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A Little Story About Pat Robertson, Wolf Blitzer, and David Corn

Does Wolf Blitzer Owe His Career to Pat Robertson?

 

 October 21, 2005

By Katherine Yurica

 

[Editor's Note, October 27, 2005: Read Jim Wallis' comments at: All about Pat Robertson and Venezuela! ]

 

This story isn’t earth shaking. It’s barely interesting. And it’s probably a waste of your time to read—especially in certain circles. It’s just that those “certain” circles are so damn smug! They are so sure of the rightness of their cause, if you know what I mean, that I can’t resist.

 

This essay is all about Pat Robertson’s mouth. He can’t help it. He was born with it! After that it’s about how Pat’s mouth keeps shooting off on CNN. First back in April of 2001 he went on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and encouraged the U.S. government to continue to build up its $70 billion trade deficit with China (while he had personal business with China) and he also seemed to endorse China’s crack-down on how many babies should be allowed to be born, which set off a hue and a cry from the anti-abortion troops in the US. Then let’s skip to the big whammy on August 22, 2005. That’s when Pat called for the assassination of Venezuela President, Hugo Chavez. Pat said:

 

“You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.” (Media Matters)

 

After that there was a whole bunch of media denials, and wishy washy, mealy mouth stuff. But just two days later, Wolf Blitzer, did a show on Robertson’s remark. He had James Carville on one side and Greg Mueller on the other. Wolf Blitzer told his audience that James Carville worked as an opponent to the recall movement of Chavez, but failed to disclose that Greg Mueller’s public relations firm directly worked for Robertson’s Christian Coalition in the past. Media Matters called it, “Blitzer's not-so-full disclosure on guest's ties to Robertson.  Media Matters lists several doozies from Pat’s mouth to our ears:

 

 

"Islam, at least at its core, teaches violence. It's there in the Quran in clear, bold statements." [7/14/05]

God "will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly." [1/3/05]

Gays and lesbians are "self-absorbed hedonists ... that want to impose their particular sexuality on the rest of America." [11/30/04]

Gays and lesbians are "self-absorbed narcissists who are willing to destroy any institution so long as they can have affirmation of their lifestyle." [8/16/05]

 

 

 

David Corn’s Lament

 

 

Anyway, I’ve got to straighten out the record on this hullabaloo about Pat and his mouth. It’s actually two people’s record: Pat Robertson’s and Wolf Blitzer’s. And I’ve got to help out David Corn, the distinguished Editor of The Nation magazine’s Washington Bureau, who sort of lost his cool and wailed over public channels on the web, bemoaning and asking why with such sadness in his voice. “Why Does CNN Invite Robertson on to Talk?” Why in the name of decency and common sense and a shared sense of values would Wolf Blitzer do such a thing? It’s even worse, who in their right mind would give poor snoggy old Pat the opportunity to say the kinds of things he’s always said—it’s his favorite thing to do: He loves to pop off! He especially loves to talk about assassinating folks!

 

I know Pat’s getting up there in age. He’s got the Bible and Christianity all twisted in knots and ass backwards! But the truth is, dear ole Pat Robertson has called for assassinations all through his TV career! It’s sort of standard patter for the old guy!  I mean come on now Pat, you’ve been wishing and praying and calling for assassinations for everyone from the Supreme Court Justices to heads of states for the last twenty-five years or so, give or take a few wobbly moans now and then. Did Wolf really have to let you sound so contrite and sensible? It really bothered David when you replied to one final question:

 

 

BLITZER: One final question on an unrelated matter, Hugo Chavez.

You caused a big uproar a few weeks ago when you suggested the U.S. should just simply take him out, should simply kill him. You later said you misspoke a little bit. You apologized.

But clarify briefly for our viewers what you meant and where you stand now.

ROBERTSON: Well, I want to say August is a slow news month, Wolf, and they were looking for a big story and I happened to be it.

But the truth is, this man is setting up a Marxist-type dictatorship in Venezuela. He's trying to spread Marxism throughout South America. He is negotiating with the Iranians to get nuclear material. And he also sent $1.2 million in cash to Osama bin Laden right after 9/11.

He is -- I mean, I've written him. I apologized and I said I'm going to be praying for him. But one day we're going to be staring at nuclear weapons and it won't be Katrina facing New Orleans, it's going to be a Venezuelan nuke.

So my suggestion was: Isn't it a lot cheaper sometimes to deal with these problems before you have to have a big war?

 

 

Pat Robertson’s History

 

 

Folks just have to listen to Pat to get the true flavor and intensity of his feelings: In a quote that was picked up by the Associated Press and CNN News, Pat told his audience on April 11, 1986, just how he would deal with Libya’s Colonel Kaddafi. Smiling and in a friendly sort of chit chat, he laid out his plot to murder Kaddafi:

 

 “The problem with kicking a mad dog is that the mad dog will bite you. Specially if he’s got rabies. He might hurt you and he might infect you badly. So you don’t go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies you take a gun and shoot him. I mean that’s the only thing you can do, mercifully to keep yourself—[laughs and audience gives big applause].”

