Rachel Maddow Went Full Geraldo [Never Go Full Geraldo]

Yesterday  MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made the world believe she had something huge  on her hands.  Like PT Barnum, she built up the news in the fashion of a  true showman [er... I mean, show-woman].  She told everyone she was  gonna get Trump once and for all.  Take that, Republicans!

 And  then finally the big reveal came: Rachel Maddow had Trump's tax returns  from 2005.  Yep... And the big news?  Well, it was... Pretty  predictable.  No scams, no broken laws.  Just $38 million in paid taxes.   It was quite the disappointment if you dislike Trump and actually  believed she had something interesting to share... But she didn't.

 The whole thing reminded many of us of everyone's favorite moderate cable-TV news Hispanic, Geraldo Rivera.  

 Back in 1986 Geraldo had a TV special called The Mystery of Al Capone's  Vaults.  It was a 2-hour special centered on the opening of a secret  vault in the Lexington Hotel once owned by mob boss Al Capone.  The show  was hyped as potentially revealing riches or dead bodies on live  television.  Whoa!  This included the presence of a medical examiner  should bodies be found and agents from the Internal Revenue Service to  collect any of Capone's money that might be discovered.  Hot dang, this  is gonna be good, Right?


 When the vault was  finally opened, the only things found inside was dirt and some empty  bottles [which Rivera claimed were for moonshine bathtub gin].  After  several attempts to dig further into the vault, Geraldo admitted defeat  and voiced his disappointment to the viewers, apologizing as he thanked  the excavation team for their efforts. 

 Despite the lackluster  ending, the special became the most-watched syndicated television  special at the time with an estimated audience of 30 million.  

  And the incident was mocked by pop culture for many years to come.  The  special was spoofed in "It Ain't Over Till It's Over," an episode of  Hill Street Blues.  A scene from the 1997 movie Titanic references the  debacle.  Treasure hunter Brock Lovett (played by Bill Paxton), who is  searching for a priceless diamond necklace lost during the sinking of  RMS Titanic, recovers a safe from the wreck and opens it in front of  several TV cameras. Much to his disappointment, he discovers that the  safe contains nothing but mud and a seemingly worthless sketchbook,  prompting one of his crewmen to say, "You know, boss, the same thing  happened to Geraldo, and his career never recovered."

 In a 1993  episode of The Simpsons, Homer's Barbershop Quartet featured the song  lyric, "There was nothing in Al Capone's vault, but it wasn't Geraldo's  fault."

 In an episode of The Goldbergs [a sitcom on ABC] Murray  and Pops watch in suspense waiting for the opening of the vault... Ouch.  

 Then last year Geraldo said on the Fox News Channel that he  went right across the street and got "Tequila drunk" after the special  aired, then went back to his hotel room and put the "Do Not Disturb"  sign on the door.

 Will pop culture spoof Rachel Maddow's Trump tax return episode?  One can only hope.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more


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