Is Geraldo Rivera too liberal for Fox News?

The longtime Fox News vet has parted ways with the network after being removed from the political roundtable show "The Five"

 Geraldo Rivera
(Image credit: Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)

After over two decades, Fox News veteran Geraldo Rivera is severing ties with the network after supposedly being booted from his post as "one of the lonely liberal voices" on the popular political roundtable show "The Five," The Associated Press reported. "I've been fired from 'The Five,' and as a result, I quit Fox," the TV personality said in a Twitter video post.

Rivera had previously claimed to be "canceled" from the program after a series of charged clashes with his conservative co-host Greg Gutfeld. The feud between the two started after Rivera called out Tucker Carlson shortly after he was fired. "Being odd man out isn't always easy," Rivera tweeted last week. In his recent video, Rivera cited a "growing tension that goes beyond editorial differences and personal annoyances and gripes," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's not worth it to me." He said that his relationship with his co-workers on the "The Five" was a "reflection of what the country is going through," adding that it was "not an easy job if you take it as personally as I do."

Fox News has not confirmed if Rivera was let go. The network said it "reached an amicable conclusion with Geraldo over the past few weeks." It celebrated his long career on his final appearance on "Fox & Friends" on Friday morning. Rivera said he was "touched" by the tribute but reiterated that he quit because he was fired. Being a Fox News war correspondent "established a relationship with Fox that people would not ordinarily think of as a natural relationship because of political ideologies and so forth — me being more on the progressive side than many of my colleagues." Was Rivera too liberal for Fox, or was the tension on "The Five" too much?

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An 'unlikely voice of reason'

Rivera was a "constant showman at Fox News for nearly a generation," David Folkenflik wrote for NPR. "Now, the curtain is falling." In his role on "The Five," he "played the liberal treading water in a sea of conservatives," an assignment that "represented Fox's philosophy of balance." Even though he was supposed to represent a liberal perspective, the "putative lefty" has long been a registered Republican and a self-described friend of former President Donald Trump. Rivera only "broke with Trump" after he refused to accept the 2020 presidential election results. "Nonetheless," Folkenfilk conceded, "he often has been of late an unlikely voice of reason, reminding his conservative colleagues of factual objections to baseless or extreme claims they've made.

Actions contradicted the liberal label

"Since when is Geraldo Rivera a 'liberal' commentator?" Dustin Rowles pondered in a blog for Pajiba. While he can "recall a handful of times he made the news for disagreeing with Donald Trump," he also praised the former president for sending Ghislaine Maxwell well wishes. "But I guess calling out Tucker Carlson's theories about the January 6th insurrection that one time qualifies Geraldo as a 'liberal' commentator on Fox News," Rowles added, "even if he did agree with Trump's decision to build a wall."

Not the first time on-set tensions led to someone quitting

"The Five" was known for being a "sort of 'dinner table' discussion show that airs a range of opinions." Still, as of late, "Rivera's appearances have seemed more combative," Brian Steinburg wrote in Variety. "While Fox News executives have routinely allowed firebrand antics on air," he added, "they have tried to tamp down conflict on "The Five." Another liberal panelist, Juan Williams, similarly left the show in 2021 after a series of "segments that seemed overly argumentative." Still, while Rivera's time at Fox might be over, he still "enjoyed a long career in broadcasting, generating controversy even as he teased TV crowds."

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Theara Coleman

Theara Coleman is a Staff Writer for The Week. A New York native, she previously served as a contributing writer and assistant editor for Honeysuckle Magazine, where she covered racial politics and cannabis industry news. Theara graduated from Howard University and New York University, receiving her BA and MA in English Literature, respectively. She has a background in education as a former High School English teacher. She brings her passion for reading, writing, and all things nerdy to her work as a journalist.