NEW YORK — Renegade NBC News anchor Geraldo Rivera is being naughty again.
In a soul-baring Playboy interview set to hit newsstands Sept. 1, Rivera slams “Dateline NBC” and a slew of his colleagues, including trash talk king Jerry Springer, “scud stud” Arthur Kent and ABC anchor Peter Jennings. He also ‘fesses up to having had sexual feelings for his ex-“20/20” co-worker Barbara Walters and her “great tits.”
Rivera’s expletive-ladened remarks are leaking out days before the premiere of his new CNBC program, “Upfront Tonight.”
Among Rivera’s more eyebrow-raising statements:
- “Let me suggest that the difference between a program like ‘Dateline NBC,’ for example, and one of the tabloid shows — say, ‘Hard Copy’ or ‘Inside Edition’ — is in degree, not substance,” Rivera said. “The network would have you believe that it does a far superior and more honorable job. That’s absolutely a canard. The topics on ‘Dateline NBC’ and those other network shows are exactly the same ones everyone else is doing. … The network news business is more hypocritical today than it has ever been.”
- “Barbara Walters was — and is — a very sexy babe. When she was at her most intimidating, that’s what all the other men missed. All the other newsmen were scared … of her, and so resentful of her, that they missed the point — she is a profoundly sensual, very female being with a great body. How can you not look at Barbara Walters and see those great tits?”
- “I think Jerry Springer is the most shameful man in America. I look at him and see Geraldo at his worst — times 10. It’s appalling that it still exists, that people advertise on that program.”
- Rivera calls Kent “an empty leather jacket” and says he still thinks of Jennings as “little Petey, whose father put him on the air.” He also drools over CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, calling her “exactly my type. She’s got big balls, that woman.”
- Rivera refers to Los Angeles Times TV critic Howard Rosenberg “an archenemy,” and says he couldn’t finish reading a recent Rosenberg column about Rivera. “I didn’t want to have a motive for murder,” Rivera says. “If he’s ever killed, I don’t want to be a suspect. I’ll have O.J. (Simpson) do it.”
- Despite recent media reports suggesting Rivera is gunning for “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw’s job, Rivera seems unfazed by reports that Brokaw isn’t fond of Rivera’s style of journalism. “I’m not going to get involved in the jousting,” he says.
An ABC News spokesman said Walters had no comment about Rivera’s remarks. An NBC News spokeswoman said execs at the web were “focused on covering the president’s testimony” and thus had no comment on Rivera’s statements.