Sunday, March 19, 2006

Geraldo's Angel?

Ha! Geraldo Rivera’s old-style tabloid TV series, Geraldo At Large, is looking to the show it replaced in a last-ditch bid for survival.

News has crept out that Geraldo’s producers have hired Arthel Neville, the former West Coast correspondent for A Current Affair and a major presence on the show, as Geraldo’s West Coast correspondent!

The Fox News-controlled Geraldo show hasn't even had a West Coast bureau since its debut in November 2005, when it was rushed into creation and production after newly-appointed Fox Television boss Roger Ailes yanked the new A Current Affair in part because it was competing with, and beating his Fox News Channel on stories like the honeymoon cruise death and the Natalee Holloway disappearance.

With its tawdry mix of sex abuse, incest, rape, murder and consumer stories (and lacking A Current Affair’s sense of humour and ability to lead the news pack), the Geraldo show has been a turd in the ratings pool. In recent weeks, it’s been criticized for getting lower ratings than Affair, and for tawdry promo spots during prime time, family-oriented shows on Fox.

Unfortunately for Geraldo, Arthel has a habit of jumping aboard sinking ships, arriving at A Current Affair the Monday after the axing of her Good Day Live show, and now stepping onto Captain Geraldo’s Titanic tomorrow (a show they’ve resorted to promoting with images of the early-70s Geraldo, as they revive his Willowbrook retarded home expose), exactly a year after she joined the unexpectedly-murdered A Current Affair.

Ironically, Arthel had found her footing on A Current Affair in its final weeks, with her first-person coverage of the Katrina devastation in her hometown, New Orleans. TV veteran Arthel was shown for the first time without makeup, in very uncomfortable humid conditions, and more than once lost her composure in witnessing events in the place where she’d grown up. (She’s kept her stripped-down image with a New Orleans aid foundation-- first announced on this site-- called Arthel’s Angels.)

Geraldo, meanwhile, made a fool of himself during the Katrina tragedy. He showed up in New Orleans days late, grabbed babies from mothers in front of the Convention Center and held them up to the camera while blubbering on Sean Hannity's show, and then got into a nasty spat over his showboating with a woman from the New York Times.

(You can read about Geraldo's tabloid television influence and adventures in Tabloid Baby. Enjoyment guaranteed!)

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