I covered the religion beat for Canada’s biggest newspaper back in the 1990s. My first blog (circa 2000) was called RelapsedCatholic, “where the religious rubber meets the pop culture road.” And I used to write for The Door, which proudly describes itself as the world’s only Christian satire magazine/homeless shelter/private detective agency.
(“Detective agency,” because, if you caught one of those network exposes on money grubbing televangelist fraudsters back in the 80s and 90s, The Door‘s staff probably played a big part in the investigation — i.e., suggesting which televangelists the producers should target, then doing midnight dumpster diving outside said televangelist’s office, looking for incriminating paperwork.)
So yeah. Pat Robertson. Please just shoot me…
My first reaction to hearing the name “Pat Robertson” yesterday (on the few occasions when it wasn’t mispronounced “Robinson” — a tick many “educated,” “trustworthy” journalists still can’t shake after twenty years) was: “*$%#, isn’t he dead?”
Of course, if Pat Robertson was dead, liberal journalists and their allies would have to resuscitate him. Since the Reagan administration, liberals have propped up the “Moral Majority” as their favorite crucifix-shaped strawman.
(Baffled outsiders on quests to mock discover “the soul of America” often fixate on the phenomenon of Elvis impersonators — but what’s always screamed “America” to this bemused Canadian is that one Hollywood character actor forged an entire — presumably lucrative — career out of playing… Jerry Falwell.)
Sure, the Moral Majority used to be powerful. But Reagan is dead. So are Falwell, and poor Tammy Faye Bakker. Only Pat Robertson is still breathing, and, alas, occasionally talking — thus providing liberals with a handy target of their faux outrage and moral exhibitionism.
And, not incidentally, a chance to express their pent up hatred of Christianity, their paranoia about that “creeping theocracy” that’s forever just on the verge of “taking over America”, and their profound misunderstanding of “separation of Church and State.”
Today, Media Matters is all over Pat Robertson’s comments about the earthquake in Haiti. I’ll leave the scriptural exegisis to others. NewsReal is devoted to “watchdogging” the leftwing media, not text proofing or Christian apologetics.
That’s 1/20th of Rush Limbaugh’s listenership and/or all three Big 3 evening newscasts combined. If Pat Robertson didn’t — note this very, very carefully — own his own television station, his show would have been canceled twenty years ago.
In other words, nobody is watching Pat Robertson’s show — except “gotcha” liberal journalists.
Speaking of which…
Remember those “exposes” of televangelists I mentioned earlier? Ever wonder why you rarely read or see those reports anymore?
Well, it took mainstream media reporters a long time to admit this, because they are so heavily invested in their “Watergate” fantasies, and so consumed by their hatred of anything “conservative” and “religious.”
But here’s what I learned on the religion beat:
Did you know that every single time 20/20 aired an expose of a televangelist ripping off his viewers… that televangelist made more money the following year, and his ratings went higher and higher?
Eventually even The Door gave up — around the time it turned out they had a few, er, problems of their own…
You know the drill: Mote. Eye. Remove. Repeat.
Something for all of us “watchdogs” to think about, left and right.
(PS: That Same Guy said something like “love your enemies.” Just sayin’…)