Saturday, January 3, 2009

Geraldo Rivera's Historic Mossad Link?

Prior to being hired by WABC-TV in Manhattan—and then sent by ABC to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for a crash course in television journalism in 1970—tabloid TV journalist Geraldo Rivera worked as a lawyer for a late 1960s Puerto Rican radical activist group, the Young Lords. But, ironically, in 1980 Rivera apparently began to produce anti-Palestinian documentaries in collaboration with the Militaristic Israeli government’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. As Rivera wrote in his 1991 book, Exposing Myself:

“I returned to Lebanon a year later [in 1980] again by way of Israel to produce an hour-long special entitled `The Unholy War.’ This…piece was sparked by one of the newest members of the Geraldo unit, a…producer from Washington, D.C. named Barbara Newman. A veteran of National Public Radio, Barbara had extensive contacts with the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence arm, and we had been kicking around…ideas for a story making use of those connections….The Israeli consulate offered to cooperate with us…We were given tremendous access, inside the Mossad, inside top secret radar installations, and inside Israeli Defense Forces headquarters, both in Tel Aviv and up north, in Haifa.

“After about a month…we had assembled a terrific story; we needed only a capper, another hook to tie our loose ends together. It came to us courtesy of a high-ranking Israeli intelligence official. I did not name him in the resulting air-piece, and I will not name him here, but he was the undisputed spy master. Ruthlessly…he ran the Mossad’s counter-terrorism efforts in Israel and overseas…”

The son of a woman named Lilly Friedman and a Republic weapons production plant worker named Allen Cruz Rivera, tabloid TV journalist Rivera grew up in the suburban town of West Babylon, Long Island and attended the New York State Maritime College, the University of Arizona, Brooklyn Law School and the University of Pennsylvania during the 1960s before being hired by WABC-TV. In addition to receiving over $1 million per year from the Tribune media conglomerate from his syndicated tabloid TV show in the early 1990s, Rivera also then owned a small weekly New Jersey newspaper—The Two River Times—and lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey, by the Navesink River. In his 1991 autobiography, Rivera noted that “I now commute into Manhattan either by ferry, helicopter, or during Summer, by my own speed boat, which I christened Bubbba/Jersey.”

Coincidentally, Rivera rarely talked about either the Israeli military’s nuclear weapons arsenal or Dimona nuclear bomb factory, the imprisonment of Mordechai Vanunu or the Israeli government’s human rights violations on the West Bank or in Gaza on his tabloid TV talk show in the early 1990s.

(Downtown 6/23/93)

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