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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 03/23/2012

Geraldo’s hoodie comments: Definitely not a hoax

Despite my hopes, the Fox News segment this morning in which Geraldo Rivera blamed the hoodie for the death of Trayvon Martin is no hoax. Here’s the stuff that I figured was phony:

I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters, particularly, to not let their young children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.

Convinced that Geraldo hadn’t actually said that — and that it all was a brilliant audio-video Internet hoax — I tuned in to Geraldo’s radio show on KABC this afternoon.

Bad news. Geraldo didn’t double down on his hoodie blaming; he octupled down on the hoodie blaming. Some moments from the radio broadcast:

Moment No. 1: Caller protests that Geraldo’s approach to hoodies amounts to blaming victims for the trouble they encounter. It’s like blaming a female rape victim because she dresses provocatively. Geraldo responds:

It’s different because the sexy girl . . . is no threat to anybody. If you see a girl dressed in a provocative way, she’s no danger to you. If you see someone in a hoodie . . . you’re going to walk to the other side [of the street].

Moment No. 2: Caller comes on the show and starts screaming at Geraldo, in a way that the Erik Wemple Blogger couldn’t hear, let alone understand, though it was clear that the caller wasn’t happy with Geraldo. We could understand only what Geraldo was saying:

I’m a racist? Do you know anything about me?

Moment No. 3: Geraldo promotes himself as a humanitarian:

Racist killings have gone on in this country and they’re lamentable.. . . I’m trying to save lives.

Moment No. 4: Geraldo’s hoodie ban applies only to neighborhoods that are rough and tumble. A “retirement community,” he says, isn’t the setting he’s talking about. A “college campus,” he says, isn’t the setting he’s talking about — “that’s not nighttime in the neighborhood.” So the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community in Sanford, Fla., is the “neighborhood”?

Moment No. 5: Geraldo says that “with crazy people carrying guns, the last thing you’d want to do is give them a reason to call it . . . justified.” Which is where the hoodie comes in, obviously.

Moment No. 6: Caller claims that it was raining around the time that Martin was shot dead. Geraldo responds: “I have heard that and it would explain why he had the hoodie up.”

By  |  02:45 PM ET, 03/23/2012

Tags:  geraldo rivera, trayvon martin, fox news, kabc, hoodie

 
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