Geraldo Rivera as Voice of Journalistic Conscience?

The Houston Chronicle‘s Susan Carroll (6/30/09) reports that Fox News celebrity journalist Geraldo Rivera “was touched” by the televised statement of a daughter mourning her law enforcement father who “was killed last week by a suspected illegal immigrant,” but also stepped up to speak to the truth larger than divisive media coverage of the matter:

“We all deplore violent crime, but what has happened is that with these anecdotal tragedies, we have demonized an entire race of people in this country,” Rivera said. “Immigrant and nonimmigrant alike. Citizen and noncitizen alike.”…

Rivera…said the tone of the immigration debate has had serious consequences for Hispanics.

“We have created a slanderous condition and environment in our country, where the 46 million of us who have Latino roots now feel beleaguered, now feel besieged, now feel as if we are ‘the other,'” he said.

Now, Rivera does regularly come down on the right side of this issue–albeit often in a typically bombastic cable news kind of way–but it still really speaks to the depths of Fox that this man is the network’s voice of journalistic conscience. But then I suppose good sense that actually makes the corporate news should be welcome from any quarter: “Rivera called for President Barack Obama to end work site enforcement raids. He also said the Obama administration should better define guidelines for the federal government’s 287(g) program, which deputizes local law enforcement to act as immigration agents.”

Read more on the “slanderous condition” of immigration coverage in the featured content of a recent issue of FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “Media Patrol the Border” (6/09).