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Duquesne tells Geraldo to keep it to your 'selfie,' cancels invite to JFK symposium

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Not everyone was atwitter over television journalist Geraldo Rivera's semi-nude self-portrait to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Officials at Duquesne University withdrew an invitation to Rivera to moderate a panel at an international symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. The so-called selfie that Rivera posted on Twitter earlier this summer apparently did not amuse anyone on the Bluff.

“Just heard Duquesne Univ cancelled my appearance at JFK assassination panel because of ‘selfie'. Fact I first aired Zapruder film less impt,” Rivera tweeted on Friday.

In 1975, Rivera broadcast on national television the black-and-white 8 mm film of the assassination captured by Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas businessman.

“The administration felt that Mr. Rivera's decision to post a nearly naked picture of himself on social media was inappropriate and therefore withdrew the invitation,” said Bridget Fare, assistant vice president for Public Affairs at Duquesne.

The decision disappointed Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, the famed pathologist who chairs the advisory board of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. He said he hasn't seen the photo, but said Rivera is a personal friend who worked to air facts about the assassination.

“I wrote him a personal note to convey my regrets. … I have no problem with seeing a 70-year-old man with a bath towel wrapped around his waist. That doesn't turn me off or on,” Wecht said.

The symposium scheduled for Oct. 17-19 has attracted a long list of speakers, including leading scientific, legal and investigative experts.

Debra Erdley is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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