Last Updated:October 1 @ 04:14 pm

Good thing Geraldo isn't running the NSA

By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

When Geraldo Rivera stepped out of the shower sometime over the weekend, he examined his lithe 70-year-old body in the mirror and smiled.

The Fox News contributor really couldn't think of a good reason to deprive the world the pleasure of ogling his torso. After all, admiring his own chiseled awesomeness has kept him entertained for years.

Before positioning himself in front of one of his favorite mirrors, the newsman grabbed his smartphone, his red-tinted shades and a towel he could use strategically in the unlikely event he was overcome by actual feelings of modesty.

Without further ado, the man who contemplated a run for the New Jersey Senate earlier this year photographed himself nearly nude before tweeting it to his followers.

Word quickly spread across the social media universe that Mr. Rivera was having one of those discretion-free moments that most people would dread as a sign of the onset of cognitive impairment of some kind:

"70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be pissed ... but at my age ...)," he tweeted.

In one short burst, Mr. Rivera displayed a stunning lack of self-awareness that was still, even in its utter cluelessness, able to anticipate the likelihood of blowback from his family. The last thing the once highly regarded former investigative reporter imagined coming his way was the universal mockery that rained down on him within minutes of the tweet's publication.

While Geraldo has always been comfortable going wherever the intersection of narcissism and new media will lead him, most of us have an instinctive revulsion about the prospect of sharing too much about ourselves. Some things -- like the way we look like in the steam of the bathroom mirror -- should be private.

Mr. Rivera disseminated a tweet that would've embarrassed even the likes of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose own "selfie" is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone. On some primordial, lizard-brain level, perhaps Geraldo thought he could steal some of Tsarnaev's thunder with his own selfie.

While Mr. Rivera was tweeting a nearly nude photo of himself, America's increasingly massive surveillance state was working on new ways to gather information about the rest of us.

Because most of us don't aspire to Geraldo-like levels of exhibitionism, the government prefers to keep secret its methods for tracking and monitoring us. But when it comes to keeping secrets, the government's track record is about as negligible as its respect for our civil liberties.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union released a report about a little-known surveillance technology that automatically reads and tracks the license plates on our cars.

In a report titled "You Are Being Tracked," the ACLU explained how local and state police departments across the country are recording the plate number, date, time and location of passing cars and filling enormous databases with info about millions of drivers who have committed no crimes.

Using automatic license plate readers mounted on police cars, bridges and road signs, law enforcement has begun erecting a network that makes the tracking and surveillance of most cars routine.

Keeping track of the driving habits of a small number of known or suspected criminals is the rationale for storing data on millions of law-abiding drivers. There's also little or no oversight of this data and no regulation about how the information is to be used, interpreted or shared. No uniform rules exist about how long the information is to be stored. There is no automatic purging of the data.

This network also appears to be evolving based on the minute-by-minute needs of law enforcement, with little regard for the privacy of ordinary citizens. If this was something that most citizens, via their elected officials, agreed to through legislation, that would be one thing. But when it comes to the expansion of this burgeoning surveillance state in our lives, the pattern of recent years is clear: collect the data first and ask permission -- if at all -- later.

This is not how things should be done in a democracy. It goes without saying that this massive collection of data is happening without informed input from us -- the once-sovereign "We" in "We, the People."

Most of us aren't interested in over-sharing a la Geraldo Rivera on Twitter, but we end up over-sharing anyway by virtue of existing in 21st century America, where citizenship is just another data point to be exploited.

___

(c)2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at www.post-gazette.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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23 Comments

  1. wedeyComment by wedey
    July 24, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

    He is as disgusting as Weiner. And no one ever wears a towel that low unless they are not promoting themselves.
    He should be fired from Fox. He is no better than all the other perverts in government.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (42 votes cast)
    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      July 24, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

      I’ll certainly turn the channel if he ever appears on screen again. His arrogant ways have always been off-putting to me in the past, but this takes the cake. If Roger Ailes cares about the reputation of Fox, he’ll remove him PRONTO! How disgusting!

