James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘700 Club’

Pat Robertson makes radical Muslims look sane

Posted by James McPherson on January 13, 2010

As long as mainstream news organizations let Pat Robertson serve as one of the most prominent American voices for Christianity (his “700 Club” appears daily on my local CBS/Belo affiliate, just one of the things that make KREM 2 the worst of our local stations), it’s tough to argue that isolated Islamic suicide bombers represent the world’s craziest nation-supported form of religion.

Today’s lunacy, as reported by Politico, Gawker.com and others: Robinson says Haitian slaves of the 18oos are to blame for this week’s earthquake and the resulting tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of deaths. The TV preacher’s answer for  dealing with the devastated nation’s whole pact-with-the-devil problem is that Haiti needs “a great turning to God.”

By the way, the long-time official religion of Haiti, and still by far the most popular one, is Catholicism. I wish I were kidding about Robertson, or that he were commonly viewed as the joke he is, but you can see the video below.

Next-day update: CBN has issued a statement saying, in part, that Robertson’s comments: “were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath.”

I assume that in this case “countless scholars” means a number that can’t be counted–as in zero. Some research of scholarly via ProQuest and Ebscohost (which have combined access to more than 11,000 sources) from my desk turns up no mentions of the supposed “famous pact” between Boukman Dutty (the leader of a slave rebellion) and the devil. Of course I didn’t spend a lot of research on it, and Robertson seems to know Satan better than I do, so perhaps he has seen documents I haven’t. Regardless, the tie is a stretch–and lunacy. Not that that’s anything new for Robertson.

Posted in History, Politics, Religion, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »