Geraldo Rivera just turned 70 two weeks ago, and to commemorate it, he tweeted his first “selfie” — with a towel just barely covering his lower half.
The TV personality did not expect the backlash. His network, Fox News told him to take it down. His 18-year-old daughter messaged him the next morning in all caps: “TAKE THAT THING DOWN RIGHT NOW!,” according to People.
After taking it down, Rivera took it upon himself to write a 970-word ode to the “deep dark night” which inspired him to take a half-nude photo of himself and share it with the world.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” writes Rivera in his piece published in Fox News Latino. “Of course the time was 2:30 Sunday morning, and one of my hard-learned life rules is that nothing good happens at that hour of the deep dark night, especially after a couple of tequila shots, except sweet dreams and maybe an intimate snuggle. Our little house in Edgewater, New Jersey with the spectacular view of Manhattan across the Hudson River was quiet, even the dogs were asleep. Hot and muggy out, I had just gone for a moon-lit swim in our little pool on the dock. Drying myself upstairs in the kitchen, I picked up my company-issued Blackberry and checked emails concerning the Saturday night program just aired a few hours earlier on the Fox New Channel.”
He goes on to reminisce about spending the day at a Trayvon Martin demonstration, and that meeting Jay Z and Beyonce was nice, but they didn’t agree on his take on the case.
When he got home later that night, he says he started looking through photos of himself.
“At that moment, I was a like a geriatric male version of the wicked queen in Snow White who keeps asking her mirror, ‘Who is the fairest of them all?’ “Damn, I look pretty good for an old man…” he writes.
However, he recounts that his Twitter account overflowed with mostly negative responses as his “selfie” went viral.
“Followers vied to out insult me, accusing me of everything from pornography to narcissism,” writes Rivera, likening himself to the disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, accused of sexting while running for New York City mayor. “I’ve apologized to Erica and the kids and to anyone else who was offended by my regrettable stunt. My 94-year old mom has forgiven me. And I’ve vowed never again to tweet before bedtime.”