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    • JambleComment by Jamble
      July 24, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

      I don’t think he looks nearly as good as he imagines he does. :D

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (27 votes cast)
    • usafoldsargeComment by usafoldsarge
      July 24, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

      NOTHER FREAKING FREAK OF A LIBERAL! I object to the use of the word democracy when describing America!

      When will the media, all of it learn to read and understand that the word democracy was never discussed by our founders except in a negative way. On Democracy Versus Liberty

      By Steve H. Hanke

      This article appeared in the February 2011 issue of Globe Asia.

      “Professor Hanke provides one of the most insightful analyses of the Founding Fathers and their documents that I have ever read. Instead of considering the Founders’ documents with our present views, biases and prejudices, he focuses on their essential, original meaning.

      Many will be shocked to learn that the word “democracy” was neither used in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. Indeed, the Founding Fathers were anxious and fearful of allowing any form of tyranny, including the tyranny of the majority.

      This essay should be read and meditated on by all those who think they have a right to influence society. A real gem!”
      Madison would not allowed one:

      “Pure democracy is the most vile form of government…such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
      – James Madison, Father of the US Constitution

      Section 4 of the US Constitution says the following:SECTION 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

      REASONS FOR:325 Thus, on June 11, the language of the provision was on Madison’s motion changed to: “Resolved that a republican constitution and its existing laws ought to be guaranteed to each state by the United States.” 1 M. FARRAND, THE RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION OF 1787 193-194, 206 (rev. ed. 1937). Then, on July 18, Gouverneur Morris objected to this language on the ground that “[h]e should be very unwilling that such laws as exist in R. Island ought to be guaranteed to each State of the Union.” 2 id. at 47. Madison then suggested language “that the Constitutional authority of the States shall be guaranteed to them respectively against domestic as well as foreign violence,” whereas Randolph wanted to add to this the language “and that no State be at liberty to form any other than a Republican Govt.” Wilson then moved, “as a better expression of the idea,” almost the present language of the section, which was adopted. Id. at 47-49.

      SO, why in hell would anyone but an idiot (like Geraldo, who always refers to us as having a democracy- and him a college graduate!) think that if the United States were to ensure that each state would have a “republican” form of government, that they might want that for all of America….?

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    • tinawilsonComment by tinawilson
      July 24, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

      my neighbor’s sister makes ($)76/hr on the computer. She has been fired for eight months but last month her paycheck was ($)16318 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this web site… c­a­n9­9.ℂ­ℴ­M

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      Rating: 1.4/5 (9 votes cast)
    • 1389ADComment by 1389AD
      July 24, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

      Inappropriate semi-nudity in a younger person is interpreted as narcissism, exhibitionism, or trolling for sexual partners.

      Inappropriate semi-nudity in an elderly person – whether or not that individual already had a reputation for narcissism, exhibitionism, or trolling for sexual partners – is interpreted as a sign of dementia.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (12 votes cast)
    • 1389ADComment by 1389AD
      July 24, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

      @usafoldsarge,

      You are indeed correct. Democracy means, both literally and figuratively, “mob rule.” The mob could be the type that made Socrates drink the hemlock, or the type that saw Jesus and yelled “Crucify Him!” – or the early Nazi-era street fighters – or “mob” as in the Chicago mob/political machine/corrupt unions – and on and on and on. All of them bad.

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    • RobertRComment by RobertR
      July 25, 2013 @ 12:41 am

      Agree, he’s disgusting. Now if some of the Fox females want to post pics like that I’m sure we’d have to judge them to determine if they were appropriate or not.

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  2. handymanherbComment by handymanherb
    July 24, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    What are him and Weiner going after the same young girls

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    • wallybluComment by wallyblu
      July 24, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

      Geraldo is a Weiner wannabe, I lost all respect for him after the Al Capone hidden safe fiasco. He’s the Al Sharpton of the Hispanic community.

