. “This is a murder story. It’s not an immigration story.”
Rick Rahn, special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, told reporters this week that the feds were able to confirm that Cristhian Rivera, 24, who has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying, is an undocumented immigrant.
However, his attorney, Allan Richards, claims his client is a Mexican immigrant living in the US legally, but has yet to provide any evidence to prove this.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had earlier railed against the Democrats as well as the media — including Geraldo Rivera — even blaming them, in part, for Tibbetts’ death.
“The CNNs, the MSNBCs, most of the print media in this country and the Democrats — they are all accomplices in the death of this young girl and the death of everyone else,” Patrick said Thursday morning on Fox News. “And even Geraldo Rivera. … I saw him on Fox saying, ‘I feel badly about this, but — .’ There is no ‘but,’ and I’ll be happy to debate Geraldo Rivera any time, any place, anywhere on this issue.”
Geraldo Rivera snapped back in the evening interview: “To be called by that bottom-feeding politician an accomplice to this young lady’s murder, that’s something I cannot abide.”
“He is stereotyping 11 million people in our country here without documentation,” he added. “They care for our babies, they mow our lawns, they wash our dishes, they pick our fruit, they pack our meat, they process our poultry.”
MacCallum argued back, urging Rivera to “put [himself] in Mollie Tibbetts’ family’s shoes right now.”
“It’s bad enough to learn that someone who was living and working in your neighborhood murdered your beautiful daughter,” she said. “It’s worse when you find out that they crossed the border illegally, that they’re not even supposed to be in the country.”
But Rivera insisted that the family has “gone out of their way” to stop the politicizing of the case.
“Please remember, evil comes in EVERY color,” Billie Jo Calderwood wrote Tuesday night on Facebook, alongside a black-and-white photo of her 20-year-old niece Mollie Tibbetts. “Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support throughout this entire ordeal by friends for all different nations and races. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Tibbetts’ body was found Tuesday, more than a month after she vanished. Preliminary autopsy reports show that she died of “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to multiple reports. The death was declared a homicide, according to the state medical examiner.
Investigators believe Cristhian Rivera abducted Tibbetts when he saw her out on a run on July 18, when she first went missing.
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