Television preacher and one-time Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson warned on his “700 Club” show Tuesday that he’s inclined to run a “full-scale exposé” on a web publication that he refused to identify, calling them a “nasty group” that focuses on “embarrassing conservatives” who appear on television.
There are only two groups he could be talking about: Media Matters and Right Wing Watch, both of which specialize in video clips of conservatives saying untrue, insensitive or otherwise appalling things. Given his status as America’s premiere television soothsayer, Robertson’s show is a frequent stop for both groups, but only one of them recently caused a stir at Robertson’s network.
Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way (PFAW), recently clipped Robertson saying something not so original for him, but always alarming when he repeats it. On a recent episode, he told a female viewer that her husband had an affair because she had not done enough to keep his attention, adding that she should focus on all the nice things he does for her instead, like letting her live in his house or giving her food and clothing.
Robertson has said essentially this before, telling a woman who wrote into his show in 2010 to “make yourself as attractive as possible” in order to prevent her husband from cheating, which Media Matters noted at the time.
When he repeated this meme earlier in May, Right Wing Watch was the group standing by to catch the ball, and that irked Robertson. “There are organizations, there is one in particular which I will not name, but it is set out for one purpose: to embarrass those who are conservative on television,” he said Tuesday. “So they take my words and they twist them and distort them.”
Just earlier this month, it was Robertson’s host, the Christian Broadcasting Network, that was embarrassed. The network explained in a statement that Robertson’s comment on adultery “was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame,” insisting they “regret any misunderstanding.”
Despite Robertson’s insistence, Right Wing Watch quoted him accurately and completely in context. “This organization misconstrues deliberately, they want to do everything they can do to make my words and they twist them,” he complained. “I will not identify the organization but one day we may have a full-scale exposé because it’s a nasty group.”
“Pat Robertson doesn’t understand how ridiculous and extreme he sounds to a mainstream audience,” Josh Glasstetter, PFAW’s research director, told Raw Story in an email. “For decades, he’s lived inside the bubble of the Christian Broadcasting Network. Right Wing Watch faithfully reports Robertson’s comments and provides appropriate context. There’s no need to ‘twist and distort’ his words to make them sound crazy or offensive. They are inherently both.”
As for that “full-scale exposé” the televangelist threatened, Glasstetter claimed he’s happy to hear it. “Robertson can’t threaten us into silence,” he explained. “He’s been attacking our founder, Norman Lear, for decades and even blamed us for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We take his outbursts as a badge of honor.”
This video is from “The 700 Club,” aired Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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