As part of his speech to Congress last night, President Donald Trump brought out Carryn Owens, the wife of a U.S. Navy Seal who died during a military raid in Yemen, launched shortly into his term in office. Trump—following in the footsteps of any number of elected officials attempting to achieve dignity by proxy by paying homage to veterans and their widows—was effusive in his praise for Owens and her husband, Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens, calling him “a warrior and a hero.”
But Trump’s attempts at sounding humble in the wake of Owens’ sacrifice promptly got schooled today by the master of self-effacing hyperbole: Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who offered up such an over-the-top tribute to Owens that it started to sound like a suicide note. “I’m a nothing war correspondent who would long for a hero’s death like Ryan’s,” Rivera said on The O’Reilly Factor, in a moment of self-abnegating clarity that still allowed him to tag himself with his beloved “war correspondent” label. Rivera—who’s previously expressed his belief in the importance of courage and fighting back to people like the traumatized survivors of the Orlando night club shootings—expressed his sincere envy for Owens’ death, saying, “He gave everything for his country.” (Rivera, meanwhile, mostly gives people a handy place to dispose of their refuse when a trash can isn’t around.)
And while we might suggest that loudly wishing to share in her husband’s violent death might not be the best way to pay respects to Carryn Owens, we’re sure Rivera immediately departed the studio and headed down to his local military recruitment office, stopping only briefly to get a doctor’s note saying he could still fight (and, more heroically, die) despite having been technically dead inside for years.