 

Danuta Soderman:  “Wait, now let’s wait now. Back up just a step or two [audience laughs]. Are you saying that we should go in there and—”

 

Robertson:  “Danuta, there’s an old old saying, that you don’t strike the king unless you kill him. You don’t strike a king’’ just hit him in the face and walk away from him, because he’ll turn around and do something terrible to you.... And the only way to get rid of him is to do the thing that the old maxim says, if you’re gonna strike him, you need to kill him.”

 

But this statement of Pat’s was consistent with the attitude he had expressed all along. Power is something that ought to be used. He said on June 19, 1985:

 

Kaddafi’s a crazy man...We’ve already caught him in certain murder plots....I’m hesitant to think of international assassination or anything, but something has to be done, and uh, and right now the one that is enemy number one of the whole world is Ayatollah Khomeini. He is a crazy man...We could probably foment some kind of an overthrow of Khomeini and get that country back to normal again....We can’t just sit back and be held hostage again by those crazy people. We’re too big and powerful a nation. It can’t happen.”

 

The ease with which Pat Robertson spoke of things that could embroil our nation in war was amazing. He told his audience on June 26, 1985:

 

“We could make a selective strike right at the Ayatollah’s headquarters or something. We could also consider freeing Lebanon from the Syrians...We could join with the Israelis in some kind of activity. We could cut off Syria, which doesn’t have a very strong country, and bring economic sanctions against Syria. We could conceivably bring it down.”

 

You see Pat believes that an important part of American foreign policy should be the overthrow of repressive governments around the world and that young Christians should be willing to fight and die in military actions. In fact, he believes that young men have been called by God to do so. Herb Titus, then Dean of the School of Public Policy at CBN University told Robertson on the show on May 27, 1985:  “I believe that those who believe in God will ultimately bring justice in all circumstances.” Should they die in the process, Titus said, they need only remember, “They still have eternal life in Jesus Christ.”

 

But what if God judges these pre-emptive strikes to be criminal in nature—then what happens to those sweet young men who killed and tortured others in the name of Christ when they arrive at the Pearly Gates? They might hear the words, “I never knew you!”

 

 

Wolf Blitzer’s Secret

 

 

Still, one does get the impression that Wolf Blitzer just feeds Pat lines like this from the October 9, 2005 broadcast of CNN Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: ... thanks very much for joining us.

I want to get to Harriet Miers in a moment but you're a minister. You see what's going on in the world today in Pakistan, in India, Afghanistan, an earthquake, maybe 20,000 people dead, maybe twice that number; we don't have a count. Hurricanes in the United States and around the world, a tsunami a little bit less than a year or so ago in Southeast Asia. What's happening?

ROBERTSON: Wolf, I might say you're very perceptive to pick up the key in this.

 

It’s scary to hear someone carry-on like Pat. But it’s sort of strange to realize that Pat and Wolf Blitzer go way back together. Yep! Wolf used to work for Pat Robertson's CBN way back when Pat was setting up his news bureau and Wolf was the 700 Club’s reporter from the Middle East. He was a lot younger in those days, but in those beginning days Pat exposed Wolf Blitzer to a viewing audience that topped the Nielsen ratings at 28.7 million monthly viewers! That’s a great way to launch one’s career. But Wolf Blitzer likes to keep that part of his career kind of quiet. He doesn’t list the 700 Club’s news bureau in his biography. He doesn’t tell CNN’s audience that Pat was like an angel to him when he was just an independent reporter starting out. But those of us who watched Pat’s show could never forget Wolf Blitzer’s reports. He was presented to us as such an expert—we were just so proud of him! And look how high he’s gone. You’d think he’d give Pat a little credit. No doubt he says “Thanks” by inviting him on CNN!

 

After all, Pat started a J-School (Journalism School) and Bob Slosser, who had worked for the New York Times became the President of CBN University and Bob Slosser shared Pat’s vision of a new America. Slosser was at the graduation of the first graduate from the Institute of Journalism, it was a young lady named Eliza Wright. And the Governor of Missouri, a fellow named John Ashcroft gave the graduation speech on May 20, 1985! (My how these folks go way back together—and it shows what loyalty can do!) Bob Slosser told the 700 Club audience that day:

 

“We’re going to change the way the country thinks, we’ve bought into this secularism thing and that’s taken us right down the wrong path. I believe that this institution and those like this…will change the way this country thinks!”

 

I guess Wolf Blitzer is doing his best to help Americans change the way we think—even about assassination! Shame on you Wolf! I can see why you would be reluctant to give credit to Pat for helping to launch your career. And it does explain why you don’t mention it, but really—don’t you think murdering people is immoral—or is that part of how you always wanted to change America too?

 

 


 

Katherine Yurica is a writer and a news intelligence analyst. She is also the publisher of the Yurica Report.

 


 

 

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