      By the by, anyone who posts on facebbook or twitter is an idiot, you might just as well post an Ad in the news paper with your bank account number, SSN# and password.

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    • 1389ADComment by 1389AD
      July 24, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

      @wallyblu,

      I maintain a Twitter account for our blog. We don’t post anything personal on it. It’s strictly for sharing links to news articles and suchlike. That’s the appropriate use of Twitter.

      Posting lewd pictures, revealing one’s exact whereabouts and that of one’s family members, and other reckless privacy breaches are just plain stupid.

      As for Facebook, we don’t have accounts there. Their security is nonexistent.

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  3. Jota_Comment by Jota_
    July 24, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

    Do not know who is advising to collect all the data because it nearly guaranties a high failure rate

    A system already in operation, functioning for many years, scanning trillions of bytes of data daily, and has a method quite successful is anti-virus software.

    The best anti-virus programs, to get an independent labs seal of approval, must find 100% of the viruses in the wild and have zero false positives

    The method used by the most successful is heuristic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic

    In common every day language, it profiles!

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  4. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    July 24, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    There seems to be a cognitive disconnect in our society. On the one hand, it is being revealed that the State has been involved in massive info gathering on everyone and this revelation results in popular uproar. On the other hand, we are told following the Boston Marathon bombing that the government dropped the ball concerning info on the Tsarnaev brothers, even when Russia gave specific warnings. If they can report when we get a pimple on our butt, then how did these guys slip through the cracks to commit their deeds? Somehow, I don’t feel very safe. As for Geraldo, he’s only half a putz. Weiner is a full putz.

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    • 1389ADComment by 1389AD
      July 24, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

      Weiner is also married to the Muslim Brotherhood.

      Literally.

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  5. 53shbearnettComment by 53shbearnett
    July 24, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    Ick! Further evidence of the total erosion of morality, decency and commonsense (and an outsized id)!

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  6. sengalComment by sengal
    July 24, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    Yuck! That’s not what I wanted to see.

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  7. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    July 24, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    At last a liberal, who I presume would run as a Democrat, nearly reveals all of his SHORT COMINGS!

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    • ssoldieComment by ssoldie
      July 25, 2013 @ 12:04 am

      Joe, I like your comment, so very true, short minded too.

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    • MadeinAmerica33Comment by MadeinAmerica33
      July 25, 2013 @ 9:53 am

      I believe Mr G stated that he would be running as a “Republican”. I was shocked at the statement , and put it off as my hearing it wrong.

      He fits in with the CBS 60 mins’ crowd that always has a slanted story to tell.

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  8. ctconservativeComment by ctconservative
    July 25, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    I think Geraldo would be great with the NSA. He has his finger on the pulse of… Wait, that’s not his finger….

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    • 1389ADComment by 1389AD
      July 25, 2013 @ 9:28 am

      LOL!

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  9. braines57Comment by braines57
    July 25, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Geraldo bills himself politically as a “progressive” – at least during election years. I guess this latest is in keeping with his “progressive” ideology in that he keeps getting progressively more ridiculous as time goes on. He is as big a joke as Jesse Jackson – perhaps you could describe them as brothers of a different mother. I say that only because I remember Jackson’s “Rainbow Coalition” and Geraldo’s simpering support of same. Maybe this is Geraldo’s bid to get himself on the cover of either Time or Hustler – whoever calls first. What a moron! I agree with the poster who said dementia can’t be far behind!

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  10. FreeDameComment by FreeDame
    July 26, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    As technology continues to evolve, our privacy will continue to erode. It doesn’t matter who is in office or who is calling the shots. They will do it because they can, because some technology geek thinks it’s cool and convinces his boss that it will provide data that somebody, somewhere, someday will need. And since it’s a government office (as in, we can stick the taxpayers with the bill,) the boss says “Okay” and off they go.

    The genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to put him back.

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